1 John 4:10
Real love isn’t our love for God, but his love for us. God sent his Son to be the sacrifice by which our sins are forgiven.
Depending on when you read this devotion, Valentine’s Day is being celebrated around the world. Some people honor another on this day with chocolates, flowers and/or quality time with the person. Others will not have such a positive experience and may feel left out of all the love shared on this day. But whether a person celebrates this day or not, the fact remains that each person on the planet is loved by God … a lot.
Our verse for the day addresses love, real love. Not the love that is manufactured by Wall Street or hormones. Real love gives all, and the best, it has for another. Real love is sacrificial and holds nothing back. It does what is best for another and does what is needed or the other, no matter what.
This verse speaks to real love starting with God toward us. This love God has for us is not a love from lack as is the case so many times for humans. It is not a love to be returned as if it were some kind of business transaction. It is not a love that even needs to be reciprocated. Love simply gives for love’s sake.
The verse continues with what this love God has for us gives … His Son. If we stopped there with the verse it would be a quaint thought, a Hallmark moment, but it would be empty like a hollow chocolate cross. To be real or true love, it must give of itself sacrificially. And so, God gave His Son willingly and Jesus gave Himself willingly for us. Again, that is so sweet…but it is not what the verse states. God gave Jesus to die, to be a sacrifice, for us…for our sins (Romans 5:8). Now that is an impressive and humbling kind of love. It is said that someone asked how much Jesus loved them and He stretched out His arms on the cross and said, “this much.” Regardless of your position on the doctrine of Christ’s death on the cross, you can see clearly that this is a love that will not stop at anything to show itself. It is a tangible and memorable gift that not only is for Christ-followers now but will be our gift for eternity plus.
Now that is a real loving gift.
— Bianca Elliott, pastor
*Devotion originally posted 2/14/2020
Prayer for Reflection
Thank You, God, for not simply telling us how much You love us but showing Your love to the uttermost. Thank You, Jesus, for loving us that much too.