‘Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.’ John 15:13 (NIV)
Celebrated as one of the most beautiful texts in all the Bible, this message is used to point us to the unlimited love that God holds for His children everywhere. It shows that the love of God goes far beyond our shallow tendencies here and so deep as to sacrifice unselfishly. Unlike our human love which we give to those who we feel are worthy of it, God loves us even when we don´t deserve His love. Jesus loves us so much He laid down everything. Even His very life He gave for us. Is it a beautiful thought? Does it make us feel good to know that God loves us unconditionally? But where is this text found? Does it come directly following a command for us to love? Should we be using it as an encouragement for us and a standard to strive for? Should we look at it as our Heavenly Goal instead of using it to make ourselves feel good? Instead of priding ourselves in the favor we have found in God, could we use it to press forward in our attempt to be like His Son?
We talk of greater love. It is a fact of life that the Lord possesses a greater love than we could ever attain on our own. It is true that Jesus laid down His life for us. It is true that God sacrificed much to show us love. But it is also true that He is asking us to love. He is forever encouraging us to improve. He wants us to strive to be like Him. The only Way possible is to have His nature living in us. The only Way we can love like God loves is to be so close to Him that His love shines in us and through us!
When we hear of this great love of God, how should we take it? Should we sit back with a smile? Should we merely bask in the flow of love that pours out upon us from Heaven? Or would we follow Christ more by seeking to have that same love? Could we admit the weight of the argument that His love far surpasses ours, but not take it as an excuse to relax? Could we rather use it to search our own hearts? Could we recognize our insufficient love and seek to replace it with the love of God? Could we yearn to have that love that no other man could have? Could we seek this greater love to fill us too?
If we are able to convince ourselves that this text is to motivate us instead of satisfy us, what can we then do? Could we assess our situation? Could we approach the Lord once more? Even if we have just got up from our knees, could we bring our attention again to Him? Could we seek His help? Could we ask for a closer walk? Could we beseech the Son of God to make sure His work is effective in our hearts? Could we press so close to Him that His warmth pierces our world and our lives? Could we beg the Lord to radiate His greater love inside of us? Could we resist the urge to rest until God´s love overflows our hearts and begins putting others first? Could we heed our Saviour´s invitation and seek the greater love that lays down whatever is in our lives to share the love of God?
As You were in this world so we would be. You came sacrificing of Yourself. Now we in turn seek that same love. We realize that this kind of love does not originate with us. It is a greater love. So we ask You. Give us we pray this kind of love. Thank you for displaying the love of God, but do not let us rest until that love has effectively worked its miracle in our lives! Let a greater love come to us, radiate from us, and make us true children of God today!