God's Sacrificial Love
Last Sunday, Pastor Jason Finley began our new series entitled: “Love One Another” with a sermon from John 13:34-35 and exhorted us to be devoted to loving one another.
Read: Galatians 6:2
This Sunday, Dr. Channing Crisler from Renewal Church of Anderson and Associate Professor of New Testament at Anderson University will preach from Galatians 6:2 and will encourage us to love one another by bearing the burdens of the justified. As you prepare for our Sunday gathering, be encouraged and spurred on in love by this devotional from John MacArthur.
Reflect: “God’s Sacrificial Love”
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
God’s love is vicarious and sacrificial.
Today we continue a short study of a topic that brings joy to every Christian: God’s love. Both Paul and John call His love “great” (Eph. 2:4; 1 John 3:1), because only great love would provide such a sacrifice as God did in Christ.
We have already seen that God’s love is unconditional, unrequited, and righteous. God’s love is also vicarious; it bears the pain of others. In a prophecy about Christ, Isaiah wrote: “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried” (53:4). Christ bears our earthly sorrows, and, infinitely more significant, He bore the pain and punishment for our sins.
True love is a sacrificial love that gives without expecting anything in return. God gives so many good things to everyone, and He gave the greatest gift of all, His Son. As John 3:16 teaches, love was His motive for sending Christ to die; He wanted to provide salvation for us.
Again we must examine ourselves after seeing God’s love. Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.” Are you encouraging and helping other Christians in difficulty? Also, ask yourself if you love regardless of the sacrifice. Some will “love” up to the point of pain or inconvenience but no further. However, Jesus commands us, “Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men” (Luke 6:35). Love is not always easy, but it’s always best.
So much more could be said about God’s love. Countless books and hymns have been written about it. We can get only a basic understanding in these few paragraphs. But let this introduction serve as a starting point for a lifelong study of God’s love. It’s one of the greatest themes in the Bible; you can’t miss it.
Suggestions for Prayer: Pray for strength to bear the burdens of others and to love with sacrificial love.
For Further Study: Jesus talks about His love for us in John 15:9–17. In what ways should we respond to God’s love? ✧ Based on these verses, think of specific ways you can demonstrate your love for God and others.
“God’s Sacrificial Love,” February 18th Devotional, in Strength for Today, by John MacArthur.
Sing: Song List for Sunday
1. “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name,” Arr. Keith and Kristyn Getty
2. “The Love of God,” Arr. Mercy Me
3. “Jesus, Your Mercy,” by Sovereign Grace Music
4. “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” Arr. Fernando Ortega
5. “In Christ Alone,” Arr. Shane & Shane