“And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” 1 John 3:16

What does it mean to “lay down our lives” for others? In 1 John 3:16, we read, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for others.”

I love how the verses continue because when we love in this way, we’re told that this is “how we set our hearts at rest in his presence.” When my heart feels that old turmoil, or if the old self rises up in selfishness and in that demanding of my own rights again, I remember the ancient pathway of laying down one’s life as Jesus did.

Laying down my life means the Holy Spirit enables me to use my resources to bless others all day long. It means asking God to show me how to lay down my life for my family and neighbors. With the personal and ongoing guidance of the Holy Spirit, I think about living a lifetime of laying down my life. It feels, in the flesh, like death. It feels like giving up yourself, and that girl will throw a tantrum, believe me. But when we surrender like this, suddenly, we know it’s the life we were made for.

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