Walking, love, and sacrifice

From a recent Bible lesson, this verse from Ephesians keeps coming back to me: “ . . . walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2).

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, a day set aside to celebrate love, but it is also Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent—a season for contemplating the price Jesus paid on our behalf, the cost he expended out of His great love for us.

Love and sacrifice are often two sides of the same coin—most parents know this truth. But there is no greater example than that of what Jesus did for us on the cross. Because of what He did, the apostle Paul instructed the people of Ephesus, to “walk in the way of love” just as Jesus did.

The amplified version reads, “. . . walk continually in love [that is, value one another—practice empathy and compassion, unselfishly seeking the best for others] . . .” These are high aims and certainly will involve sacrifice.

When we value another, we spend our time and thought to see them as God sees them and bring encouragement to their lives. When we express empathy or compassion, we risk feeling pain ourselves. When we seek the best for others, we often relinquish part of ourselves to see that goal accomplished.

When Jerry and I take our daily walks with the big brown Aussiedor Lucy, sometimes we don't look forward to the long trek, but we take it one step at a time. It's down a hill, around the corner, up a hill--not a level course. It's that way with walking in love--it will be up and down sometimes, but eventually we make it home.

Ephesians 5:2 comes under a section in my Bible titled, “Instructions for Christian Living.” Really, all the instructions are summed in these few words, “ . . . walk in the way of love . . .” Living this way is costly, but always the best way.

Aiming to walk with you, friends.