The Word of Grace Devotion for the Week of December 3, 2018
Lay it down!
1 John 3:16, "By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers." ESV
Beloved, 1 John 3:16 is not to be confused with John 3:16 though they share a very similar passage- that of the laying down of a life for another. In addition, John 15:13 shares this message stating, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
So how do we lay down our lives for the brothers and others? First of all we need to look to Christ’s example. 1 John 3:16 says, “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us.” When Christ laid down His life for our life He gave us an example of pure agape love. His love is a love that is not based on our reciprocal action but rather on total selflessness. Agape love is unconditional!
Hence, we practice genuine agape love by laying down our lives and our self-will, which we love in this world – for our brothers and others. We need to have an attitude of selflessness and obedience to the Father.
So what is agape love? 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 says, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, keeps no accounts of evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.”
Therefore, we lay down our lives for our brothers and others by being patient, kind, not envious, not boastful or puffed up and not rude. In a sense- we die to ourselves and allow the love, which God has poured into our hearts to flow out into the lives of others. My prayer for each of is that we would practice unconditional love by laying down our lives for others. Certainly, we live in a time that desperately needs the Love of Christ!
I pray that you will have a blessed week! I love you and I will be praying for you!