The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

Michael Beck

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

So many supposed love stories crash and burn over time. No wonder we are so awed by the rare and precious ones that last and even grow stronger over the years. The greatest love story of all time is that between the Father and the Son. At the heart of this story is Christ’s sacrificial love, not just for us, but for God.

Jesus let His disciples know that love is proven through obedience. But the motivation for obedience is also crucial. Does God want obedience any way He can get it? No. He loves a cheerful giver; not one who gives grudgingly, or because they “have to.”

Paul said it was possible to give one’s body to be burned, but not from a heart of love. (1 Cor. 13:3) The sacrifice of Jesus was a sweet savor to God because it came not from a mere sense of duty, but a deep well of love. “But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.” (John 14:31) The Father’s response to such love was reciprocal: “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life …” (John 10:17)

What we do for and give to others should be a manifestation of love – a gift to bless their heart; an expression of how much they mean to us. When it is a duty by which we escape guilt it rings hollow.

We do well to learn from Jesus how to love both God and man. All of us want to be genuinely loved. God Himself wants to be loved, not merely served. He knows our hearts and why we do what we do. He wants the same love story with us that He had with His only-begotten Son – one that gets sweeter and sweeter as the days go by.

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.