But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners,

Christ died for us (Romans 5:8, NKJV).

We often toss the word “love” around lightly, equating it with a “feel good” emotion or the fact that someone (or something) meets our need and therefore is worthy of our love. But Jesus demonstrated to us, by way of a painful and undeserved death, that love is not a feeling—it is an action word, one that places the needs of others above our own.

“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Is there any statement anywhere that more powerfully captures the truth and illustrates the selflessness of authentic love? Jesus suffered and died for us “while we were still sinners.” He didn’t wait until we repented or were baptized or performed any sort of religious act at all; in fact, He died for us when while we lived in the pigpen, rejecting and mocking Him, spitting on Him even as His tormentors did 2,000 years ago. For you and I were right there with them, calling for His crucifixion and even pounding the nails into His hands and feet. And yet He looked at us and prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

Even in the midst of our willful ignorance and selfishness, God demonstrated His love for us through a sacrifice too horrible to imagine. Our only response can be one of eternal gratitude and joyful service. May the unconditional love of Christ be the catalyst that spurs us to worship Him by living in such a way that others see that same love in us as we offer it to them without condition of limits.