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Jesus’ Example of Unconditional, Sacrificial Love

Do you love like Jesus loved?

Jesus focused his final instructions around a theme that’s repeated four times in the book of John, chapters 13 and 15. “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends…This is my command: Love each other.” In his book Heirloom Love, the author asks, if we’re to love as Jesus loved, then what does that really look like? Well, Jesus loved us unconditionally. He didn’t wait for us to become worthy of His love. That would be impossible. Instead, He took the initiative to love us first, and he commands us to love fellow believers this way– especially those who are suffering around the world.

Jesus also loved us sacrificially. He literally laid down his life for us, and in this passage, we read that we’re commanded to give our all for the saints in need; even to the point of risking our very lives. Loving the church of Christ will cost us something. Yet, Jesus said that we would experience joy as we obediently follow His new command. Consider the Macedonian churches. They were enduring a “most severe trial” and “extreme poverty.” Yet, they overflowed with joy because of their love and generosity for suffering Christians in a foreign land. They urgently pleaded for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. My prayer is that we will do the same. May the love of Jesus compel us. 

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