“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
Poignant words from the heart of Jesus, who would soon lay down his life for his friends.
The words hold deep meaning for families who’ve lost loved ones in battle. They hold deep meaning for all of us who live in America, land of the free, home of the brave.
We’re grateful for those who spilled blood on foreign soil, sacrificing their lives—the cost of freedom.
Most of us will never find ourselves in treacherous war zones dodging enemy fire and literally laying down our lives. But we have opportunities each day to lay down our life for people we love.
Today offers a chance to give ourselves sacrificially—even when we don’t feel like it or don’t want to be inconvenienced.
This kind of laying-down-my-life is a hard thing because it’s totally opposed to the flesh. The flesh hates sacrificial giving—the selfish self must be denied. The flesh asks, “What do I get?” One committed to following Jesus in the laid-down life asks, “What can I give?”
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brother” (1 John 3:16).
Supernatural love. Superior love. Sacrificial love. Laying-down-my-life love. Christ-followers cannot give less.
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also]’” (Matthew 16:24 Amplified).
(Scriptures from NIV unless noted.)
Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s secretary and blog coordinator for Christian Authors Network and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. www.diannebarker.com.
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