A common question asked in virtually every area of our life is the question: How much? We are all familiar with the amount of money it takes to fill up a car with gas, or to buy daily necessities like milk, bread and eggs. These all have a certain cost associated with them that we are willing to pay. When deciding whether to make any purchase, unless you are independently wealthy, you probably wonder what the cost is. This is normal and helpful as we live our daily life.
We assess cost in other areas as well. When someone needs a favor we wonder how much time and energy it is going to take from us. When a friend has a serious life struggle, we might wonder how much of ourselves it will cost us in order to help them. The truth is that virtually everything we do will cost us something.
If you are a student and you decide not to do your homework, it will cost you a decent grade.
If you are in a relationship with someone and you decide to miss a date without any communication with that person, it will likely cost you that relationship. (and maybe others)
If you have a job and you over sleep, it could cost you that job.
The question in all of life is: Am I willing to pay what it costs?
One place that is quite costly and yet hard to measure, is love. Sunday after church I was having lunch with my boys when the topic of cost came up. They were wondering how much everything we had costed. They would throw something at me and I would describe for them how that thing actually involved an exchange of money for the item at some point in time. Even the free meal my son had recently at a restaurant was not free because someone had to pay for it.
Then we got to love. Well, love is trickier because love doesn’t appear to cost us anything. Yet, it costs us everything. Love is what compels people to sacrifice their time to drive someone to a location, completely out of their way, for an appointment they need to be at. Love is what drives people to bring crackers or some sort of remedy when their friend is home sick. Love is what stirs a parent to stay up until the early morning with their child who can’t sleep, reading them stores and just sitting with them. Love is what makes people sit faithfully at their ill spouse’s side even when there seems to be no hope of recovery. Love calls people to give up their life in order to save the life of another person. Love leads a person to the door of their friend’s house in order to encourage them in difficulty. Love motivates people to leave their modern-day comforts and head to some foreign country to share the love of Jesus Christ with those who have never heard. Love makes people do some pretty amazing things. Love costs us everything we have.
How much does it really cost? The answer lies in Jesus Christ who left his throne in heaven to come to earth and die for our sins.
“Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!” – Philippians 2:6-8
Love costs everything. In this case, it costed Jesus the very life he had. He did this because He loves us. In fact, even in the midst of increased pressure to walk away from the cross He was to bear, he relented to God’s will. Jesus was motivated by love. Love does amazing things and it costs people dearly. But, can you imagine a world without it?
How much are you willing to sacrifice for others? How far are you willing to go in order to show love to people, even people who don’t appear to deserve it? We certainly did not deserve the love God gave us. Mankind had willingly rebelled against God and yet He loved us! Be inspired to go and love people as you go today.
I know that God’s love has made all the difference in my life. Could it be that your love for someone today could be just the encouragement they need?
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:13
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. – 1 John 4:9-12