1 John 3:16: “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

May 18th, 2019 by Pastor Ed in devotional

How we believers define the word love is critical, because if we define love the wrong way, everyone passes, or perhaps more likely, no one passes. It is interesting that John, one of the original “Sons of Thunder,” had by this point in his life become known as the “Apostle of Love.” He uses the Greek word agape, “love,” 46 times. Agape love describes a love that is unchanging. It is a self-giving love; a love so great that it can be given to the unlovable or unappealing. It loves even when rejected. It gives because it wants to. It does not demand or expect repayment from the love given; it does not love in order to receive. That is exactly the kind of love Jesus loves us with, and it is the kind of love we are to love others with.

Congressman Stephen Largent recounted in a 1995 commencement speech that when the king of Morocco was in Washington D.C. to meet with the President, there was heightened security around the Capital. The king traveled with a large group of people, including his 12 wives and 1 organ donor. One man, who had the same blood type and could serve as an organ donor for the king, traveled with him everywhere. It was this man’s responsibility to literally lay down his life for the king of Morocco should the king need his heart, liver, kidney, etc. That was his life’s mission. “That is our mission as well,” Congressman Largent said to the graduates. That is in fact the mission, responsibility, Jesus has given to each of us—that we lay down our life for others, just as Jesus laid down His life for us.

“LORD, we could not lay down our lives this day without Your enabling Holy Spirit. Help us to lay aside our own wants and desires to serve You and others today.”