Category Archives: Life

What Does It Mean To Lay Down Your Life for Your Brother? 1 John 3:16-18

16 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. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:16-18

When we hear Jesus laid down his life for us, usually the first thing that comes to mind is his crucifixion. Jesus died for us on the cross…that is what laying down his life looks like. I think John is letting us in on a little more to the story than just the crucifixion. Notice what he says next, “And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

John tells us that, like Jesus, we ought to lay down our lives for others. No surprise there, but notice the example he gives of what this looks like. He doesn’t tell of a Christian dying for another Christian. John’s illustration of how to lay down your life for others is to help someone in need. The truth of the matter is, few of us will ever die for another person, while all of us have the opportunity to put others first on a daily basis.

That brings us back to Jesus. When did Jesus lay down his life? It started well before the cross. It started when he invited a tax collector to follow him, even though he knew people wouldn’t like it. It started when he got an adulterous woman out of being stoned, even though he knew it would cost him. It started when he raised Lazarus from the dead and the plots to kill him started to swirl. It started back when he told them he would tear down the temple and raise it up again in three days but they didn’t understand him and were angry with him for saying such things.

The point is, Jesus laid down his life all along the way. The ultimate demonstration was in the cross but the reality is, it started way before that. The cross was the natural progression of a life that was already given up for others. So when we are called to lay down our lives for others, don’t get all focused on dying for someone else and never put this into practice for lack of opportunity. Realize that laying down yourself for others is about how you value people and how you see yourself.

I Can Do It Myself

One of Elijah’s favorite lines is, “I can do it by me-self”. It might be a glass of milk that he normally drinks without a problem but says that phrase and then proceeds to spill a bunch down the front of his shirt, pooling up on his shorts. He wants independence but he isn’t readyContinue Reading

Ten Reflections on the Importance of Scripture

I really do love the Bible. It has meant so much to me in both the peaks and the valleys of life. It is like a long standing relationship that just gets better and better with age. I have had the times when the Bible fell open to just the right text at just theContinue Reading

Jonah Brings New Meaning to the Term “Entertainment Center”

And we thought we would get hours of entertainment from this thing…

A Great Weekend

Not much blogging this weekend. We started it out going to Gainesville for a youth group/college reunion of people from the University City Church of Christ. Friday, got in a round of disc golf at Northside Park and shot par. Watched the Gator game in the Swamp…from the bull gator box seats, 50 yard lineContinue Reading

What Are the Results of Sin?

We usually are quick to point out death (Romans 3:23) and that is a correct answer but what is interesting about sin is that this death can be a very slow, gradual process. This is very much in line with the song “Slow fade” by Casting Crowns. Death yes, but in the meantime sin takesContinue Reading

Living Without Really Living

This weekend I was helping a friend clean out a house that had been used and abused by renters. Windows were smashed, the inside was dirty, piles of clothes were strewn about the backyard. Someone had been living in the shed out back and there were maggots here and there making a stench. What isContinue Reading

Romans 8:1-17 – Life in Step with the Spirit

21 of 35 instances of the word “spirit” in Romans occur in chapter 8. Some have taught that the Holy Spirit is not active today. There are two extremes that have caused a rejection of the Spirit’s operating in the life of the believer today. The first extreme are those who have made a bigContinue Reading

Life or Death Decisions – We Make Them More Than We Know

When I was a graduate student in psychology we had a health psych rotation that dealt specifically with transplantation and gastric bypass. The hospital felt that before someone could be approved for an organ transplant they had to pass a psychological screening in order to make sure that the organs were going to the peopleContinue Reading

What is Romans 6 Really All About?

I have quoted or turned to Romans 6:1-6 & Romans 6:23 dozens of times when talking with people about becoming a Christian and the importance of baptism. Only recently have I really taken a look at Romans 6 in light of what Paul is actually trying to say through the context and audience of theContinue Reading

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