Monday, February 14, 2005

Sacrificial Love

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. —John 15:13

What does it mean to lay down our lives for Christ and for our friends? In John 15, notice Christ's logic as He taught about sacrificial love.

First He said, "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you" (v.12). Then He described the fullest extent of such love: "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends" (v.13). Jesus died willingly for us and we should be willing to die for Him and our friends.

Then He added, "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you" (v.14). Jesus didn't say we're His friends only if we die for Him. We are also His friends if we obey Him. In God's eyes, obeying Him as a living sacrifice is the way we lay down our life for Him (Romans 12:1).

Similarly, we may not have to die for our friends, but there are other ways to make sacrifices for them. We can lay down our plans or tight schedules to focus on someone in need. Or we can lay down our possessions to make provision for the poor.

Such sacrifices, though small, can be powerful ways to lay down our lives for our friends—if we sacrifice willingly and in the spirit of Christ's love. —Joanie Yoder

We say we love humanity,
But it is only true
If we're prepared to sacrifice—
For those God asks us to. —Sper

The closer you are to God, the bigger your heart for people.


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