Our verse for today comes from John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
As a kid, I played a lot of football in my backyard. On one particular occasion, while I was going out to catch a pass, I ran smack into a tree. And it wasn’t a newly planted tulip tree. No, this was a full grown pine tree. However, I didn’t realize how fortunate I was until I learned about the differing hardnesses of wood. As it turns out, every single type of wood has its own degree of hardness, and I happened to be blessed to run full speed into one of the softer woods around. Now, lying on my sofa with a messed up face, I didn’t appreciate that particular bit of good news at the time. For all I knew, that massive pine that knocked me backwards as I plowed into it was just as hard and impressive as a hickory tree or a white oak or a red walnut. And I certainly had no idea I could have been better off had I run into a fir or sycamore tree. For the unprotected, unexpecting boy in full stride, a tree is a tree. But, for you and me today, followers of Jesus and members of His body, recipients of His grace and vessels of mercy, proclaimers of truth and His light in a dark world, is there more to love than love?
Jesus made an apparent distinction by saying there was a greater love that exists that compels one to lay down his life for his friend. If so, then what does the lesser love look like? And if it’s still love, how could it be considered lesser? You love Jesus and you love your family. But you also love your favorite getaway spot or your pet or your phone. So, is that love too? I know I speak for dads and moms everywhere in saying I would lay down my life for my family without hesitation. But what else am I laying down my life for, in a completely different way, that probably doesn’t deserve that level of devotion and attention? We read this verse and quickly acknowledge what Jesus did for us on the cross, as we should. But it’s saying much more than that. What are the friends that are getting your sacrifice? And what is getting sacrificed that truly belongs to your Friend, Jesus
As we seek Him today, let God have your whole heart. Experience the greater love that He has for you.