Love wins above everything
What does it mean to win? I played a lot of sports growing up, and I enjoy watching all kinds of sporting events. The thrill of competition, seeing if you can do your best, and measuring your best against someone else’s best, it can bring out the best or the beast in people sometimes. I have several stories of my competitive nature getting the better of me and getting me in trouble with officials, my coach and my parents. But I also learned a great deal about a great many issues from competition. I learned about myself, my limits, how to be disciplined, how to get along with teammates, how to learn from different coaches, different situations and from both winning and losing.
But what does it mean to win? It means to come out on top of a competition, to best your opponent, whether that is another person or against the clock or some other personal record. It means that at the end of a situation, you were ahead of someone else. We all like to win, because it feels good. Most of us at least dislike losing, it does not feel good.
So with all the world abuzz about recent events, one trending topic on social media has been #lovewins. That might carry a very different meaning to different people. It might mean something to you that is different from what it means to me. But I’ll say it this way: it’s the most true statement in the world. Love wins. Love never fails. It is undefeated.
Here’s what I mean: Jesus made a sweeping statement about love in John 15:12-13, “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” He told his followers that the greatest love of all time, the most powerful love, the winning love is the love that is sacrificial, that lays down one’s own life for another. It’s what Jesus did when He allowed Himself to be executed on a Roman cross; He willingly laid down His life for all of us, sacrificing Himself and taking our punishment on Himself for all of our wrong choices, poor judgment, regrets and sins. He did not have to do that, no one forced Him to, but because He loved us, He gave His life for us.
And by doing that, He won. We won. Love wins. That is the message of the entire story of Jesus, that God’s love is the winner, and we can be winners if we are willing to receive His gift of love toward us. And we are winners when we share that love, when we love others the way God loved us: sacrificially, not demanding our own way, but willing to give ourselves so that others might know the powerful, life changing love of God. When we love, we win, God wins and #lovewins.
Pastor Bill McCready of LifePoint Church is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.