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January 24, 2024

Dear Church of the Open Bible,

I had the privilege of teaching at Awana last night. We learned that “to sacrifice” means to give up something for someone else, and that this can be an expression of love. Since Jesus loved us by sacrificing His life for our sins, we are called to love others sacrificially. We ended our talk by coming up with ideas of how we can love others this week by putting them first.

Typically, the opportunity for application can take some time but not in our family. At breakfast this morning, Gus noticed that his younger brother, Witt, was wearing a sweater that he wanted to wear. Since it didn’t belong to Gus, I didn’t make Witt take it off. Instead, I mentioned to Witt that it might be a nice way to practice what we were talking about at Awana last night. Witt didn’t seem to think so and kept the sweater on. Well, we carpool another boy to school each morning, and as I returned to the kitchen, he looked at me and said, “Jesus gave up His life for us because He loves us.” I was surprised that the truth lasted the night. “That’s right, He loves us that much,” I said and we chatted more about what that entailed.

While one boy failed to see the connection another saw it pretty clearly. The fact that we have been loved so incredibly by God in Christ should change how we treat one another. Has it changed you?

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  - Ephesians 5:1-2