“And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away… And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity. (1 Corinthians 13:3-8, 13)
As we continue looking at events in the life of Christ that set a wonderful example for us of Scriptural love. In this devotional, we will see Christ’s willingness to give His very life for others. Just like in our prior studies, in many, many events in Christ’s life we find Him giving of Himself for others. He gave up so many things while on the earth to minster to those around Him (His time, possessions, reputation, comforts of life, and even His life). In our devotional, we will look at the ultimate sacrifice He made for us, the giving of His life on the cross …
The Characteristic of Scriptural Love: Does Not Live Selfish Lives
Christ’s kindness and love is shown to us as He willingly suffers and dies on the cross in payment for the sins of His people (John 6:32, 47-51)…
And Jesus said unto them…Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
Here, we can see that the Lord makes a very simple, clear-cut statement. If a person places in faith in Jesus and His work on the cross, he will possess everlasting, spiritual life.
I am that bread of life.Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever:
Christ describes Himself symbolically as “the Bread of Life”. He then likens placing faith in Him and entering into a divine relationship with Him as eating that bread. Why would He picture the saint’s relationship with Him as the partaking of bread?
There are many reasons, here are a few of the most obvious ones:
1. Bread is the source of life. No one can live apart from physical nourishment, so too, no one can live spiritually apart from Christ.
2. Bread is the source of strength. So too, apart from Christ, all men are spiritually impotent, unable to please God in any way.
3. Bread is a gracious gift given to man by God. The bread we eat is ENTIRELY reliant upon God’s intervention causing the wheat to sprout and grow (by enabling the farmer, controlling the weather and being with the baker). So too, Christ’s death and the resultant salvation is entirely reliant upon the gracious intervention of the Lord in the life of the sinful individual (graciously supplying the substitute for their sins [Christ] ,and directly intervening in the life of the lost individual bringing them to Christ)
4. Bread, once eaten, supplies satisfaction and does away with hunger. Once saved, the individual experiences spiritual peace and contentment, no longer having a spiritual void within them.
and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
Christ now describes this bread very specifically as His “flesh”. This is describing His physical, human life and body that was received at His conception in the womb of Mary. Christ goes on to teach us that He will unselfishly “give” His “flesh” … “the bread that I will give is my flesh”
This is speaking of two different aspects of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf:
1. the giving His body to be bruised and mistreated prior to, and during, His crucifixion
2. the giving of His physical life as He hung on the cross.
What a tremendous sacrifice and unselfish gift given by Christ for sinners who do not, in any way, deserve His wondrous gift. Christ is not a racist, nor did He die only for one favored physical nation, dialect or family. No, He died for the world… “I will give for the life of the world.”
And throughout time this has been proven true as we see men and women from all the various nations, tongues, and families of this world come to a saving knowledge of Christ as they found everlasting life in Him.
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:13-14)
Our Lesson To Be Learned:
Folks, do we love others? If so we should be willing to sacrifice ourselves to meet their needs. Do we love God? If so we should be willing to sacrifice ourselves to bring glory and honor to our Lord who gave Himself for us. It is, simply, our reasonable service and to be expected as servants of Christ…
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)
“And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and [in his] Father's, and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:23-26)
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