It was on a snowy night in January 1952, in a bunker near enemy lines in Korea. Two soldiers, who had been best friends from childhood, had just finished sharing a chocolate bar when a live grenade landed inside their bunker. Ray was the first one to see it and, without hesitation, fell on it saving his best friend’s life. He gave up his life for his friend.


There are many similar stories of self-sacrifice in the horrors of war and in everyday life, but this story touched me deeply as I began to process in my mind the depth of courage involved in that one selfless act. But it’s not courage alone that drives a person to such an act; it is also a deep love for others. In Ray’s mind, his friend was worth the sacrifice. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13, ESV)


Do you really know how much God loves you? The Bible is clear. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son.” (John 3:16a NLT) It was the ultimate expression of His love for us that Jesus willingly suffered and died to save us from the bonds of sin. It was no simple undertaking. Jesus knew what was required of him to accomplish God’s plan. As Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was filled with great anguish concerning what was to come: the physical pain and the separation from his Father. The strength to persevere was incalculable. But what was the reason for His sacrifice? He thought we were worth dying for! Just let that soak like balm into your soul. That is the definition of great love: considering another person worth dying for.


It is because of God’s love for us that we are capable of loving others. He set the pattern for true love. So how do we demonstrate that great love? We may never have to jump on a grenade for someone else, but we can do so by being willing to give of ourselves, putting aside our own desires, even if it requires self-sacrifice. This type of love is an unconditional, selfless love that seeks the best for others.


Rather than focusing on what we think we want or deserve, what if we truly loved and served those around us? What if we were open to the opportunities that God gives us to be His hands and feet here on earth? Thankfully, most of us will never be in a situation where we have to sacrifice our life to save someone else, but selflessness can take many forms. Are you willing to love others as God loves you? Are you willing to put the needs of others before your own? Jesus has shown us how. How about asking God to open your eyes to see ways you can share God’s great love with others?

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