Dr. Dan Hayden • 

“I owe you one!” That’s what we say when someone has done something for us and we feel obligated to return the favor. But there are some things you could never repay – not in a million years.

Our word for today is “ought.” You find it in I John 3:16, “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

This word, ought, literally means “to owe something; to be indebted.” It’s a word of obligation, and it’s a verb in the present tense meaning that the obligation is continual. It’s not a one-time payment like an IOU, but a spirit of indebtedness that affects the entire way you live.


There’s an old chorus we used to sing entitled, “After all He’s done for me.” The words went like this: “How can I do less than give Him my best and live for Him completely, after all He’s done for me…” You see the obligation is not one of indebtedness, but one of appreciation and gratitude. We say, “Lord, I want to show my appreciation to you,” and He says, “Well, the thing that would please me the most is that you would help those that I love…even sacrifice yourself for their welfare.”

And so that’s why we do it. We sacrifice ourselves for others simply because we love The Lord – simply because we want to show our gratitude to Him. So, after all He’s done for you – you really ought to do that. You really ought to lay down your life for the brethren.

Hey—“ought” means ought. You really ought to do it.