The greatest love you can show someone is to give up your own desires and help them.
There is a story told of a poor beggar woman who did all she could to provide for her small baby. She begged, pleaded, and even stole when necessary to find food for her and her child. One winter was especially harsh, and as weeks went by, she found herself with no food for either herself or her child. Exhausting all her options, she resorted to door-to-door begging, hoping someone would have pity on her and her child. The northern winds had blown in and snow was steadily falling as she travelled to each home, begging for food. Most people ignored her knocking, turned her away, or refused her the food they were enjoying. Yet at one house a young mother opened the door and, seeing this lady's troubles, offered her a warm sweet potato she was about to eat. The poor mother graciously accepted the potato, bit off part of it, and began chewing it. As the young mother watched, the beggar woman chewed the food, then placed it into the mouth of her baby and continued the process until all the potato was gone. The beggar mother didn't eat any of the potato for herself but gave it all to her child. The next morning the gracious young mother who had given her meal to the beggar woman, found the poor beggar lady lying still in the snow near her home. Her heart had stopped beating in the night, but her baby was still alive.
What drove this poor woman to reject even a piece of the potato and give it all to her child? I'm sure she was to the point of hunger that everything in her wanted to swallow the potato. Yet out of love she rejected those impulses and gave all she had to her tiny baby.
It has been said that a love that does not cost anything is not worth anything. Our world believes love to be a strong feeling of fondness, pleasure, or enjoyment. Love can come and go, just as easily as the seasons. Yet God describes love as a choice-a choice to love and to show that love through action.
The Bible gives us many great examples of active love. Jochebed risked her life to hide baby Moses from the Egyptian guards. Abraham offered his own son as a sacrifice at God's request. To save her people from mass genocide, Esther risked her life to go unto the king uncalled. But I'm sure we would all agree the most definitive act of love is described in our verse today, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Christ loved us so much that He willingly laid down His life for ours. He took our place in paying a sin debt He never owed.
God has described His love to us in the Bible through psalms, stories, and metaphors; yet He didn't leave it at that. He not only described His love, but He proved it by sending His only Son to be our Saviour. His love was proved through action.
We often say we love someone or have love toward some people, yet we do nothing to show it. Love is a costly thing. Love cannot idly sit by and do nothing. True love always takes action. When someone is hurting, down-trodden, or in trouble; true love is not merely stated, but takes action.
Thank God today that He not only described His love, but showed it on Calvary's Cross. Without His love, we would be lost and without a way of escape from sin. Never take for granted the love Jesus displayed for you by dying in your place.
Also, make sure that your love isn't only a spoken love. If you say you love someone, act upon that love. Take time to help them; minister to their needs; actively show them your love. Never forget that the greatest love you can show someone is to give up your own desires and help them.
Source: dailyintheword.org, November 19, 2009