“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16 (NIV UK)
Higher management and I have been watching an interesting series on the telly about a vet. Now, I’m sure that to be a vet is a vocation rather than a job, but even so, this chap is really dedicated to saving the lives of his furry patients. He’s the sort of vet to whom other vets send their hopeless cases, and he comes up with some remarkable solutions to various problems that confront him.
One programme showed a dog which had somehow broken its neck. Judging by his agonised yelps he was in very considerable pain and it soon became apparent that he would die if something wasn’t done very quickly. After a CT and MRI scan the vet told the owners that he could operate, but the chances of the dog surviving would be very slim indeed. In addition, it was nearly midnight and he’d been working all day and must have been dog tired. The owners immediately asked him to operate. If there was a chance, no matter how slim, that their dog could survive, then they would take that chance. They could easily have said, “he’s only a dog; let’s put him down, save on the (not inconsiderable) cost of the operation and just get another one.” But they didn’t. The operation was a success and the dog survived to lead a full and happy life. How utterly heart warming!
Of course, you don’t have to be a Christian to have that kind of love. Non Christians have that, too and, to be honest, it’s not too hard to go out of your way for somebody you love. But Jesus took love to a whole new level. He said (Matthew 5:44) that we should love those who hate us and spitefully use us. Could you do that? Could you love, really love, somebody who, say, raped and murdered your daughter? That’s really hard! Dare I say that most Christians would find that very hard?!
Perhaps the highest form love can take is to give up your life for somebody else. Most of us would give up our lives for someone we love, but would we give up our lives for a stranger? Maybe if that stranger was a good person, a Ghandi or a Mother Teresa—perhaps—but what about a Hitler? Would you give your life so that another Hitler could live? Jesus did. He gave His life for Hitler and everybody else who has ever lived (including you and me). Romans 5:8 tells us: “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” What amazing love!
Father, what amazing love you have shown and continue to show towards us!—that you sent your only son to die a horrible death for us, so that we might live. Thank you! In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by Chris Burmajster
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