As humans, our emotions can vary widely throughout a whole range of subjects. Valentine’s day is this coming Thursday, so today I want to focus in on love. We are capable of feelings several types of love, and each type has its own focus and intensity. This is part two of this series about learning to LOVE like Jesus!
Part one dealt with the love a father has for his children. Today I want to discuss another type of love.
THE LOVE OF SELF
We always seem to be the center of our own attentions, don’t we? If you doubt that, look at your instinct of survival. We have all read about or seen instances when people are said to have “scurried” to safety. I will say this: There is no way a person can stop to help anyone else while they are scurrying.
In the attack on the Twin Towers, we see many examples of this. There were dozens of people who jumped to their death rather than die by being burned. There were many who pushed past others without caring if they hurt anyone, just so they could hurry down the staircases.
We heard of some reports of people who stayed behind to minister to, or help others who could not make it out, or people who ran back in once they got out, just to die trying to save somebody else. So we see that the survival instinct is ever-present in all of us, but in some, it is all-important.
What does the Bible say about this kind of love? The Bible depicts love as something that is higher than anything else. It depicts love as a sacrifice; something given away for free; something bestowed upon another.
Let’s read John 13:1-17
‘Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place.
Do you Understand?
“Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not everyone was clean. Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean.
And you are clean, though not every one of you.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
Do you Not Realize?
Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.
It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
In JOHN 13, Jesus showed His love for the disciples by washing their feet. Some people do not see the significance of this. Jesus was the Creator of this universe; He was God incarnate, yet He took upon Himself the lowly job of a servant to wash the dirt off their feet. He loved them enough to do that so he could use that as an example of how they should also love others.
What else does God’s word have to say about self-love versus love for others?
In 1 JOHN 3:18, it tells us that actions speak louder than words.
‘Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth.’
HEBREWS 13:1 commands us,
‘Keep on loving each other as brothers.’
Love is simply doing something, or feeling something for another person for no other reason than your wanting the very best for them, and not because you want something back from them.
Too many times, we are more concerned with what we get out of something than what we give into it.
A father was sitting in his chair one night reading the paper. All of a sudden, he realized it was his young daughter’s birthday and he had forgotten to get her a gift. So he rushes down to the local department store where he sees some Barbie dolls in the window.
He asks the clerk how much a Barbie doll is. The clerk tells him that they range in price. The beauty queen Barbie is $30.00. The nurse Barbie is $20.00. And the divorced Barbie is $265.00.
Are You a Barbie Fan?
Now, if you happen to be a Barbie fan, know that I am not saying she married Ken for the money, it’s just that she did end up taking from him because she was only focused on herself.
You may think that in the case of a divorce, it is okay to be so self centered as to take all you can from your spouse. I say it is not okay anytime! Jesus gave us a new command. Love our enemies. And that includes ex spouses.
Don’t lose Sight of Love
Getting back on a serious note, we can use that illustration to see how we tend to throw love by the wayside when there is something else in it for us. That is not what God wants us to do. He wants us to be willing to make sacrifices for someone else’s sake when we can.
Therefore, I encourage you today to be thinking about how you can show your love sacrificially to your wife and your children. That’s the easy part. The hard part is to show sacrificial love to those that are difficult to love. When you can do that, you are more like Jesus than you know! So go…. be a man and show the world how much more you love them than yourself.
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