THE SELF-FORGETFULNESS OF HIS LOVE

October 26, 2022

THE SELF-FORGETFULNESS OF HIS LOVE

 

We are consumed with ourselves. Review your average week and notice how much of your time is spent on thoughts of yourself.

“What will people think of me?”
“Did I do a good job?”
“Do you know about all my ailments?”
“Do I have what it takes?”
“I’m so tired, I must look after my rest.”
“I wonder if I have enough money for myself and my family?”
“I deserve a break; I need a little entertainment.”

 

And on and on and on. Some are well-meaning thoughts—even necessary at times—but our gaze is nearly always inward.

Divine love is never so. Eros love is fallen man’s self-focused, self-pleasing love. We are so wrapped up in our own comfort and well-being that everything is orchestrated to serve our needs. But the “agape” love that is only found in God (and those who have His Spirit residing within) is that God-quality that always looks outward. That is continually willing to take the path of sacrifice, substitution, and self-denial if it brings life to others.

CHRIST, OUR WAITER

It is one of the most stunning truths in the Bible. Jesus spoke of the protocol of heaven, and He mentioned one simple act that will happen in eternity.

“Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that He will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.” (Luke 12:37)

This would seem fantastical and unrealistic (“The Son of man as my waiter? It cannot be!”). But  many witnessed it with their own eyes while He was on earth.

Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. (John 13:5)

How could the Savior of the world, the One who sits alone at the right hand of the Father in heaven do such things? He cannot help it. Divine love is His nature, and its manifestation is self-forgetfulness. Jesus is so consumed with thoughts of the Father and others that self-humiliation is not even considered. He loves people and simply takes the next step to serve them.

This is the love that God designed for us to not only experience but also emulate. It only occurs as we surrender our bodies to Him as a living sacrifice, allow His love to be “shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5), and let Him produce this matchless fruit through us. If this surrender and dependence become ours in daily experience, our lives will know the freedom of self-forgetfulness (as Keller says) and the aroma of Christ. We will find ourselves waiting tables with joyful abandonment and serving Christ with reckless love.

MARY'S LOVE
She sensed the subtle sadness of His eyes,
She felt it coming soon, His time was near.
What humble act that He would not despise
Would comfort and subdue His hidden tears?
 
She took the costly fragrance of her love,
And gave the all she had with sudden whim,
Anointing her Messiah from above,
She knelt before the Lord and worshipped Him!
 
And then, with not a thought of public shame,
She loosed the band that held her silken hair,
And out of adoration for this Name,
She ministered to Him with gentle care.
 
And suddenly, the supper room was filled,
With fragrances of love unusually sweet.
The picture of this precious love had stilled
The others as they watched her at His feet.
 
What matchless love the Master can evoke;
What ardor doth spring forth from hearts He's touched.
And though we were not there the night He spoke,
O, Jesus, may we love you ere that much!
 
Bill Elliff, 1986
 
 




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