Laid Down His Life
“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 brothers and sisters.” ~1 John 3:16
Verse 17-18 goes on to say: “Suppose a believer who is rich enough to have all the necessities of life sees a fellow believer who is poor and does not have even basic needs. What if the rich believer does not help the poor one? Then it is clear that God's love is not in that person's heart. My children, our love should not be only words and talk. No, our love must be real. We must show our love by the things we do. ”
This helps to interpret what “we ought to lay down our lives” means. I used this think this meant we had to be persecuted to prove our faith. But after reading the whole passage, it becomes clear that our love is demonstrated in action - we can’t be all talk.
Check out what James says in chapter 2:14-17, “My brothers and sisters, if a person claims to have faith but does nothing, that faith is worth nothing. Faith like that cannot save anyone. Suppose a brother or sister in Christ comes to you in need of clothes or something to eat. And you say to them, "God be with you! I hope you stay warm and get plenty to eat," but you don't give them the things they need. If you don't help them, your words are worthless. It is the same with faith. If it is just faith and nothing more—if it doesn't do anything—it is dead. “
Ouch. This gets me every time I see someone begging at an intersection. Shamefully, I have to admit that I fervently hope the light turns green so I have an excuse to ignore them.
We can’t help everyone, but we might make a difference in the one we DO help. Most importantly, it is showing them the love of God. Maybe they will see Jesus.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” ~Philippians 2:3
Have a blessed day!
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