February 14 – God Loved the World

Thursday, February 14, 2013

February 14 – God Loved the World

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

You would think that as often as signs with this verse painted on them are held up in large public venues, people would understand its importance.  God loved the world so much that He was willing to sacrifice everything so that anyone who believes in him would live forever.

It is one of the most powerful statements Christianity has to offer.  The depth of God’s love is vast, greater than anything we can begin to imagine.

I was talking to my sister about how people communicate with each other.  Some people use criticism, micro-management and negative feedback in order to manage and lead, while others use encouragement and positive words.  There are those who refuse to acknowledge another’s good work and others who celebrate the smallest moments.  Some demand, while others give.  As we got further into the conversation we began discussing that many times those who were the most critical and negative were the ones who needed the greatest amount of positive feedback.  Their lack of self-confidence couldn't allow them to be generous or effusive; they’d never learned that behavior.

Generosity, kindness, compassion, caring and other ways we pour out love all require a bit of sacrifice.  We have to give something of ourselves in order to show love.  The greatest stories of love come from singular moments of sacrifice. The classic Christmas story by O. Henry about the young couple who sacrifices their most precious possession in order to purchase a gift for the other fills our hearts as we recognize the profound gift of love they share.

God’s gift to us was one which changed the course of the world and showed us the truth of sacrificial love.  His Son sacrificed everything for the love of not just one person, but all of humanity.  This is love that we can never comprehend.

Today as we celebrate with hearts, flowers, gifts and candy, we each find that love requires sacrifice.  It is what brings out the best in each of us. Love … sacrifice … because God loved us first.