Beloved - Day 4 - Real Love
Ephesians 5:25-30 - 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body.
We will continue with looking at God’s call on husbands and wives in the next devotional. For now, imagine you’re in a place like Yosemite National Park and you need to pull over to the side of the road just to stop and stare at the beautiful view. Here in Ephesians, amid commands and instructions for marriages, is some of the most colorful expression of Christ’s love and saving work in the whole Bible.
How do you know that someone loves you? They could obviously say the words, “I love you,” which is helpful and necessary, though on their own the words are meaningless. Yet if you were in a hopeless war and that same person swooped in, defeated your enemies, brought you to safety, and died in the process, there would be no words needed. You would know beyond a shadow of a doubt: they love me.
In a similar but greater way, Christ made his love known by giving himself up for us on the cross (v.25). And he didn’t stop there! This saving work was done that he might set us apart (“‘sanctify” v.26) for his purposes: cleansed, purified, and eventually, perfected (v.27). We know we are loved, and we know in a fuller way what real love is: self-sacrifice for the greatest good of another.
• What about Christ’s love stands out to you in these verses?
• Real love is self-sacrifice for the greatest good of another. Is there someone you’re having a hard time loving in this way?
• Action - Spend some time in prayer praising God for his love for us in Christ.