Sacrificial Love

Sometimes the Bible can be confusing. (Really?)

If I asked you to look up 1 John 3:16, you might say, “Oh, I know that one…For God so loved the world…” And yes, John 3:16 is indeed that core verse. But way back in the New Testament, just before the book Revelation (which is the last book of the Bible) there are three short little letters from John to some churches he was pastoring. These are 1 John, 2 John and 3 John. Confusing, right?

Eugene Peterson writes that these letters from John help us with the two most difficult things to get straight in life: love and God. John gives instruction to how God and love are linked through Jesus and how to we can live this.

1 John 3:16 Msg:

This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves.

John goes on to write in verse 18:

Let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love.

Sacrifice – real love. These can be in short supply in our world today. How might we apply these characteristics to our own lives? I think we start through prayer and through silence, listening to the still, small voice of God; then taking a risk and being vulnerable and going for it.

I don’t think we can do it on our own. We were created in the image of God and the image of God is community: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We need one another to lift us up, hold us accountable, affirm, encourage and to love and be loved.

Thank God for Biblical mentors like John and the three short letters he penned. Thank God for the community of believers around us. Thank God for you!

We’ll be looking for you tomorrow at our regular service times of 9:00 or 10:30 am. It’s a time for us to gather and be community. So that we might live out our call to love sacrificially.

Grace be with you,


*Notes of Eugene Peterson from The Message Study Bible

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