A young girl arrived home from a long day at school. She was tired and just wanted to eat a snack and relax with a book in her room. She walked into the kitchen and saw that her mom was just beginning to cook dinner. Mom had also had a busy day and was tired and feeling a little overwhelmed. So the young girl stopped what she was doing and helped mom with the dishes. Her mom felt loved, dinner was made with less stress, ready to eat earlier, which helped everyone in the family enjoy an evening meal together. Even though the young girl just wanted to hide away and do her own thing, she put aside her own desires to serve others.
Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (NIV)
The keyword from this verse that we’ll focus on in this devotion is “demonstrates.” It’s easy to say you love someone – maybe a family member or a friend – yet love is not only words. In fact, some have said words are cheap – but actions are costly. John 15:13 (ESV) says, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Love is not really love without action, without sacrifice, without a demonstration. Of course, the greatest example of this was Jesus laying down his life for all of humanity: that is the ultimate demonstration of love. But dying isn’t the only way to ‘lay down your life’ – it is also done in a thousand little ways every day – when you put aside your own desires, die to self, and put someone else before you. That’s what the young girl in this story did and was how she demonstrated her love for her mom, even in a small way.
Is there a recent time someone demonstrated love to you through a small act of service or sacrifice? Maybe someone at school, or at work, or a family member or neighborhood friend?
God, please help us to demonstrate love to others by sacrificing ourselves. Help us to strengthen our ability to love others well by setting aside our own desires and serving others in a thousand small ways every day.