John 15:12-13 (NRSV)
Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
Only a few hours earlier, Jesus had told his disciples that there was no greater love than the willingness to lay down one’s life for a friend. And then, he himself did it!
– Steve Harper, Good Friday Love
And so, where there is love, what can be wanting? and where it is not, what is there that can possibly be profitable? The devil believes, but does not love: no one loveth who doth not believe. – Augustine of Hippo
Wherever people love each other
and are true to each other
and take risks for each other,
God is with them and for them
and they are doing God’s will.
– Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark
What does love look like?
It has the hands to help others.
It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy.
It has eyes to see misery and want.
It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men.
That is what love looks like.
-Augustine of Hippo
I believe God wants us to love others so much that we go to extremes to help them.
– Francis Chan, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
And like our Savior, who poured out His life and blood so we have reason to rejoice, we were made to lay down our lives and give until it hurts. We are most alive when we are loving and actively giving of ourselves because we were made to do these things. It is when we live like this that the Spirit of God moves and acts in and through us in ways that on our own we are not capable of. This is our purpose for living. This is our hope. “And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Rom. 5:5).
– Francis Chan, Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit
Jesus does not ask me to die for Him, but to lay down my life for Him. Peter said to the Lord, “I will lay down my life for Your sake,” and he meant it (John 13:37). He had a magnificent sense of the heroic. For us to be incapable of making this same statement Peter made would be a bad thing— our sense of duty is only fully realized through our sense of heroism. Has the Lord ever asked you, “Will you lay down your life for My sake?” (John 13:38). It is much easier to die than to lay down your life day in and day out with the sense of the high calling of God.
– Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
Christ has no body now but yours
No hands, no feet on earth but yours
Yours are the eyes through which He looks
Compassion on this world
Christ has no body now on earth but yours
-attributed to Teresa of Avila
Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.
1 John 3:11, 14-16 (NRSV)
For this is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another…. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another. Whoever does not love abides in death. All who hate a brother or sister are murderers, and you know that murderers do not have eternal life abiding in them. We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.
Once you find your delight
in your neighbor’s well-being,
you are never far from the road to joy.
The opportunities for parties are endless!
Any moment, you can bless someone
undeserving, and there you are—
Lay down your mortal life,
your little scrap of cloth,
and you are left with nothing at all
but the infinite delight of God.
When the little cage of your life
is battered and smashed,
out flies the bird
that never stops singing.
– Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light
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