Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Lay it Down
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
I promised to do a post on this verse for the blog, and I guess the easy way to look at this is that by giving up a kidney for someone else is putting your life on the line for a friend. That is not really what God has put on my heart to talk about. This is Jesus speaking about how he was sent to die on the cross for all of our sins, and I would never minimize that act by comparing it to anything I will do in my lifetime.
Now let’s take a quick look at verse 12 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you”. So when you put these two together it looks like we should lay our lives on the line for our friends, and even though all of the WWJD (what would Jesus do) bracelets would have you believe we should aspire to do as Jesus would have. I would suggest otherwise, that is an impossible goal to live up to. How could I possibly die on the cross for all of mankind’s sins when it has already been done? So I would suggest that we live WWJWMTD (what would Jesus want me to do) but that doesn’t quite work on a bracelet.
Now I want to look at the verse in the Message translation “This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you.”
Now in today’s society where we are taught to step on, jump over, or push down anyone or anything that gets in our way, this way of thinking is totally unexplainable to your average American. I mean how many people can you name that live out this verse. Now I want to take a moment to thank all active and former military personnel, whether or not you believe in Jesus as your lord and savior you are living out this principle and I commend you for it.
How can you lie your life on the line?
I can’t answer that for you, but what I can tell you is that God will direct you if you are willing to let him show you and make yourself available. Remember you don’t have to start with huge grand jestures, but you can lay small parts of your life down. Luke 16:10 says it best “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much”
Believe me I don’t think I am the expert on this, if you have been reading along with this I believe I have mentioned at least two occasions where I missed opportunities God presented to me. You might be saying that giving a kidney is a pretty big step putting your life on the line, but I could make the argument that it isn’t the biggest sacrifice we will make during this process.
You probably wouldn’t guess it, but I tend to be a little more planned out and structured than I like people to believe and when Kate and I got married we decided we wanted to make a trip to Europe and the Greek Islands and when we were able to schedule that trip during our visit to England for Ben and Charlotte’s wedding we made a decision. That decision was that we would start trying to have a family when we returned from Europe(sorry Kate not sure if I was supposed to bring this up). When we found out Ashley would need a kidney even though we decided that I would be the donor there was still a chance that I wouldn’t work out and Kate would need to go through the process. So we couldn’t take the chance of getting pregnant during this time, because if Kate was pregnant and I couldn’t donate we weren’t willing to take that chance with Ashley’s life.
I don’t bring this up so anyone will feel bad for us, I know God has a plan for that part of our lives, but I want to give others who would think of doing something like this a full picture of the decisions you might need to make, and understand Satan will give you all kinds of reason why you shouldn’t follow God’s plans, even very good reasons.
So I leave you with one thought today, from book of James, chapter 1 verse 22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”