Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. –I John 3:16
The ultimate expression of Christ’s love for man was not his teaching, though his teaching on love and forgiveness was revolutionary. It was not his healing or his miracles, although we could clearly see his heart of compassion in many of his miracles. The greatest expression of Christ’s love for us is when he laid down his life on the cross. His sacrifice of himself illustrated to us what love is. It is by his death that we “perceive,” that we begin to comprehend the love of God. But Scripture doesn’t stop with this truth.
“And we ought to lay our lives down for the brethren,” for our brothers and sisters in Christ, for those within our church body, and for those within our own family. It means laying down our priorities, our interests, our desires, and even our needs.
I John 3:16 is why you are up before anyone else and the last one to go to bed. It’s why you sigh and leave that cup of coffee to put more batteries in that noisy toy or to help disentangle your panicked toddler from the shirt she insisted on putting on all by herself. It’s why you get up a little earlier to make a hot breakfast for your husband, when you would have preferred a bowl of cold cereal and a few minutes more to sleep. It’s why, at the end of the day, when you’ve done what everyone else needed you to do but nothing you needed to do, you can rest—with a mind at peace and a heart filled with joy. For God has just revealed to you a glimpse of what His sacrificial love is like.
This post has been edited and republished from my former blog Homekeepers. Over the next several months, I will be merging my two blogs into this one location.