“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 (KJV)
“He laid down his life for us”
In last week’s blog, I discussed how God’s unconditional and eternal love for us was clearly demonstrated by the Lord Jesus Christ when “He laid down his life for us.” The Master’s monumental movement of love for us should not cause us to park in our ponderings but should move us to lay down our lives for each other as well. God demonstrated what true “agape” love looks like. We as imitators and servants of the Most High God should be real and revelatory demonstrations of His love in this world.
Question: To lay your life down, is this a natural act or a supernatural act? What does it look like to lay one’s life down? A key word that will show us the way is sacrifice. You see, Deeply Loved of God, true love is inseparable from sacrifice. True love does not major in taking but in giving!
What a contrast when compared with today's self-absorbed, self-seeking culture! How many times have you heard the heart of the self-seeker say: "If you loved me you will…”? Fill in the blank. By the way, this self loving disposition was just as alive in the first century as it is in this century.
Consider the word of God:
“For God so love the world that He gave his only begotten son that whosover believes in Him has eternal Life.” Jn.3:16 (KJV, emphasis mine)
“and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me,” Galatians 2:20c (KJV, emphasis mine)
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” Ephesians 5:25 (KJV, emphasis mine)
Now it is essential to note: Creation can teach us many things about God. It can show us His sovereignty, wisdom, majesty, intelligence and mighty power. But Creation, in itself, does not teach us that God is a God of love. God put on display the most definitive and decisive demonstration of love when He gave up His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our crimes against Him. Consequently, the love of God is dynamic and it should dominate and be demonstrated in our lives. Now, because you and I are sent with the same mandate Jesus was sent with, we must demonstrate our love by laying down our lives for the brethren. It’s possible that as John began to write, the Words of the Master were on his mind and heart. Jesus declared: “As the Father sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21). Again: I emphasize the two following points:
- Actions speak louder than words.
- Divine love is dynamic!
For example, if I am on a pier, and a man jumps in the water and drowns, crying out with his last breath, “I’m giving my life for you!” it would be personally difficult for me to process the purpose of his action as an act of love. Instead it would just look like bizarre behavior. But if that same man jumps in the water to save me from drowning and gives his own life that I may survive then I can completely and personally process the giving of his life as an incredible and abundant act of love. This is the kind of love that should lead our lives because it lifts up the Lord Jesus Christ! As lovers of the Lord, we are too legit to quit loving like Him!
For the Glory of God,