THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
John 15:13 ESV
WE WIN WHEN LOVE IS GREAT
Sharon Jaynes told this story in her book Celebrating a Christ-centered Christmas. An African boy listened carefully as his teacher explained why Christians give presents to each other on Christmas Day. “The gift is an expression of our joy over the birth of Jesus and our friendship for each other,” she said. When Christmas day came, the boy brought the teacher a seashell of lustrous beauty. “Where did you ever find such a beautiful shell?” the teacher asked. The youth told her that there was only one spot where such extraordinary shells could be found. When he named the place, a certain bay several miles away, the teacher was left speechless. “Why … why, it’s gorgeous … wonderful, but you shouldn’t have gone all that way to get the gift for me.” His eyes brightening, the boy answered, “Long walk part of gift.”
The greatest gifts aren’t necessarily the ones that cost the most. The greatest gifts are often the ones that are most thoughtful and sacrificial. When Jesus talked about “greater love,” He was talking about something we are all born to crave. Everybody wants to be loved more and to hurt less. In the English language we can use the same word “love” to describe different degrees of love. We may say I love baseball, cheeseburgers, my kids, jogging, my spouse, college football, shopping, dessert and God. Yet we don’t love all of those things to the same degree (especially jogging).
Think about the individuals who have made you feel loved the most. How did they express that love toward you? God doesn’t just want you to feel some love, He wants you to experience “greater love.” God also desires those around us to experience “greater love.” Remember today, your effort/long walk is part of the gift.