This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
1 John 3:16
How You know You are Loved
How do you know that someone loves you? They might speak the words to you: “I love you,” but how do you know they are telling the truth? The unfortunate reality is that people can say anything, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is true.
We look for proof, don’t we? How do people prove that they love you? They prove it through their actions. Sometimes gifts do the trick. It could be an expensive gift like pricy diamond earrings, but it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes just a thoughtful gift, your favorite candy bar left in the perfect place for you to find in the middle of the day, can do the trick.
When it comes to love, the old saying “actions speak louder than words” is certainly true.
When someone makes a personal sacrifice for us, whether it is the sacrifice of money spent to purchase a gift, or the sacrifice of time and energy to do something nice for us, we know that we are loved. Generally speaking, the bigger the sacrifice, the more we know that love is real.
There is no bigger sacrifice than giving up one’s life. That is how we know that God loves us. He doesn’t just say the words; he proves it by giving up his life for us.
He didn’t have to do it. He could have just let you rot in your sins and perish forever apart from him, but he couldn’t stand to let that happen. He made the ultimate sacrifice, his innocent life, to pay the price that you owe for your sins. His greatest concern was not for himself, but for you. Jesus was willing to give up everything to save you.
As a result, you have been given incredible gifts. Forgiveness is yours. Freedom from guilt, peace with your holy Creator, confidence by his presence every day, and life eternal are all yours because of what he sacrificed for you.
Now you know what love is. As Jesus Christ loves you, go and love others.
Lord Jesus, my Savior, there have been many times when I have felt unloved. Thank you for proving your love for me by dying in my place. Help me to love others the way that you have loved me—through actions that put their needs first. In your holy name, I ask it. Amen.
Source: WELS Devotions