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Love Like No Other

Weekly Devotionals

Love Like No Other

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  John 15:12-13

John 3:16, one of our most popular verses in Scripture sums up the essence of the gospel as most of us understand it.  God loves us.  God sent His son, Jesus, to die for us and save us from our sin.  If we believe/put our trust in Him, we are saved and have eternal life.  This, in short form and from one angle, is the essence of the gospel!  This is why the Son of God left heaven to become a man, to take on the name Jesus, and to lay down His life for us.  And at the root of it all is God’s love.  “For God so loved the world….”  There is no greater love than this.  Jesus says it himself in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  It’s the greatest act of love a person could do for another.

But there’s an act of love that is on a different level than this, and only God can do it.  Think about it.  It’s “relatively” easy to give up your own life.  If someone came up to me and my family at gunpoint saying, “It’s either you or your family,” I would die for my family.  It’s a no-brainer.  There would be not even a fraction of hesitation.  Or if a stranger, let’s say a mother pushing her child in a stroller, was about to get hit by a bus, then maybe, just maybe, I might lay my life down by pushing her and her child out of the way and take the hit myself (in my altruistic daydreams).

I can give up myself, but I could never give up my child.  If ever the life of my child was demanded for whatever reason, I would fight tooth and nail to not let that happen!  My life is one thing, but the life of my daughter or my son?  I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t give either of them up.  In any situation it’s not within the realm of human love to give up my child.  Yet this is God’s “on-a-different-level” love for us.  He gave up His one and only Son!

Some may ask, “Well, why didn’t God, the Father give up Himself?”  The quick answer is, “If he did, then the entire universe would fall apart.”  But we must also not forget that the Godhead, 3 in 1 (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is so intricately bound together that the giving up of His Son IS the giving up of Himself.

God gave up His only Son so that He could become a man in the flesh and thereby be the perfect sacrifice who could be the representative substitution for all humanity and die for us, on our behalf, so that we wouldn’t have to go through that death-separation from God that comes as a result of our sin.  This is love.  The Almighty God gave up that which was most precious to Him for you and for me.

This is why Jesus is Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.  Merry Christmas!