Herby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. I John 3:16
There are many truths that are hard to fully comprehend. I think one of the greatest is that Christ took on my punishment on the cross. For the rest of my life—and possibly eternity—I will never understand why He would do that. What was so special about anyone, least of all me, that Christ would love us so much that He would die for us? We can spend the rest of our lives trying to repay Jesus for what He did for us, but it will never even come close to measuring up.
One of the most memorized Bible verses is John 3:16, and rightly so! It’s the Gospel in a very condensed verse. I love how the same thing is very nearly being said in I John 3:16, but the latter part is something different. The end of the verse calls all believers to lay down their lives for our brothers.
As soon as I read those words, another verse immediately came to mind:
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
Well, if I’m truly grateful for Christ’s sacrifice and gift of salvation, then the least I can do is obey His Word…I’m going to be really honest. I have failed so many times to lay down my life for others. No, I’m not talking about jumping out in front of a car for someone. I’m talking more about my actions and words.
Sure we know that we are supposed to put God above all else, but how often do we put our brothers and sisters before ourselves? I struggle daily with my selfishness. When I pray, I want to focus on MY needs, MY wants, MY problems. When I go through my day, it’s so easy to get caught up in my tiny insignificant world.
God calls us to edify the Body of Christ. This is done by building up the believers through words of encouragement, loving actions, and intercessory prayer. Seems easy enough right? There is one vital component that is absolutely detrimental: dying to self.
Sacrificing your desires, your wants, and sometimes even your own sorrow could potentially lead to great acts of love for your brothers and sisters. You will never regret putting others before yourself because that my friend is exactly what Jesus did for us on the cross. He put Himself aside to ransom many. Can’t we put ourselves aside to at least live out Christ’s legacy?