The ultimate example of sacrificial love is the Lord Jesus. He chose to surrender the glory of His heavenly home out of love for each one of us. As followers of Jesus, we should desire to emulate this attitude of self sacrifice.
The apostle John tells us in IJohn 2:6 that "whosoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus walked". The great question this - are you willing and ready to make yourself as nothing? To take on the very nature of a servant, to be obedient?
In Matthew 25, Jesus condemns the people for not caring for Him as they should. When they questioned Him as to when they were negligent in this, He responded "For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not". In verse 45 he tells them "You didn't help them and therefore you didn't help me."
Ouch! That is a slap in the face. Think of it this way - how much would our lives change if we actually thought of every person we came in contact with as the Lord Jesus? If we believe, as the Bible teaches, that the two greatest commands are "Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself", shouldn't we behave accordingly?
Conversely, in the same chapter Jesus blesses some of the people for what they have done. Confused, they ask "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you as a stranger and invite you in? When did we see you in prison and visit you?" His answer was staggering. "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did unto me."
Matthew 25 is essentially teaching us that by loving others we actually demonstrate our love for God.
Treating those around us like they were Jesus requires sacrifice and surrender. God expects us to live in such a way that demands abandonment to self. He doesn't want us to say how much we love him, He wants us to show how much. As the Lord Jesus Himself charged us in John 13:34, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."
See you on Sunday!