John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.
Today love is celebrated all over the world. This is Valentine's Day, the day of love. But what does it mean to “love” someone? We often think of the ooey, gooey, warm fuzzy feelings that come when a man and woman find that they care for and are affectionate towards each other and we say, “they're in love”. They get “that look” in their eyes and often lose touch with reality and are said to have their heads in the clouds. But God said the way we can identify true love is by one person laying down their life for another. He said there is no greater love than this.
Love – Greek word, agape, which means an undefeatable benevolence and unconquerable goodwill that always seeks the highest good of the other person, no matter what he does. It is the self-giving love that gives freely without asking anything in return, and does not consider the worth of its object. Agape is more a love by choice than by chance; and it refers to the will rather than the emotion. Agape describes the unconditional love God has for the world.
1 John 4:9, 10 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
God sent Jesus to die for us that He might show that great love that He has for us; the love that chooses to do what's best for us. The ultimate need for mankind was that of a Savior, One who could die to pay the price for the sin of mankind. Jesus was that sacrificial lamb Who died to pay the price for man's sin.
Hebrews 9:27, 28 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
Jesus was the perfect sacrifice; no more animal sacrifices were needed to cover man's sin. Jesus paid the price to not just cover man's sin, but to totally remove it; as far as the east is from the west. Man, when receiving what Jesus did for him personally on the Cross of Calvary, has his sin completely removed, and becomes just as if he had never sinned.
Jesus said in John 10:17, 18 that His Father loved Him because He lay down His life and no one was able to take it from Him.
John 10:17, 18 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.
Jesus willingly went to the cross to purchase the redemption of mankind. He gave of Himself that we might have life. The Romans crucified Him on an old wooden cross because He chose to die for you and me! He expressed that “greater love”, the love of choice, agape, that always chooses what's best for the other person, through His death on the Cross of Calvary.
John 3:16, 17 “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. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
God sent Jesus into the world to die that His man might be saved. The payment was freely made by Jesus, who willingly went to the cross to pay the price for mankind's redemption. It was a gift given by Love, Himself, Who could do nothing more than express His very own nature to the people that He created and loved. It is because of His great love for us that we celebrate Valentine's Day, for God is love.
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
We can't truly love another person without God's love residing in our hearts. That's why there are so many failed marriages in our world. The love that is shared without arising from the heart of God is simply an affectionate type of love that fades when it's own needs are not met. True love arises from knowing God because He is love. Without His agape love in a person's heart, the love that they show to another is simply a love arising from emotional feelings; an attraction that they have towards another person.
Have you personally experienced God's love expressed towards you through the crucifixion of Jesus? He loved you so much that He chose to die for you to pay the price for your sin. You can know Him and experience His love in a real way today! If you haven't received Jesus as your own personal Savior and Lord please pray with me this prayer and sincerely mean it in your heart.
Father, I come before You this morning in the name of Jesus to acknowledge that I have never received the payment that Jesus made for my sin that expresses Your love for me. I confess that I am a sinner by birth because sin travels down the bloodline and I am a sinner by choice because I have chosen to live my life selfishly for my own gain. I ask You to forgive me, to cleanse my heart from sin and to save me. Lord Jesus, I receive Your great love and thank You for saving me. I believe that You are the Son of God, sent to pay the price for my sin, that You were crucified and raised to new life and now sit at the Father's right hand in heaven. I confess You, Lord Jesus, as my Savior and Lord! From this day forward I vow to live for You! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
If you prayed that prayer and really meant it in your heart, you are now a child of God. You have been ushered into the family of God. Congratulations! You have just made the most important decision of your life.
Father, I pray for those who have come into Your family today that You would make Yourself real to them so they will be assured of Your presence within them. I ask that their new life in Christ Jesus would be seen to those around them as they share what has taken place in their lives today. I pray for those who are hurting this morning that may not have someone to share their love with on this special day that Your presence would surround them with a new awareness of how much You love them and desire to have them share that love with You. I pray that they will be comforted by Your love and not desire a love that would simply be a substitute for true love. And may we all show love one to another, Father, for everyone who knows God loves those around them as a sign that they belong to You. May we share the love that You have placed in our hearts. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.