Final Class • Devotion 5

Greater Love
Caroline Roark

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

Gift-giving is often a source of stress for me. I love giving people gifts but I always want to give people a great gift. You know that great gift. It is the gift that makes you smile and feel loved. A gift that was exactly what you needed at that moment from someone that genuinely cares about you. Personally, the gift that jumps to the front of my mind was a new journaling Bible I received a few years ago. At the time I was using the same Bible from high school. It was covered in writing, highlights, and post-it notes, meaning there were some unreadable passages. This Bible had been with me through some formative seasons in my walk with Christ. I had been saying for months I wanted a new Bible with some more room to write, but I had not found the exact Bible I wanted. Then for my birthday, my two best friends surprised me with a new hardback journaling Bible, and it was the Bible I had pictured during those months of searching. This Bible has since become my most frequently used Bible. It was simply a great gift that revealed how much my friends actively listen and care for me.

As I sat down to begin studying John chapter 15, I noticed one singular highlight in the chapter from verse 13, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” My best friends, before giving me the Bible, had gone through and highlighted five verses, with one of them being John 15:13. In chapter 15, Jesus is talking to His disciples. He genuinely cared for each of them and for how they treated one another. Jesus knew that He was going to be crucified. Jesus was going to make the ultimate sacrifice and He used that to set a tone for how the disciples were called to love one another.

When my friends highlighted John 15:13 in my Bible, they were not highlighting their love for me but they were highlighting Jesus’ love for me. The love when Jesus laid down His life so we could live in relationship with Him and have eternal life. There is no greater gift than Jesus’ sacrificial love. Ephesians 5:2 says, “And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Christ’s sacrificial love should guide how we love one another and is the greatest gift we will ever receive.
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