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Giving The Greater Love
7/21/2017

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:13 (NKJV)

One of the most overused and misunderstood words used in the English language or any other language for that matter is love. From an early age we are programmed to understand man’s definition of love.  Unfortunately this type of love is a cheap and very poor imitation of God’s love. Unfortunately many people never understand the difference.  Ultimately it boils down to two things — God’s love is selfless and is others-centered, where man’s is selfish and self-centered. 

It is no great feat to love another, as long as we are being loved back.  But once we feel we are not being loved, often times we will often choose to stop loving the other person as well.  We see this in marriages.  Usually one person in the relationship will eventually draw a line and say something like, “No more!  I am finished!  I’ve tried and I cannot, nor should I be expected to do this any longer.  It is my life and I deserve to be happy.  God doesn’t expect me to be a doormat, and I know He wants me to be happy.”

I believe this happens because there is a lack of commitment — commitment to God that is. This is primarily because either one or both people in the relationship are choosing not to love the other in the way God has instructed them to — in agape love.  Agape love is willing to do whatever is best for the one being loved, regardless of the cost.  This type of love is the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22), and will be in the life of those who are wholly surrendered and committed in their walk with God. 

God has instructed us to love Him and then others as His two greatest commandments. But we cannot love in this way if we are not committed to God.  Ultimately our commitment to God will always lead us to reading His Word, and as we remain committed to abiding in Him and His statutes then we will bear the fruit of Agape love.  This happens because we learn how much He loves us, and we learn about His character.  As we do this it will result in our being drawn to Him, and having a priority to live for Him. 

When counseling people who are frustrated with their spouse, I will usually ask them at some point, “What does this have to do with you and God?  What does this have to do with you doing your part?”  It is a straightforward question and it applies to every one of us for just about any situation where we feel we have been wronged or are being treated improperly.  Another person’s wrong actions should never dictate our response in kind.  We must remember who we are in Christ Jesus and remain committed to doing what is right — even when a spouse is committed to doing what is wrong. 

The truth is, we may be the only light in the life of those who are choosing to walk independently from God.  As we choose to love, imitate, and obey God, we will reflect His light through us, and this will almost always bring a strong conviction to the one who is sinning, and it will keep us from having a bitter or calloused heart.

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her…Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:1,25,33 (NKJV)

I want to encourage you to choose to love selflessly, and do it as if you are doing it for Jesus. You will be blessed, and it will be the greatest testimony of Jesus Christ for your spouse. 

STUDY QUESTION: According to the Scriptures contained in this devotional what can we learn about our loving others?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you committed to loving your spouse and others as if you are doing it for God—regardless of how they respond?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Make a commitment each and every day to allow Jesus to be Lord of your life and to imitate His selfless servant's heart.

PRAYER: Father, thank You for showing me what it means to love.  I am sorry for the times I have made it about me and my wants, rather than loving others as if I were doing it for You.  Give me a proper heart today Lord and help me to love the way You do.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

 

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

 

 


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000