Thursday, September 15, 2011

Will We"lay" Down?


Playing with Rope and DOF - Port Bermeo, Spain
Courtesy of Flickr: Batikart
 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends (John 15:16).

What does it look like to "lay" down our lives? Is it physical death, like stop breathing, or a death to self?

Both maybe?

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves (Philippians 2:3).

Oh.

Better?

You sure, Lord?

That goes against my nature- everything I've ever heard.

What if it's not what I want, or it's hard, even messy? Then too?

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you (John 15:12).

Oh.

He walked into my messy life and continuously walks in it. His love is perfect. There is no hour that is too late, nor is there any task that is inconvenient for Him.

Come, He says, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).

As our friend, He says, "come" (John 15:14).

And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

Can we stand together? Laying down our "lives", let's get in the hard places and beautiful spaces of each others' days.

FaithBarista_FreshJamBadgeG




In His Name,
Jennifer

19 comments:

Jadyn said...

I love this. Thanks for sharing it. I've been thinking lately about how I get so wrapped up in my own life that I don't take the time to reach out to others, to build new friendships or even maintain existing ones. While living my own life is important, I need to shift the balance a bit! Blessings to you Jennifer, as you're sharing your life with those around you (including me, across the interwebs!).

BARBIE said...

Oh Jennifer, this is so good. What does it mean to lay down my life? For me, it's more than physical death, although I would hope if that situation ever arose, I would lay down my life. But it's about preferring one another, when it's most inconvenient. It's about laying down my rights, when I know that I am right, and yielding and allow the other to have the last say. There is so much more to it.

Jackie said...

This was great. :) Laying down my life is hard, when it means giving up so LITTLE. How do I expect to give up a lot, if I won't sacrifice a little? Nice to read your heart.

Jennifer said...

Jadyn, I completely get that. I'm not as intentional as I need to be either...Thanks for being a part of this space! I love how the web allows friendships to be built even miles apart!

Barbie, I pray the same thing!...You're right- it's laying down our will for the benefit of someone else. Love is sacrificial! Thanks, Barbie!

Jennifer said...

Jackie, it is so little, but it feels like so much. I guess that's the battle we have with our flesh! It's great "seeing" you!!

Dawn said...

I love this too! You gave me a different perspective on friendship:)

Joii C. said...

Amen. We should decrease our wants and desires and allow him to increase His!

Charissa Steyn said...

Lovely post :) Friendship can be difficult but its sooo worth it!

Lisa notes... said...

Laying down our lives...oh how that can hurt. Sometimes just when I get comfortable in my friendships, I'll get a call to lay down a little bit more of my life and my instant reaction is, "I don't want to!"

But thankfully the Lord gives us second chances (and third and fourth) until little by little we get this right.

Thanks for pushing me a little deeper today, Jennifer.

Jennifer said...

Dawn, thank you! It's something I'm still having to process. :)

Joii, Amen- that's abundant living!

Charissa, you're right! It takes be intentional. Then we reap the awesome benefits of relationships that are well tended to.

Lisa, well said- It's not always what we want! But each time we silence our flesh it grows a little weaker. I'm so thankful that He gives us the chances to keep growing! Thank YOU, Lisa!

Carol said...

The verses you have chosen call us to a deep level of relationship. Thank-you for the reminder of God's call on our lives. We need help from the Lord.

I have watched my daughter walk through deep places with a couple of friends-- her husband supports her and helps to set boundaries. I pray. Sometimes she call on the phone and we pray over the phone.

Blessings

Jennifer said...

Carol, My prayer is that we would all dive deeper in our relationship with God- it makes deeper relationships with earthly friends possible! Thank you!...It's wonderful that your daughter is there for her friend, while you and her husbsnd are there for her! Beautiful.

Katie said...

I pray so often to be a true friend... but I so often am selfish. God so often stretches me and gives me his strength to lay my life down for a friend.

Jennifer said...

Katie, Me too!! I'm glad I'm not the only selfish one. It's something I'm working on.

HisFireFly said...

I think this is exactly why my cirlce of close (covenant) friends is so small, this laying down...

I pray that I continue to listen and hear what my Lord would have me do.

Great post...

Jennifer said...

I understand- it almost takes too much of ourselves to give to a large group of friends. It's hard to say exactly how God wants us to live this out! Keep seeking Him! :)

Nikole Hahn said...

dying to self... :o)

Bonnie Gray said...

I'm learning laying down our lives also means being honest as we do it. That I need to be open with my life -- and that is a challenge, because people can see us less than our ideal selves. But, I've found those who do stay or draw near.. now, those are the friends that are real. ;) Love your thoughts, Jennifer!

Jennifer said...

Nikole, eek- it's painful, but oh-so-worth-it!:)

Bonnie, how true! It's laying down pride to encourage someone else.