Thursday, November 11, 2010

Selfless Love

By Mart De Haan

Read: Philippians 2:20-30
For the work of Christ [Epaphroditus] came close to death, not regarding his life. —Philippians 2:30
Bible in a year:
Jeremiah 50; Hebrews 8

On December 4, 2007, a 19-year- old soldier serving in Iraq saw a grenade being thrown from a rooftop. Manning the machine gun in the turret of his Humvee, he tried to deflect the explosive—but it fell inside his vehicle. He had time to jump to safety. Instead, he threw his body over the grenade in a stunningly selfless act that saved the lives of four fellow soldiers.

This almost unexplainable act of self-sacrifice may help us understand why the Bible tells us that there is a kind of love that is more honorable than having great knowledge or faith (1 Cor. 13:1-3).

This kind of love can be hard to find—leading the apostle Paul to lament that more people care for themselves than for the interests of Christ (Phil. 2:20-21). That’s why he was so grateful for Epaphroditus, a co-worker who “came close to death, not regarding his life” in order to serve others (v.30).

If we think we could never put our own life on the line for others, Epaphroditus shows us the first step with his selfless example. Such love is neither normal nor common, and it doesn’t come from us. It comes from the Spirit of God, who can give us the desire and ability to feel for others some of the inexpressible affection God has for us.

To give up yourself for others
Seems like such a tough thing to do;
But that’s how you can know for sure
That God’s love is working through you. —Branon

You can measure your love for God
by showing your love for others.

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