Series: Love Unchained
Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” Matthew 22:37 NLT
She grabbed her son, gave him one last hug and kiss, and handed him to those in the lifeboat.
California gold fever raged. One man left his wife and son in New England and headed West with the promise that he would send for them once he had attained success. A long period of time passed, but finally, he amassed enough money to pay for their trip.
The mother and son traveled to New York and boarded a Pacific steamer, planning to sail to San Francisco. They had not sailed long when the cry, “Fire,” rang throughout the ship. A powder magazine languished on board, and the captain knew if the fire reached that all would be lost.
The crew lowered the lifeboats, but the boats couldn’t hold all the passengers. They were soon full … too full for the mother and small boy. The mother pleaded, but they said no room was available. Finally, she said, “Then, take my boy.” They agreed. Her final words, as she handed him to those in the lifeboat, were, “My boy, if you live to see your father, tell him I died in your place.”
Before Jesus sacrificed His life for the sins of humanity, He uttered what He considered the greatest command. He would soon demonstrate how much He loved us by going to the cross. On that cruel instrument—and in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to the cross—He showed how the greatest love looked. He gave His all for us, and, like the mother, wants us to give our all to Him in return. Only as we love Him with our entire being can that happen.
According to the apostle Paul, this type of love is the greatest attribute we can ever hope to attain: Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13). Everything else will perish, but love, agape’ love, will remain throughout eternity.
When God implants this form of love in our hearts, we can’t help but love Him with all our hearts and others as ourselves. John says, We love each other because he loved us first (1 John 4:19). What the world needs now—and has always needed … and will always need—is love, love, love.
Let God help you fulfill the greatest charge: to love Him … and others.
Prayer: Father, we lean on You for the love we need to change the world with love.
Tweetable: How sacrificial is your love?
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