“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13
Recently a group of friends and I studied our way through Kelly Minter’s “No Other Gods” bible study. We laughed, we cried and we learned a lot about ourselves and each other. In the end, we made a promise to each other to call each other’s name out in prayer every day. We have made a commitment to pray for each other asking the Lord to anoint each one of us with a Holy Spirit confidence. Our desire as a group and individually is to have enough confidence in ourselves that we can leave our safe little comfort zone and go out and really love people.
One thing that we touched on in our Bible study that I would like to spotlight today is what we do when we have identified our false gods and sent them packing. What do we do with the available time and space? What is the next step?
The next step for us is to love and serve by the example that Jesus has given to us. Jesus’ entire ministry was showing (by example) how to love and serve. I mean really love and really serve people… all people… right where they are. He wasn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty. He wasn’t worried about his reputation. He was able to run with the sinners but he never conformed to their way of life or their way of thinking and was able to save lives… lots of lives.
To truly love the way Jesus commands in John 15:13, we have to be willing to make sacrifices. In the past, when I have read this verse, I thought it meant that I would need to take a bullet for someone to prove that I could love like Jesus. (Which it does say that we should love enough to die for someone). Another interpretation of this verse is: we should love people enough to turn off the TV and leave our nice warm living room. Or maybe we need to park the car and walk down the street to the homeless shelter and have a conversation with someone in need. You might be the only “Jesus” that someone meets.
So the challenge during this holiday season: Can we set aside our differences, our fears, or our comfort zone and put ourselves “out there” to make a difference?