A story is told of a public accountant, who worked 15-hour days for the first few months of the year. Despite his hectic schedule, he took time out to order his wife flowers for Valentine’s Day. While pondering what sweet words of endearment to write on the card, he obviously began thinking of the many hours of work still ahead of him. His note read: “Roses are red, violets are blue. If I weren’t thinking of you, I’d probably be through.”
It is so easy in the business of life to rush from one thing to the next — and then if you’re like me on a day like Valentine’s Day — run into the store to quickly buy a card and flowers and throw something together at the last minute.
It is so much easier to communicate love for our spouse, families, and even the Lord with our words than with our actions. So often we proclaim our love with our words, but fail to do so in our ways.
I am reminded of the great demonstration of love and humility displayed by Christ that Paul described in Philippians 2.
5. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7. But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
From this passage, notice how Christ communicated his great love for us:
Love Sets a Priority of Humility – vs. 5-6
The “mind of Christ” is literally, the “attitude of Christ.” And that attitude was that though God the Son was equal to God the Father, He did not count that equality as something to be grasped or held onto selfishly! Christ willingly set aside the glories of Heaven and traded them for the brokenness of this earth.
Love Serves Others Before Themselves – vs. 7
Christ’s love was not only rooted in humility, but it was also a love that served those who were undeserving of being served! Think of it! The perfect, sinless, holy Son of God came to serve those who were in all actuality “beneath” Him! We will often serve others if we believe they are worth our efforts of service. But we rarely take time to serve those who we deem as being “beneath” us — and yet that’s exactly what Christ did. He displayed his great love by living a life in service to those who sinned against Him. Mark 10:45 reminds us, “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
Love Sacrifices for the Benefit of Another – vs. 8
In order for love to sacrifice, it must first be a love that is humble. Jesus was willing to subject himself to His own sinful creation, giving His own life as a ransom for the benefit of us who did not deserve it. This love was not dependent upon what Jesus could get out of it – for we had nothing to offer. This was a love that sacrificed, solely for the salvation and benefit of you and me.
The example of Christ’s love for us is one that is founded and rooted in humility. It is a love that served others first. It’s a love that sacrifices to benefit others. Is the love we demonstrate to our families, our spouses, and our God rooted in humility, or in pride? Is it a love that serves others and our God first, or is it a love that seeks after only that which we think will benefit us down the road?
Is our love purely for the benefit of others and our Lord, or is it a love that will sacrifice only if it benefits ourselves?
As you go about your week, consider Paul’s description of love, from 1 Corinthians 13.
4. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth, not itself, is not puffed up, 5. Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6. Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7. Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.