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But God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8 NCV

Christmas and Valentine’s Day seem to be the two holidays when stories of love seem to proliferate. Like the age-old story of a young woman who sells her long locks of hair so she can buy her husband a watch chain, only to find, as they open their gifts that he has sold his watch to buy her beautiful combs for her hair.

The story and others like it capture our attention because they show one of the main ways we can show others that we love them. In a word, the story speaks of sacrifice.

Giving up something of value to you for the sake of others is love.

Putting aside your own needs so someone else can have something they want, is love.

Doing what you know is right even when it hurts is love.

Looking at the needs (short and long term) of others instead of your own needs, is love.

Being willing to live in someone else’s world when it is so much different than yours is love.

Joseph showed this kind of love when Mary came to him and told him she was pregnant. He knew he hadn’t had sex with her. He loved her so much that, even though he’d be well within his rights to have her stoned, he chose to marry her. Rather than consummate the marriage in the usual time frame, he waited until the baby was born.

But the greatest love story continues to be the story of Almighty God. He chose to live among his creation in the midst of sin that he couldn’t tolerate. He chose to be born a pauper when he owned the cattle on a 1,000 hills. He chose to be born a helpless, powerless infant when, in reality he held the stars he created in place.

He didn’t come to love a people who would return his love. He knew many would reject him. He didn’t come to love a people who would stand in awe of his power and miracles. He knew they would always just ask for more and then walk away unbelieving. He didn’t come expecting people to love accept him. He knew they would not only reject him, but they would murder him as well! Such amazing love!

But the biggest proof of His love is this, he didn’t come to love me after I changed my ways. His love didn’t come based on my ability or even my desire to change. He came to love me while I’m still sinning. That’s true love.

True love says that no matter how much you hurt me; how much you rob me of my needs being met; how much you ignore my pleas for support and love, I’ll love you enough to die for you.

Jesus died for me knowing I’d fail him and others miserably. He died for you in the midst of your illness, rebellion, disbelief, anger or frustration. Others will fail you. Jesus never will. That’s how he showed you his love.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, during this season of love I’ve been reminded of how much you love me. Still, it’s hard to love others when they hurt me, reject me or fail to meet my needs. It’s so hard to keep giving and get nothing in return, but I guess you know that. Thank you for your unconditional love! Amen.

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