Love Requires Sacrifice

by Mel Tavares

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 NAS

“It’s not about you.”

I will always remember the first line of Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life. Any time I am tempted to live selfishly instead of reaching out to help a friend in need, I am reminded that life is not about me. It is about other people and the purposes of God.

We are reminded that there is no greater love than laying down our lives for friends. This passage refers to the sacrificial love Christ offered to us as an example. While most of us will not be called to literally lay our lives down in the physical sense, we should all strive to be sacrificially laying our lives down for others each day.

Becoming Christ-like requires sacrifice which often times does not come naturally. For example, a friend may need a listening ear at a time you planned to be out for the day. Perhaps God would ask you to forgo your outing to be there for a friend. Certainly, if you are a parent, you understand the meaning of sacrificing your time, hobbies, and desires for the greater good of your children. Ministry projects within and outside of the local church also require giving sacrificially of time, talents, and resources.

When we read John 15:13 in context, we see the entire chapter is devoted to Jesus teaching His disciples about the necessity of staying connected to the vine. He is the vine, we are the branches, and true life is only found through Him. Jesus was speaking of agape (unconditional) love that knows no limits. Little did His disciples know that Jesus was also speaking of THE pending event—His laying down His life for the sake of us all.

The above examples of sacrifice each require a deferring of our own desires to meet the needs of others. While these acts are sacrificial, when viewed through the lens of all Jesus did for us, including laying His life down on the cross, they are diminished in comparison.

Abiding in Christ will cause us to emulate His love toward others. When we abide in Him, we will not turn a blind eye to those in need. In fact, we will often be compelled to action, whether it be feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the widows and orphans, or setting captives free from bondage.

What is God calling you to do as a sacrificial act of laying down your life for others? Have you felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit to speak to someone at a time when you were in a hurry to get to an activity? Have you ever pushed away the thought of inviting a lonely friend over for a cup of coffee? Can you remember a time when you saw an overwhelmed parent and ignored the thought of offering to help?

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for willingly laying your life down for me. Please show me ways that I may extend your love to others, and help me to willingly sacrifice my desires in order to meet the needs of another person.

This article brought to you by the Advance Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Mel Tavares is an accomplished writer and speaker/teacher, both in ministry and in her career. She is passionate about encouraging and teaching writers. Her target market is women who are hurting and in need of Biblical hope. In addition to ghost writing and authoring her own books, Mel is a contributing author to several books, including the recently released DaySpring “Sweet Tea for the Soul: Comfort for Grieving Hearts.”  She writes for several online Christian communities, teaches classes online, conducts Facebook Live series, and is a podcast guest as opportunities arise. She is a wife, mom to seven, and grandma to ten.

Join the conversation. Has God ever directed you to a sacrificial act?


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