Only as we behold Christ, aware of His presence and remembering the ultimate love He always displayed, can we begin to reflect His love to those around us.

 

Love Is Costly

 

The story is told that when the apostle John was a very old man who could hardly walk, the believers would carry him and sit him before the congregation to share.  It is said that the only thing he could say was repeatedly the phrase, “Love one another. Love one another.”

 

In John 13, Jesus spoke directly to His disciples about loving one another: “A new commandment I give to you, that you one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34). Up until this point, the disciples had only seen how Christ loved them and those around them. This is the first time that He calls them to love one another just as they had seen Him love them. Jesus was essentially saying to them, “I’m just about to leave now. But I want you to understand this one thing—love each other. Love has been the foundation of everything I have done. So too it must be with each of you.”

 

Love was the bedrock of Jesus’ life, the very reason He came to seek and save the lost. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16). Therefore, love must be the bedrock of our lives. No matter what good we do in life, it all must flow from the spring of Christ’s love within our hearts.

 

Yet even in the familiarity of Bible verses, we still find it difficult to love one another. Why is that? One of the reasons is because we do not want to pay the price. You see, love is always costly. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the

world that He gave . . . ” (emphasis mine). Gave what? What was the price of God’s love? His Son, Jesus. The cross was the price paid because of His love for us.

 

We can ask ourselves the same question: What is the price of our love? Put your name in that verse, “For __________ so loved that he/she gave . . . ” Gave what? The price of love will differ in form for each one of us, but God will always bring us opportunities to display His love to others. But remember, the price will always be costly—it will always involve saying “no” to self in some way. It could be quietly suffering and not defending yourself. It could be going the extra mile and taking the slack when somebody else didn’t do the job. But whatever it is, God has brought these situations into your life to make you more like His Son, enabling you to display His love through your life.

 

One of our missionaries in India showed incredible love for a man in a remarkable way. While working in a particular village for a couple of years, this missionary was continually opposed by one certain man. The man would adamantly hinder the missionary as he preached the Gospel and won people to Christ, even gathering groups of people to destroy the Christian literature and beat up the believers in the village.

 

One day, the man who opposed our missionary and the local church had a horrible accident in which both of his legs were broken. Deserted by all his friends, he lay in his hut, penniless and without help.