Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lay Down your iPhone, and Give Up that Money

This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command
(Jesus in the Gospel of John 15:12-14NLT)

There is no greater love,” Jesus said, “than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” It’s easy to read this passage and say “Amen!” but lo and behold, it’s much harder than what we thought… but not possible yeah?
Perhaps some of you might think, “Absolutely, I would die for my friends. I love them very very much. I’d give up everything for them, even my own life.” Some of you, I bet are serious: you really willing to die for your friend. You would, I know. Dying for a friend – it sound so noble… and come to think about it: it is. But there are other ways to give your life for your friends – not so grandeur or noble or famous in the world-term – something that you can do in small ways, everyday ways, practical ways; something that you can START SMALL daily.

[Take note: John 15:12-14 does suggest that you should literally ‘lay down one’s life for one’s friends’. But it also suggests that you can ‘lay down one’s life for one’s friends’ without literally die for a friend (in Malaysia context, it’s rarely happen) because when Jesus said, ‘love each other’, it’s a continuous actions rather than a onetime event. Also I want to be careful on using the word ‘friends’ here where it refer to our fellow believers, fellow brethrens in Christ – though my examples below are applicable for friends in general term.]

Other ways that you can give your life for your friends – perhaps when your friend need money and you happen to have some saved up. Sure, you’ve been saving that money for your new iPhone, but now your friend’s in trouble. You could lay down you life and give up that money OR perhaps when your friend desperately needs you to take care of his or her grandma in the hospital on Friday night because he or she couldn’t be there until next week. You have plan – TGIF’s night party – but you could change them (not that you’ll die on the spot!). So you lay down you life and give up your Friday night.

Laying down you life doesn’t always seem grandeur or noble or famous in the world-term… or for life’s sake, fun. But it’s what a committed friendship is all about.Lay down one’s life for one’s friends” is an everyday sacrifice. In whatever you do, notice your friend’s need, and put it above your own. Sacrifice something. Give up something. ‘Lay down’ something. Help your friend. That’s what it mean to “love each other” – feeling and action; word and work. Lord’s command and men’s obedience.


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