Wednesday, October 25                       

John 15:13.  “Greater  love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”  This was Jesus encouraging his disciples just a few hours before his crucifixion, preparing them for the hardships that would come.  While this was specifically for the eleven disciples, it has to be true for all those who have received Christ as Savior through the centuries.  At that same time, Jesus prayed for me, too.  John 17:20.  “My prayer is not for them alone.  I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message . . .”  I think this laying down one’s life is a two-way street.  If I’m his friend, he’s my friend.  So my attitude should be the same.  I need to be willing to lay down my life for him.  Thousands, and probably millions have actually laid down their lives for Christ.  It happened right off in the early Church and has continued virtually unabated through the centuries.  I admire those martyrs while also praising God for the grace he’s given them to love their persecutors.  At my age, I’m more likely to die a natural death as John did.  But there’s another aspect of laying down one’s life.  It’s devoting oneself to serve God no matter the circumstances.  John was no less a servant of Christ than Stephen or Paul or Peter.  I may have a few more years.  May I be faithful to the one who redeemed me and is preparing a place for me.  He’s my redeemer, but he’s also my best friend.

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