Dear Precious Friends,
As we embrace this new day, this holiest of weekends, we are reminded in Ephesians 5:2 of the high calling on our lives that Jesus has given us.
The meaning of this verse is magnified as we ponder that Jesus loves us so much, he was willing to die the death we deserved and take on the punishment we deserved to assure we would spend eternity with us.
He was the sacrifice, He who had no sin took our sin on in the most brutal way imaginable. I scarce can take this in. The sinless One took on the face of a sinner so that we sinners could take on the face of a saint... He chose the nails, Jesus changed places with us... yes us the ones who have gone astray... Did not a kinder death exist than six hours hanging between life and death, all spurred by a betrayer's kiss... "Oh Father, you pose, heart stilled at what could be, I'm sorry to ask but I long to know , did you do this for me?
I did it just for you.(Max Lucado)
What can our response be for this incredible gift? This love?
We are to receive this gift and our lives are never the same. To walk in love... Reflect His love and share this love with all! It doesn’t stop there!
Through this incredible gift we have healing and freedom restoration and redemption.￼
The apostle John stressed that, since God loves us sacrificially and unconditionally, we ought to love others in the same way: “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11). Again, we walk in love by imitating God’s love for us in how we show love to others. Jesus taught the same principle when He said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13, NLT).
The apostle Paul gives a detailed description of how to walk in love: “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” (1 Corinthians 13:4–7, NLT). The greatest virtue we can nurture in our Christian walk is agape love (1 Corinthians 13:13).
In Ephesians 5:2, Paul said that Jesus “gave himself up for us.” Giving ourselves up means offering our lives to God in sacrifice. It means following, obeying, submitting, serving, and living in a committed relationship with Him.
Giving ourselves up means walking in love. When we behave like this, our lives become “a fragrant offering” that is pleasing to God and everyone who encounters the scent (Leviticus 1:17; 3:16). Paul urged believers to offer themselves “as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” (Romans 12:1).
When we walk in love, we show the world that we are true followers of Jesus Christ: “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:35, NLT; see also 1 John 3:14).
As God’s children and members of His family, we are called to deny our own selfish desires and interests for the sake of God and others. Although we are free in Christ, we use our freedom “to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Galatians 5:13–14, NLT). Peter said, “You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart” (1 Peter 1:22, NLT). This wholehearted, sacrificial imitation of God’s divine agape is what it means to walk in love.
God wants the love of Christ to shine forth from our hearts. He wants love to thrive in that secret place of our heart, and within those private thoughts where no other has access to our inner mind and motive, save the omnipresent God.
May we so walk in the spirit of Christ, that like Him, our visible walk as well as our hidden ways, may become a sweet-smelling aroma to our heavenly Father.
May we walk in love... just as Christ also loved us and gave Himself up for us - an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.