You have a chance to win a Ted Dekker t-shirt by answering a simple question. Although the answer won't be so simple, I'm thinking. I usually do this kind of thing on Upon Reflection blog, but since this is an excellent question, I thought I'd do it here.
All you have to do is comment on this post and write out your contact information (it will not go on any mailing list, nor will I use it to spam you!!!) Write it out like I.M.Someone at abc dot com. If you have trouble, you can email me at G L Burgess at gmail dot com. Here are my thoughts on Sacrificial Love...
What is sacrificial love? That is the question asked by Ted Dekker of his fans and of the bloggers on this tour of his new book, Immanuel’s Veins.
Oddly, that term is not in the Bible. Nor is the term unconditional love found, but these principles are stark realities of God’s Word. We are to present ourselves and living sacrifices, Paul tells us in Romans 12:1. I wrote about unconditional love several years ago and still believe that humans are not capable of unconditional love without the continuing super power of God infusing our being completely and solely. How often does that happen?
Yet, there is Jesus on the cross thinking about the joy beyond, not the shame of the moment. There is the instance of Abraham who was told by God to sacrifice his precious son, Isaac. There is Paul who was beaten and left for dead, whipped, ship-wrecked, starved, worked for his living, who loved God so much that he bore all the tribulations to obey the command, “Go and make disciples.” The Apostles died terrible deaths for the Gospel, all for love of our Father who created us in His image and who gave His only Son so that we would be reconciled to Himself. That is sacrificial love. It is putting our self-serving desires aside to provide service to a greater cause.
Every Christian must know the difference between lust and love, but not every Christian exhibits sacrificial love. It goes against the human nature to love someone else more than oneself. God knows this which is why the 2nd Greatest Command is to Love one another as you love yourself. Healthy sacrificial love is not beating the chest, or slicing to let blood flow. It isn’t being crucified every Easter to show the world how much you love God.
It is quiet. It is sweet. It is unannounced. It is done, not talked about. A mother gives her tiny, daily ration to her child instead of eating the only meal she’s been able to scrounge, though she starves, her child will live. A father works three jobs so his wife doesn’t have to and his children can eat and go to college. A sister gives her favorite dress instead of loaning it so that her sister can look nice on an interview and get a job. A brother gives his kidney to his brother so he may live.
Sacrificial love is more than compassion in action. It is the ultimate giving of one’s self to make life or liberty better for others. Is it possible to exhibit it on a continual basis? We would die trying.