12 “So this is my command: Love each other deeply, as much as I have loved you. 13 For the greatest love of all is a love that sacrifices all. And this great love is demonstrated when a person sacrifices his life for his friends.”
1 John 15:12-13 TPT
I’ll never forget the day this guy told me:
“Look Michelle…this is my mindset: I give 50 and you give 50. If you can understand that, then this can work.”
All I could think was:
“You must be outta your mind! My daddy—both earthly and heavenly—has taught me way too much for me to settle for your half-hearted effort. If it’s gonna be 50, then this is not God. If it’s gonna be 50, then this is not real. And, if it’s gonna be 50, then this is not a sacrifice.”
Are we really sure we know what it means?
I’ve never met a generation that craves love so much.
Our generation is thirsty for love from their parents. Thirsty to find their one true love for marriage. Thirsty for love from their friends. Thirsty for love from their exes. Thirsty for love from their co-workers, church members…I mean you name it.
People want love—BADLY.
They’re searching for it in many different places. More often than not, the wrong places.
Please, good people…don’t get it twisted.
The desire to be loved is not wrong. God has intuitively wired our DNA for love.
But, he’s intuitively wired our DNA for REAL LOVE.
Not the fluffy, fake, counterfeit, false stuff, this generation “thinks,” love is.
I’m talking about REAL LOVE demonstrated in every relationship sphere of our lives.
We are to take REAL LOVE. And more importantly, we are to give REAL LOVE.
You might be reading this thinking, “Ok, well then tell us…what is real love?”
Well, I’m glad you asked.
Can I submit to you today that REAL LOVE has a standard?
“this is my commandment: love each other deeply, AS MUCH as I have loved you.”
1 John 15:12 TPT
What is that as much? How far did Christ go to demonstrate His love toward us?
Simply put, he became a SACRIFICE.
In other words, he LAID down His life (on the cross) for ours. He knew no sin, but decided that He would become sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know this already…”
Great, I’m glad you do.
The truth is many of us know this already.
But the even bitter truth is that, many of us are still in failing relationships or have experienced one too many failed ones.
We “know, this already..” but sadly,
Divorce rates are not going down they’re going up.
Sibling relationships are incredibly weak.
Parent child relationships are becoming non-existent in many homes.
Friendships are full of betrayal, dishonesty and disloyalty.
Courtships and engagements are not making it down the aisle because many can’t stay faithful.
Pastors are suicidal because the pressure is on to give and give and give and get nothing in return.
Our generation has lost it.
Heartless obligation, ill motives of pride and selfish ambition, carnal longings for admiration, wealth, rank, prestige, applause and praise, are becoming the premise for which we establish relationships, remain in those relationships, and treat other people.
What I mean to say is…
We are no longer relying on God to empower us to portray a love AS MUCH and AS DEEP as His own!
We are a 50/50 generation!
Drowning in the mindset that,
“So long as you don’t inconvenience me, I won’t inconvenience you.”
“So long as you do a little bit for me, I’ll do a little bit for you.”
“So long as you go all out for me, I’ll go all out for you.”
“So long as you buy a gift for me, I’ll buy a gift for you.”
“So long as you pray me, I’ll pray you.”
“So long as you like me, I’ll like you.”
“So long as you encourage me, I’ll encourage you.”
“So long as you share for me, I’ll share for you.”
So long as you love me, I’ll love you.”
We are an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth kinda people!
Only getting uncomfortable for people so long as they get uncomfortable for us!
Have you not seen it?
Pleaseeee, tell me you see it?
Wake up and smell it…because it’s killing us!
It’s killing our churches! It’s killing our romantic relationships! It’s killing our friendships! It’s killing our work relationships! It’s killing our homes! It’s killing our ministries! It’s killing our businesses!
It’s in every relationship you can think of.
This mindset that, “I can only sacrifice for you, unless you sacrifice for me,” has made love grow cold in our world.
So many people are walking around with fake love woes, because many are not submitting to the standard of what REAL LOVE is.
And that’s because…
We’re disbursing half-hearted love and expecting full, on-time real love payment!
We’re sowing seeds with all sorts of selfish ambition attached and expecting for people to deliver us their fruits of selflessness in return!
What is this? Where have we come to?
Our love is SURAFCE.
Our love is COLD.
Our love is FAKE.
“Ouch, Michelle. Well, I think I’m doing a pretty okay job at showing love to the people in my life.”
Well that’s just it…
You don’t get it yet.
It’s not simply about the people in “your,” life.
REAL LOVE must be demonstrated to ALL.
And, that’s just on period.
There is a higher standard of LOVE that we are being called to and that is a life LAID DOWN FOR ALL, but we’re failing!
Imagine if Jesus only died for a few of us? What would the rest of us do? Where would the rest of us be?
There is no greater commandment than to love your neighbor as yourself!
Mark 12:31 ESV
Did you read that?
What you want for yourself…you want it more for another!
What you would give to yourself…you would give it more to another!
What you would say to yourself…you would say it more to another!
The lengths and breadths you would go for yourself, you would do it more for another!
It’s called S-A-C-R-I-F-I-C-E!
And to sacrifice, is to truly, genuinely, fully, wholly and really LOVE.
But, we’ve missed it. We have attributed love to a mere emotion and a feeling, not realizing that it’s rooted in SACRIFICIAL ACTION.
What does SACRIFICIAL ACTION look like?
It means when your brother is need of $10 to get something to eat, and there’s $20 in your wallet, you give him the $20!
It means not pressuring your significant other to sleep with you, and honouring your bodies together before God until marriage!
It means when you see someone on your social media TL implying suicidal thoughts, you don’t scroll. You inbox them right away and ask them, “how can I be of help to you?” “how can I pray for you?”
It means when your Pastor asks if you’re available to stay for the second service and help out with music, you don’t lie and say you’ve got somewhere to go, you stay!
It means when your child is need of you to pick them up, you don’t pick up the toys and clean up first, you give them the attention they need right then and there!
SACRIFICIAL ACTION WILL ALWAYS COINCIDE WITH REAL LOVE.
You and I have come up short in many, many, many ways.
But, it is my humble prayer that God will sincerely touch and convict our hearts to love as much and as deep as He does. I pray that we will make a new resolution within our hearts to become the very embodiment of love to the people in our lives.
As I wrap up this blog post,
I want you to take a moment and reflect on all the various relationships you have ongoing in your life. Think about all the various people you have come into contact with:
How have you sacrificed?
With whom are you lacking sacrifice?
In what ways, can you sacrifice for the people around you further?
When and where did God call you to be the sacrifice and you failed?
Trust me, we’ve all got work to do (myself more than anybody).
The great news is, as we aim to achieve the standard of sacrificial love set before us, we have been given the spiritual antidote to successfully exhibit this. I know you know this one, but here it is anyway:
Love is large and incredibly patient.
Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else.
Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance.
Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor.
Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense.
Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong.
Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others.
Love never takes failure defeat, for it never gives up.
Love never stops loving.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 TPT
With the help of God there is nothing we cannot do. And there is no part of us that we cannot lay down.
Until next time,