Love That Costs

I have been thinking lately about how love always seems to be stretched and tested. I have been pondering this verse and think that it has a double meaning.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. (John 15:13 ESV)
The obviously meaning of this verse is the one that points to the cross that Jesus bled and died on. I think that the second meaning points to that cross that we are asked to bear. Consider what Jesus says in Matthew 16:
"If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
I think that Jesus is speaking to the idea of love having two parts:
  1. Denial of Self: Real love always involves cost.. it involves giving away a part of us. King David said:
    "I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing." (2Samual 24:24 ESV)
    The idea that love does not cost is simply a definition of fleshly love. God calls us to a love that costs.

  2. Giving of Self: Love is simply not passive. When Jesus commands us to pick up our cross he is calling us to action. He tells us how to love when He says "pick up your cross".. He communicates a definition of love that is somewhat alien to the meaning that many apply to the word.
Living a life of love will always involve cost and giving. I think of the definition of love in 1Corinthians 13 and I know that love will:
  • cause us to be kind.When we are tempted to be mean-spirited;
  • make us patient with a child when we are in a hurry;
  • deny us vengeance and cause us to forgive;
  • cause us to walk in humility.. to trust.. and to hope;
  • bring a life of perseverance even when we so want to give up.
Easter is a time when we remember that love cost Jesus His life and of how His gift of love gave us a chance to be born again into new life.. a life of living out His command to love the way He loves us.


  1. And what a costly command that is.

  2. I've often pondered the simple mathematics of love, and of giving. (I know that sounds clinical, but bear with me.)

    In this world, when you think of it, someone's gain is *always* someone else's loss. You cannot give something without letting go of it. And buying/selling is really trading one commodity for another to the mutual satisfaction of both parties, a balancing of gain and loss.

    When we gain by taking from others against their will, that's stealing. When we willingly take a loss of some sort so others can gain from it...that's love. And forgiveness is basically choosing to absorb the loss when someone wrongly took from you.

    This is why love is costly.


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