We Know Love By This
By Jennifer Devlin
“We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16).
I find it impossible to lose sight of the fact that Christ not only died for our sins, but He also endured everything we would have to endure, so that we could never say that He didn’t understand our problems.
In the verse above, we see how Jesus shows His unconditional, undeserved love through His willingness to die for us in order to give us life. With this action on His part, He has every right to request that we offer the littlest portion of such a gesture for someone else. This verse doesn’t only talk about showing love by losing your physical life; but also about setting aside your own agenda in order to help, reach out to, and love others.
If you think there are no people on earth today that are willing to die for their fellow man, look again! All you have to do is take a look around your community—from the policemen, firemen, and emergency crews to members of the military.
We see that such a love for others is all around us. It doesn’t have to be as glamorous as the secret service in their dapper suits and earpiece communications to be a life-saving profession. We all witnessed countless heroes on 9/11 and during other tragedies who did their all to save the lives of others.
We see accounts of heroism on some level just about every night on the evening news. People are seen laying their own lives on the line for someone else. How much more should we be willing to lay down our lives for others since we have the example of Christ being sacrificed once for all men!
If you ask any of these people (servicemen and women, firemen, policemen, etc.) “why” they do what they do, they may not be able to tell you, it’s just something in them—a sense of duty that makes them willing. It’s the same with our faith! With the Holy Spirit in us, we will just be walking in the Spirit, willing to do what we should as we love each other.
The picture of love that Christ showed us is perfect. Love in its simplest form according to Christ is obedience. Christ was obedient to the Father and became the ultimate sacrifice, a greater example of love does not exist!
In John 14:15, we see Jesus give guidance on our relationship with Him, where He says,
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
Obedience is a result of love and respect. When we love Jesus, we obey His requests. Jesus loved the Father and obeyed His commands.
We love God and others, and one way we show our love is through obeying God’s commands. Jesus clearly tells His people,
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34–35)
In this, we can see that loving one another Jesus’ way is more than “mushy gushy love talk” and a quick hug. It’s the real, lay down your life, pull together and help someone where they need you (even when it’s not easy) type gesture backed up by genuine, hard-working action. Love is the best when it is being “worked out” and actions are involved. Love is an action. It is not just a passing emotion that requires little more than brainpower and some smooth talk!
Jesus showed love to those He came into contact with during His earthly ministry by improving their situation. He impacted their lives in positive ways. He cast out demons, making the possessed emotionally
whole. He healed physical conditions; He helped out at a wedding to bring honor to those hosting it. He changed lives. Jesus helped us all by giving us the hope of salvation.
Excerpted from Life Principles for Christ-like Living, with permission, Copyright 2006 by Jennifer Devlin, ISBN 0-89957-339-8.
For more information, visit Jennifer’s Web site.
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