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How Great is Our Love?

October 2, 2007

My friend Brenda emailed me this yesterday, and I thought it was so good that I am sharing it with you. This material is from a sermon series John Piper delivered on Romans. The particular passage in reference is Romans 5:6-11. Below is the passage and what my friend learned from the sermon, including some of her thoughts on practical application:

6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

9Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Four Marks that Demonstrate the Depth of One’s Love

1. The sacrifice made in loving or the cost to the lover. How much you sacrifice certainly indicates the degree of love you have for someone. The Bible says, “No greater love has a man than this that he lay down his life for his friends.” Everyday you make choices of self-sacrifice in order to serve your husband and your children. While no one is asking for your head on a silver platter, God is asking you to die to self in order that you might love Him and your neighbor selflessly. Jesus is our ultimate example of the One who loved us in spite of the cost. What is your love costing you? Loving your family God’s way will require sacrifice. How great of a sacrifice are you making on behalf of your loved ones? Is it costing you time (even your “free” time), personal goals and dreams, extra money or material possessions, sleep, etc. Biblical love is costly.

2. The unworthiness of the object loved. The more undeserving the person being loved, the greater the degree of love. Look at the four words that describe our unworthiness in verses 6-11-powerless, ungodly, sinners, and enemies. What great love Jesus bestowed on us! Perhaps this morning you are dealing with a rebellious or stubborn husband or children who are disobedient and unthankful, so were you and sometimes still are before God. Paul gives a wonderful analogy to show us our unworthiness and Christ’s supreme love. (Verses 6-7) What if you knew of a really upright woman who needed a new heart in order to live? This woman was a godly wife and mother. Would you give her your heart knowing it would mean death for you? Alright, what about if you personally knew the woman? Perhaps she is even your mom, mentor or good friend. Would you give your heart so she could live, knowing you will die? Human love is amazing and in some cases, someone might give their life to save a good person or someone they love. However, would you give your heart to a woman who had a rap sheet a mile long, was unrepentant, unwilling to change, immoral, and hostile to everyone? That is what Christ did for us. He gave his life while we were His enemies. God’s love is supernatural. It’s one thing to love those who love us back and who are “easy” to love, but we show the greatness of God’s love when we love the unlovable. Will you love your husband even though he does not lead well? Will you love your husband especially if you think he is undeserving of such a generous love? Will you love your child although he can do nothing to benefit you and in fact often acts like your “enemy”? Biblical love is extended despite the worthiness of the object being loved.

3. The benefits of the love to the person being loved. The greater the benefit to the person the greater the degree of love. Consider the incredible benefits we have from Christ’s love. Immeasurable! What benefit does your husband or children receive from your loving them? Is it minimal and miserly or do you lavish God’s love on them demonstrated by your patience, acts of kindness, goodness, pleasant words, encouragement, etc.? I am reminded of a story from one of the handicapped teenagers at the Joni and Friends Family Camp who had been adopted by a family who over the years had taken in 23 handicapped children. He told one of our staff members, “I love my papa. My papa spoils me”. Would your family say your love is spoiling? (By the way, I do not mean “spoiling” in the sense of letting sin go undetected or unpunished, think in the terms of lavish love!)

4. The “freeness” of the love. God’s love to us is a free gift. We cannot earn it. He brings everything to our salvation, we bring only our sin. Do you love your husband and children with an expectation of appreciation or being loved in return? Do you withhold love if your “love tank” is not filled first? Is your love dependent on the performance of those in your home? If we are to model Christ, our love must be a gift with no strings attached.

I have been challenged and convicted by these words. Take time to meditate on these truths and ask God to make you a great lover of your husband and children!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 4, 2007 8:58 am

    This was so good! I find that I can sacrifice in love for my family so much easier than I can sacrifice for God, often because I can see, touch, feel, and hear my family, and sacrificing for them ultimately brings me happiness, most of the time. It’s a costlier sacrifice to give without physically sensing the pleasure of another or the “returns on my investment.” Just considering that makes me realize how much my thinking is still formed by the world, and still needs transforming, every day. Thanks for posting the “devotional” for the morning!
    Jen

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