My seminary professor once told me about a father whose young son was constantly in trouble. He was continuously getting in trouble…so one day, the father went upstairs to find his son getting into things that he was told not to mess with. When the boy saw his father, he instantly knew that he was in trouble. Slowly the father took off his belt. He took his shirt off and then ask the boy to give him 10 lashes with the belt. The boy started crying and said he couldn’t do it. The father said that this was part of his discipline. Grudgingly the boy gave his father 10 lashes of his belt and the boy was crying vehemently when it was over. The father said, “Son, do you know why I did this? I did this to show you that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins. He was beaten even though He was innocent.“ From that day, the boy understood and his behavior changed dramatically. All because of a lesson of love about Jesus.
February is the month of love for many. It is the month when we celebrate Valentine’s Day and show those we love special affection and attention. We may shower them with flowers, candies, or gifts but the gift that has the most meaning is love. Love is the only thing that you can give away that you will never run out of. Ironically, the more you give away, the more you have to give. Love is like the famous Australian boomerang. It goes out to those for whom it is intended and then returns to the sender. Love is not just in words but in deeds. The very fact that Jesus died for us while we were still sinner’s shows that love is a verb. It is what you do….not so much what you say.
God is the author of life but He is also the author and originator of love. Jesus tells us all what love truly is in John 15:9-17: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.” A friend lays down his life for another, even if it is his time spent in life. Jesus paid a penalty that for a debt that He did not owe so that we could be forgiven for a penalty we could not pay.