3 Ways to Lay Down Our Lives

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“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.”

– 1 John 3:16


Our Lives for Our Brothers and Sisters

Jesus once said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:12-13). The real love of God displayed in action is when we lay down our lives for others. It might not be a literal life we have to lose, but we can lay down our lives by giving of our time, talents, and treasures. That is laying down one’s life for another–laying down your own life’s interests for the interest of others.

Love in Action

Love is not only saying you love someone. Love is a verb. It is what you do. Jesus displayed love in action on the cross (John 3:16). Talk is cheap, but giving one’s life is costly. And Jesus paid it all, laying down His own life for those who were once His enemies (Romans 5:10). Here is what love is: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me” (Matthew 25:35-36). Those who serve others will hear Jesus’ words: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40).

Love Defined

The Apostle John tells us what love is: “Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers” (1 John 3:16). No one took Jesus’ life. Neither should we be compelled to lay down our lives for others or have a guilt trip laid on us. We should want to love others and be motivated by God’s love because “greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). You don’t need me to prove God’s love for you because “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Conclusion

We can say we love our brothers or sisters until we’re blue in the face; but until we prove it, our words are empty and meaningless. Talk is cheap; action is not. Love is proven by what we do, not by what we say. Love is a verb. It’s what we do. Anyone can say “I love you,” but to show it by laying down your life for another is more than talk. It is love in action, and this is how we know what love truly is.

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Jack is an author and pastor at the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane, Kansas. You can find more writing from Jack at WhatChristiansWantToKnow.com and FaithInTheNews.com.

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