Dr. Dan Hayden •
Did you ever sacrifice yourself for someone? You know – give up your plans for someone else – give up your time to help someone with something? Well, that’s what Christ did, and that’s what Christians are supposed to do.
In John 3:16 it says, “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” Jesus laid down His life for us; that’s how we know that He loves us. And we ought to lay down our lives for others; that’s how they will know that we really love them.
Now, the key word in this verse is the word “laid down.” That may be two words in English, but it’s only one word in the Greek text. It’s the word tithemi, and it means “to put something somewhere; to place it there; to lay it down somewhere”.
Now this can refer to anything you put, place, or lay down. But in this verse it’s talking about doing that with your life. A fireman rushes into a burning house and rescues a child from the smoke and flames, and we say, “Wow! He really put his life on the line, didn’t he?” That’s the idea, you see. To lay down your life doesn’t mean you actually have to die. It means you put it out there—you lay it on the line—you sacrifice yourself to do something for someone else.
Love led Jesus to lay down His life for you. Now He wants you to lay down your life for others. Come on! If you say that you love The Lord, put it out there! Sacrifice something, lay down your life.
Remember that sacrificing yourself is how you show real love.