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Advent Devotional: Love and Sacrifice

December 28, 2023

"By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth."

God’s love toward us meant that he would send Christ to sacrifice his life for us. Scripture is clear that this is how we even know what love is intended to look like. We are able to love others because God first loved us. Part of that is sacrificially serving one another by providing for real tangible needs. Living in a spirit if generosity toward one another for the cause of the gospel. This passage of scripture makes clear to us that love is an action. There can be no love that is simply spoken, love must be shown by action grounded in truth. Does this type of love well up within us for not just those closest to us, but all our brothers and sisters in Christ? This is something we must train ourselves to do. Since love is not a feeling, but an action, we can actually train ourselves to love other people by rehearsing the actions of love toward them. If I choose to sacrificially serve someone else then I am increasing my own love for them. This is why our love is the deepest for spouses, children, and parents. These are the people toward whom we most often act out love. But we can expand this process, we can choose more and more to act in love to all who we meet and thus grow to be more like Christ.

Father, grow love in my heart for you and the things you love. Teach me to love justice and righteousness. Teach me to love my brothers and sisters in Christ and serve them sacrificially. Teach me to love the lost who are in desperate need of the gospel in their lives.



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