Many of us have seen people holding signs at sporting events with John 3:16 written on them. We may be able to quote that passage. But how many of us fully appreciate not just the words, but the meaning of that passage?
We know intellectually Jesus gave himself up for us. We know God sent Him to be the perfect sacrifice for sin. We understand because of His sacrifice our sins are forgiven, we are given hope, we are saved, and we are promised to spend eternity with God.
Isn’t that all we need to know? Not quite. As mentioned numerous times in these devotionals, it is not enough to simply know these things intellectually. They must sink into our heart. They must infiltrate the core of our being. We must come to understand the love God showed to us in a much, much deeper way.
Let’s think of it like this. Picture someone you know who is fragile, near helpless. They are in need of someone who will do for them since they cannot do for themselves. It may be a small child, someone with a disability, or someone with a debilitating illness. If you love them, what lengths are you willing to go to as a provider or assistant?
We are the helpless person. We are incapable of living the perfect life Jesus lived. Therefore, we need a perfect sacrifice. God loves us so much that He sent His Son to be our perfect sacrifice. He loves us so much that He provides for our needs, most importantly our need for love.
Paul tells the church in Ephesus to follow God’s example. We are to love one another as God has loved us. Notice it is a fragrant offering to God when we sacrifice ourselves for others out of love. I suggest we think of following Jesus’ example of love like following in the footsteps of a human mentor. The mentor smiles and gives us praise for doing well. God smiles when He sees us doing as Jesus did.
I pray we all know deep in our heart God loves us. I pray we choose to follow Jesus’ example. I pray each of us love one another sacrificially, causing God to smile. Follow Jesus’ example. Love as God loves you. Show God’s love to others. Love sacrificially. Make God smile.
Ephesians 5:1-2 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.