For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 NKJV
Has this often-quoted verse lost its impact? This is frequently one of the first Bible verses we memorize, we see it embroidered on pillows, and emblazoned on mugs, notebooks, and walls. But have we let its truth sink into our souls rather than simply residing on our mantles and coffee tables?
God loved you and me so very much that He gave His Son to us. He gave His Son as an offering and sacrifice so that you and I could live with Him for eternity. His Son. That’s how much He loves us.
How much do you have to love someone to sacrifice your child into the hands of a brutal crowd? How much passion for a people must you have to watch as they beat, abuse, mock, and torture your only son? How much grace must you have to withhold your hand from destroying the people who are killing your child?
How much love for us did Jesus carry in His heart as He carried the cross to Calvary? How did He endure the pain we inflicted upon Him and the resulting pain of separation from His Father as He willingly took our sins upon His shoulders on the cross? How much compassion flowed through His veins as He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”?
And when it was over, when He breathed His last breath, when He was buried, and the stone sealed the tomb, how much love did They have for us then?
They loved us enough to return with gifts: the Holy Spirit to dwell with us and the power of eternal life offered to every individual who turned to Jesus. This is love. This is love’s truth. Jesus loves us. Jesus loves you.
Learning to love like Jesus is a great line. But loving like Jesus can only be done through surrender and acceptance of His Lordship. Jesus submitted to the will of the Father and so must we. We cannot possibly love others in this broken world without the Holy Spirit empowering and endowing us with wisdom, patience, hope, and a love that overcomes even death.
If you want to love like Jesus loved, read His Word. Watch as Jesus interacts with the people of His time. Listen as He talks to them, image yourself there as part of the scene. Hear it as if you’ve never heard it before. And ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten your heart as you seek to become more like Jesus by following His examples.
He walked this earth for a purpose. He provided His Word for a reason. He wants you and me to learn directly from Him. He wants us to imitate Him as dear children imitate their parents. Learn from Him. Love Him above all else and watch in wonder as His love fills you and spreads into the world around you.
Let us not forget the love that Jesus has for us. He is the only way to the Father. He tells us this in another famous verse: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6 NIV
Jesus died so that He could provide the ONLY way … there is no other path to eternal life. If there was another way, don’t you think God would have chosen it? Don’t you think He would have spared His Son?
Today, let’s invite the Holy Spirit to lead us. Let Him direct your steps, guide your hands, fill your heart with unimaginable love, and speak through you. This world needs Jesus. Our friends and family need Jesus. Everyone needs Jesus because without Him we are lost and without hope. But with Jesus, we are victorious.
The love of Christ is more powerful than anything you face right now. His love brings hope, peace, conviction, strength, and healing. His love is perfect.
May the love of Jesus spark into flames that spread courageously into the world around you.