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
While loving others is often talked about by the world, the most common love is love for self. People generally are looking out for themselves long before they even begin to think about others around them.
Most people want to make sure that their own needs are met before they attempt to meet the needs of others. Many will not do anything for anyone else unless they know that there is some benefit in it for themselves.
As John continues to talk about love, he describes love as Jesus laying down His life for them. Then he states that believers should lay down their lives for their brothers and sisters.
It is easy for a person to talk about love and loving others, but it is much more difficult to actually love other people. In order to love another person, one must be willing to sacrifice a part of himself, whether it is time, abilities, or possessions.
Jesus demonstrates true love by sacrificing His entire life so that everyone would have a chance at being saved and given eternal life. No one was able to take His life, but He chose to lay it down to give life.
In the same way, believers are to willingly lay down their lives for others. This love is putting self and all of self’s desires aside so that one can help others out.
Just as the nails on the cross were painful for Jesus, this can be painful for a believer, but in the end it reaches people for eternity. When a believer does not lay down his life for others, he does not know or have the love Jesus had.
Take a moment to realize how much Jesus loved you in laying down His life for you. Allow that love to fill you and strengthen you to go out and show that same type of love for others.
You may not have to physically die for others, but be willing to sacrifice some of your time, energy, abilities and possessions to help others out. Lay down your life in love for others. Allow others to see what true love is. This will point others to Jesus and build His kingdom.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will know the love God has for you and others; that God will strengthen you to lay down your life for others; and that God will redeem your sacrifices for others.