What Does ‘Laying Down Your Life For Your Friends’ Mean?
We, all of us, need to stand up for Jesus. I don’t know if you have seen all the sheer hate directed at me, personally, and at Jesus (due to my witness) on my original Facebook blog. You can easily type ‘short little rebel’ into your Facebook search field and see the numerous hate pages set up by my stalker- all dedicated to hating me and to hating Jesus.
They also come to my Word Press blog in droves. Mostly atheists and homosexuals (many times, one and the same).
Jesus spoke so truly when he said we would be hated because of his name. He also said that if we were of the world, the world would love us. Therefore, one can logically conclude that if the world loves you, you are not living for Christ. There is only one reason the world hates you- and that is for the name of Christ that you live, breath, eat and speak.
We all need to be willing to face pure hate- this means to boldly speak the name of Christ- at work, at restaurants, at school, on the bus and walking down the street. I know so many Christians who will actually look around at people if I am sitting with them and talking about Christ in a normal conversational tone! Especially tight places like Starbucks! These people want me to lower my voice because the name of Jesus embarrasses them! The name of Christ has become a dirty word! Even among his own followers! Gee, I didn’t know that his name stopped being proclaimed at the church doors!
This is wrong. Very wrong. Let them hate. Let them mock. That is living for Christ. Professing Christ only at church is not professing him at all. Everyone there loves him already! What risk have you taken for his name’s sake? Whom have you helped- for whom have you laid down your life that they should come to find Jesus & everlasting life?
It is when we profess Christ to the wild pack of strangers around us that we are truly giving our life to Christ- and laying it down for our friends. We are to sacrifice our pride, our ‘honor’, our reputations… our life– just so those hostile strangers can have a chance of obtaining the life we already have! While one might spit, five more quietly heard you and will consider your words they overheard at Starbucks! Maybe they will consider going to church- to find the conviction and passion you so clearly have in your heart! That is to lay down your life for your friends. To be spit on… So that others may live…there is no greater love we can give to one another…
People always mistake what ‘Christ love’ is. They think it is soft words and a pat- no matter what the person does. But it isn’t. It is to witness the truth of the bible to them- and to allow yourself to be beat up for it. That is what Jesus called the ‘greatest love’ you can give your friends.
Believe me, it’s not fun to have hate pages that mock me day in and day out. It is not fun to be lied about day in and day out. It is not fun to have a stalker who hates me with every fiber of his being. And it is horrible to see Jesus mocked by the very same people. But every time I see their hate, I understand two critical things:
First, they would love me if I was of the world. For this specific crowd, they would love me if I told them it was not a sin against God to practice homosexuality. Or that they will still receive life though they reject Christ. But I won’t say this to them- because it is a lie. And even though they crave this lie- it is a lie that leads to certain death for them. If I love them, I will not tell them a lie that will kill their souls. And so, they hate me because I am not of the world. I am of Christ.
The second thing I remember is this: for every person who spits on me for Christ’s name sake, are at least three others who are not spitting. What is one man’s soul worth? Is it worth some spit? How about three men’s souls. Are they worth some spit?
Just remember what Jesus endured for our sake. He was completely innocent and pure. And he endured a lot more than a few trolls with too much time on their hands…
Lay down your lives, friends. Lay down your lives. That is what Christ love looks like..
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.” Spoken by Jesus in John 15: 9-14