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Thread: What does it mean to lay down our life for others?

  1. #1
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    What does it mean to lay down our life for others?

    John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
    1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

    What does it mean to lay down our lives?

    Shamefully, for years I struggled with being very selfish of my time..I guarded it closely and found that I was not willing to give up my time for others..I would be more than willing to physically die for them, but I would not change my plans for them. Actually, I even got very angry with my husband when he would take time from me or my children to do things for others..

    However, God began to work on my heart through these verses as well as Jesus' example laid out before us in the Bible..He convicted me of the fact that laying down my life meant more than just physically dying for others. Yes, Jesus laid down His life, physically for us, but He also gave of His life..specifically His time..

    Jesus forfeited His own time of resting and even eating for others that followed Him..He gave of Himself even when He was tired and stopped in the middle of His journeys to teach and heal..How can I do less? How can I not give up some sleep, a shopping trip, or any leisure time? It is about more than my physical life or my possessions, it is giving of myself..

    Matthew 14:13 ¶ When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities.14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

    Has anyone else struggled with this? Any verses you have found helpful?
    I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me...Phil. 4:13

  2. #2
    Hm... putting others before yourself... not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less. I think it just means true humility... knowing that we are servants and that is our purpose. Jesus served..we need to serve. Lay down ourselves for Jesus Christ, and pick up our cross daily. Give our time and energy, to others....
    Why are you searching for love? Why are you still looking as if I'm not enough?

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    However, God began to work on my heart through these verses as well as Jesus' example laid out before us in the Bible..He convicted me of the fact that laying down my life meant more than just physically dying for others. Yes, Jesus laid down His life, physically for us, but He also gave of His life..specifically His time..

    Jesus forfeited His own time of resting and even eating for others that followed Him..He gave of Himself even when He was tired and stopped in the middle of His journeys to teach and heal..How can I do less? How can I not give up some sleep, a shopping trip, or any leisure time? It is about more than my physical life or my possessions, it is giving of myself..
    Well, you're definitely right about the verse referring to more than just laying down your physical life. At least in the 1 John verse you quoted, the word for "life" actually means "soul." One commentator puts it this way:

    The ego must be crucified. Self must be denied for the benefit of one's brother. It must be kept in mind that our Lord's death had atoning value, whereas our laying down our lives in glad service to our fellow man does not.

    I really think that humility is key here. Paul talked about becoming all things to all people, so that he may save some. In a way, this includes the losing of one's own identity and sort of identifying with others, in order that you can serve them where they are at. In ministry, this is so important. It is not merely doing things for people, or even giving of things such as time or money, but actually meeting them where they are at and sort of abandoning your own self, and who you are, in order to identify with them.

    I think this applies not only to the brethren, but to people in general. Jesus Christ didn;t just hang around with the holiest of the holy -- people who didn't act raunchy and prayed 3 times a day with a holy halo around their heads -- He laid down His life. He surrendered His own position and glory and came down from heaven in order that He may reach man where He was at. Instead of angels and saints, He hung out with prostitutes and thieves. He hung out with the lowest common denominator that He may reach all people. That is sort if what we are expected to do.

    And the thing was, it didn't phase Him. He wasn't less holy because He reached out and spent time with the godless masses. He laid down His life in order to reach them. I believe that is what we are supposed to do, as well....lay own our own pride and identity in order to effectively minister, to the brethren, and also to the world.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShortStuff View Post
    What does it mean to lay down our lives?
    Has anyone else struggled with this? Any verses you have found helpful?
    Those are excellent questions that I struggle with myself! One verse that this reminds me of is John 10:11, which reads:
    “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”
    To me, it means meeting people where they’re at, even if it means giving sacrificially of your resources, and in extreme cases your well-being or even your life! This is never easy to do, but in the long run, it can be immensely rewarding for the other person… and for God’s glory!! And we don’t have to go far to find these needs, either!

  5. #5
    To lay down our lives for others, means to love other as we love ourselves. How do we love ourselves? First, we do not do bad things to ourselves, do we? Second, we actually are very good at doing good and nice things to ourselves, and especially, things which make us happy or satisfied. We love to do good, nice and pleasant things to ourselves. That is how we are supposed to treat others, but do we, and if yes, how much? To give your lives to others, is to sometimes, forget about our nice things, and go and do nice and good things to others, especially, if those things are going to make others, come closer to God, love God more, have a stronger faith in Him, and want to serve him more.....

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Welder4Christ View Post
    Well, you're definitely right about the verse referring to more than just laying down your physical life. At least in the 1 John verse you quoted, the word for "life" actually means "soul." One commentator puts it this way:

    The ego must be crucified. Self must be denied for the benefit of one's brother. It must be kept in mind that our Lord's death had atoning value, whereas our laying down our lives in glad service to our fellow man does not.

    I really think that humility is key here. Paul talked about becoming all things to all people, so that he may save some. In a way, this includes the losing of one's own identity and sort of identifying with others, in order that you can serve them where they are at. In ministry, this is so important. It is not merely doing things for people, or even giving of things such as time or money, but actually meeting them where they are at and sort of abandoning your own self, and who you are, in order to identify with them.

    I think this applies not only to the brethren, but to people in general. Jesus Christ didn;t just hang around with the holiest of the holy -- people who didn't act raunchy and prayed 3 times a day with a holy halo around their heads -- He laid down His life. He surrendered His own position and glory and came down from heaven in order that He may reach man where He was at. Instead of angels and saints, He hung out with prostitutes and thieves. He hung out with the lowest common denominator that He may reach all people. That is sort if what we are expected to do.

    And the thing was, it didn't phase Him. He wasn't less holy because He reached out and spent time with the godless masses. He laid down His life in order to reach them. I believe that is what we are supposed to do, as well....lay own our own pride and identity in order to effectively minister, to the brethren, and also to the world.
    Welder,

    Thank you so much for this post. You are so right about this..we must completely give of ourselves as Jesus did..stepping out of our comfort zone and seeing others simply as the same as us..I believe that at some point in our lives we are all at the same place..sinners who can be forgiven and have eternal life if we accept, believe, and confess..So, why is it that some Christians tend to look at others as less than we are? To be honest, even I have done this at one time..
    Jesus set the example for us just as you mentioned above..and He taught me a lot when He moved us to Michigan for a while. I had lived so protected and sheltered in my little world that it was a huge learning experience there..I was faced with those who had lived very hard lives, but the only difference in us was the location that we found Jesus because we were all sinners..and I praise and thank God for allowing me the time with brothers and sisters there..yes, humility and is definitley involved..
    I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me...Phil. 4:13

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