Sacrificial Love

1 John 4: 7-12
Roman. 5: 6-8

Pastor David’s current sermon series talks about living in the family of God. One of the fundamental aspects of that family life is the kind of love that seeks the best for another instead of looking out for your own interests. If you’re a parent, you can probably relate to this idea. We want what’s best for our children and want to protect them, even when it means we must set aside our own desires (such as for a night of unbroken sleep) or ambitions.

We love the idea of someone making a sacrifice for another — it’s a theme repeated in countless books and movies. For instance, Frodo the Hobbit, in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, is willing to do whatever he must to destroy the enemy’s ring and so save the world. He succeeds in his quest, but at great personal cost. Harry Potter is the “boy who lived” precisely because his mother gives her life in trying to save him. In the TV series Firefly (it ran briefly a few years ago), two of the characters are a brother and sister who are fugitives from the authorities. In the series, which is set in the future, Simon has given up a brilliant medical career to rescue and care for his sister, who has been damaged psychologically and emotionally by the authorities. More than once he shows his willingness even to die for her. And of course, Jesus told a story that perfectly illustrated the concept: the good Samaritan.

Such love is an ideal we strive for, but for most of us it’s hard to put into practice. Yet, that’s what we’ve been commanded to do and we have the perfect example in Jesus. He came to die for us even while we were still sinners. And the passage in 1 John makes clear that our response to Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf should be the love we show one another. Most of the time we aren’t called to die for someone else, but maybe we’re called to do something harder — give up our own way for someone else. But that is exactly the kind of love that’s talked about here. Fortunately, we don’t have to achieve perfect love instantly. We have the Holy Spirit to help us and examples — both living and fictional — to encourage us.



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