FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14
“By this we know love, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”
1 John 3:16 (ESV)
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her,”
Ephesians 5:25 (ESV)
LOVE ONE ANOTHER BY MAKING SACRIFICES
This year’s Super Bowl introduction featured a commercial of a kid running with a football through the city, across the country, past famous athletes of multiple sports, with people telling him, “Take it to the house, kid.” He ran and ran and ran, only stopping once. The kid stopped by the Pat Tillman statue in front of State Farm Stadium and stared reverentially at it for a few seconds before continuing on his way. Tillman was a star at Arizona State University and for the Arizona Cardinals. He famously turned down a lucrative contract to join the Army to go and fight for our nation in the war on terrorism. He was killed by friendly fire in the line of duty in 2004.
Tillman’s willingness to sacrifice fame and fortune and risk his life was the ultimate display of love for our nation. The Bible teaches sacrificial love is the kind of love that Jesus has for us. Jesus proved His love for us by sacrificing His life. And this sacrificial mindset is the kind of love God wants us to have for each other.
Pat Tillman didn’t know if he would lose his life in the Army, but he was willing. God is asking us to be willing to do whatever it takes to show love to those around us. When God makes giving our lives the standard, it seems that anything less than that should also be included. You can’t separate love from action. If someone says they love you but doesn’t treat you lovingly, they don’t love you. It’s just empty words. If we say we love our neighbor but don’t put our actions behind it, we are also just saying empty words. Can you think of someone who needs you to make a sacrifice to show them love today?
Have there been times in your life when you felt lonely and felt like no one realized or even cared that you felt lonely? Our schools, churches, workplaces, and neighborhoods are filled with people who feel that way. Pray and ask God to show you someone who needs to feel welcomed today and how you can make them feel welcomed for the glory of God.