Thursday, February 6, 2020

Love Unleashed - Martin Wiles

Series: Love Unchained

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13 NLT

“Are you dying for him?”

Sydney Carton and Charles Darnay loved the same woman, but one of them lost out. The woman chose to marry Charles. Charles was later arrested, placed in a dungeon, and set to be executed the next day—a terrible experience for anyone, but Charles had a wife and a child.

Sydney looked somewhat like Charles, enough to pass for him. He sneaked into the prison, knocked out Charles—his formal rival for his girl—and had some friends take him to safety. Sydney, meanwhile, put on Charles’ clothes and awaited his execution.

In the prison, another person, a seamstress, was also on her way to the guillotine. She approached whom she thought was Charles and requested comfort. Suddenly, she realized this was not Charles at all. That’s when she asked the question.

Charles assured her he was dying not only for the man but also for his wife and child. To which she replied, “O will you let me hold your brave hand, stranger?” His substitutionary sacrifice overwhelmed her.

God unleashed His love through a sacrifice as well. One of greater import than did Sydney in Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. Sydney saved only Charles. Jesus’ sacrifice has the potential—and will—save anyone who comes to Him believing, confessing, and repenting. Genuine love leads to sacrificing on behalf of others—my time, my gifts, my money, my … whatever. It can do no less.

Not only does the sacrifice flow from my appreciation of what God has done on my behalf, but it also grows humility in me.  Paul said it like this: Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud (1 Corinthians 13:4).

Once I understand God’s love, I can’t help but demonstrate humility. I can’t force God to save me, nor can I ever deserve salvation or work for it. He loves and forgives because it’s His nature to do so. Once I’ve accepted God’s forgiveness, humility will decorate my actions and attitudes.

Such love proves my connection with God. John wrote, Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God (1 John 4:7). Only after experiencing God’s love planted in my heart can I love in the way God loves. God unleashed His love to the world through Christ.

Unleash your love, too. What the world needs is more God-like love.

Prayer: Father, may we love others as You do us.

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