Laying Down Our LivesWhat sometimes holds you back from laying down your life for others?
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Love your neighbor as yourself (v.31).
Early in 2011, a US baseball coach made the best
call of his career. Tom Walter, the coach of the
Wake Forest University baseball team, chose to
give up one of his kidneys so that one of his players
could live. A freshman player, Kevin Jordan, had been
stricken with a disease that attacked his kidneys and left
them functioning at just 8 percent. None of his family
members was a donor match for a kidney transplant, but
Coach Walter was! “When we recruit our guys, we talk
about family and making sacrifices for one another. It is
something we take very seriously . . . . To me, it was a
no-brainer,” he said. Good call, Coach!
Selfless giving is something that should mark the lives
of true believers in Jesus. As John the Baptist prepared
the way for the Savior, he preached, “If you have two
shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it
with those who are hungry” (Luke 3:11). The prophet
taught that selfless giving is part of God’s plan for His
people. If you have two healthy kidneys, give one to
someone who has none.
Jesus would later teach about what it means to truly
love and sacrifice for our neighbors. He said, “Love your
neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31-34). And just prior to
stating this command, He revealed the “most important”
one: “You must love the Lord your God with all your
heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength”
(vv.29-30). Note, however, that He also said loving our neighbors is “equally
The way we love others is a direct reflection of our love for God. When we
choose to selflessly give to another, we reflect the most selfless act of all time—
Jesus’ death that we might be saved and that we might live (John 15:13).
When others need you, make the right call.
James, Jesus’ brother, nailed the importance of not simply feeling a
person’s need but also doing something about it. Check it out in
What is God asking you to selflessly sacrifice for someone today? Why is
showing love for others through giving such an important thing to God?
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