Showing Perfect Love

Michael Beck

“I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)

Paul’s life was a demonstration of the words of Jesus. He never stopped giving to others, even when he was not receiving from them. To a Corinthian church that did not reciprocate the love he had shown them he said: “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.” (2 Cor. 12:15)

We naturally “keep score” and give to others what they give to us. Jesus told us that there was nothing of grace in this way of operating:

“And — if ye love those loving you, what grace have ye? for also the sinful love those loving them; and if ye do good to those doing good to you, what grace have ye? for also the sinful do the same” (Luke 6:32,33)

Paul understood grace theologically and practiced it personally. He knew that grace is not according to works. “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” (Rom. 11:6)

To be in Christ one must be on the receiving end of undeserved mercy and love. By grace we are saved. If God had looked at what He was getting from us, and repayed us in kind, we would have gotten nothing from Him. But He is the blessed God who decided it was more blessed to give than to receive. And it is because we have received so much from Him that we are finally able to give back to Him what He so richly deserves.

Jesus calls us to love one another, even as He has loved us. Give more than you are given to. Love more than you are being loved. This is the perfect love our God has shown us, and we are called to show all those around us.

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.