Bella Vista Church of Christ



Abby McSweeny


Greater Love


  Greater love is a simple phrase but has much more meaning than just two words. So, let’s break it down.


  First, the word Greater. It is defined by an amount or intensity considerably above normal or average. The first mention of this word is in the Old Testament: Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night. There are 72 scriptures that use the word greater in the Bible. When I hear the word Greater, I think of something that is the best. Nothing can be better. In recent years we heard a movie called the Greatest Showman, who was the best in what he did. John 13:16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Here we learn that our God is the greatest. When we were younger and learning about God you may remember saying a prayer – God is Great God is Good. He is great and cannot be compared with anything or anyone else.


  Now let’s look at Love. Love is defined by a feeling of deep affection. I found 106 verses about Love in the Bible. The best Biblical definition of Love can be found in 1 Corinthians13: 4-5 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.


  When we combine these two words we conclude that Greater Love is an intense feeling of affection above normal or average.The ultimate example of Greater Love is found in John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. This is the ultimate example of Greater Love because God sacrificed his ONLY son that he loved. To save us – YES, you and me from our sins so we will one day live eternally with him in Heaven.


  He loves us and has made us his children. 1John 3:1 says See what great love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of GOD. This is hard to understand, and I want to tell you a story that may help us understand it better. This is a real story that happened not something out of a fiction book; we could call it a modern-day parable. It is about a mother’s love. There was a girl named Kim and she was 15. The same age as some of us. She was at a school function. While Kim was in the restroom some guys put a drug into her coke. The next thing Kim remembered was waking up in a field where she was left all alone. She made her way back into town where she called her mom to come help her. They took her to the hospital to make sure she was okay and filed a police report. She had been raped; her virginity was taken from her in such a sad way. They did not know if it was one or several that did this cruel thing to her. A month later she became sick and found out she was pregnant from the sad event. Today we hear about women having rights and it would be ok in the world's eye if Kim would choose abortion since she was wronged. Although she had been wronged, she decided to give this unborn child life. This was not an easy decision for her. She faced many challenges over the next months. She had to even go to the school board just to stay in regular school and finish her classes.  One decision that came hard was the decision to give the child up for adoption. Kim thought that the unborn child would have a better chance in life with a loving family. Those that you would think would support her became distant. Teens in her church group didn’t agree and said she was taking the easy way out. Well Kim continued with her decision and chose a Christian family to raise her daughter.


  I am so glad that Kim chose GREATER LOVE of her unborn child rather than only thinking of herself. I know Kim is not God, but I think this helps us relate to something we can understand. God truly loved us that he sacrificed his son by letting him go to the cross to be crucified for us. I don’t take this sacrifice lightly or think it is just some story in the Bible. It is a BIG DEAL! I understand it somewhat more than others because I was the child that Kim chose to give life.


  So, the question I have today is how will we live knowing the sacrifice that God made for us? Let’s read John 3:16 again and let’s make it more personal. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son FOR Abby McSweeny and each of you.


  We all have received GOD’S GREATER LOVE the choice is ours to accept his great gift.


—Abby McSweeny,

   Bella Vista Church of Christ


This was a speech Abby gave at this year's LTC

for which she was awarded a Gold Medal.