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Dying To Self – Parts 2 and 3

Jesus - Bruce MarchianoThis is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:12, 13

How can I love as this passage requires? How am I to do it? It is not like I have not tried. I do. But I fail. How am I to love this way?

We can love this way because we have an example. Jesus loved this way. He gave up the comfort, joy, and adoration of heaven to be with broken people and become dirtied by the soil of earth and the sin of humanity. He bore the agony of unjust pain as He faced Calvary and continued to give Himself for others. And He did this for love of you and me.

When we see His example, we are encouraged to bear the pain that broken people inflict upon us when we reach out to them. When their remarks stab us, when their rejection is cruel, when our love-actions earn us only scorn and hurt, we see Jesus. With Him as example, we are encouraged to continue to love and to keep on giving love in the face of pain.

If He did this for us, can we not do it for others?

Again, how can I love as Jesus loved me?

Even with the example Jesus sets before me, I find myself weak and unable to care for others as He does.When the Scripture calls us to hold an attitude or behavior that seems impossible, our problem is that we feel that our willpower or discipline is required to make it happen. Perhaps it is the legacy of rugged individualism inherited from our ancestors who tamed a new continent, but it seems that the last place we go when we cannot love sacrificially is for help.

The whole walk of faith is one of going for help. If you cannot love as Jesus did, you must ask Him to reshape your being. David asked the Lord to create a new and clean heart within him. This is the pathway to loving like Jesus. He creates the loving heart in us. Then perhaps we can love more like Him.

Hayford, Jack; and Middlebrook, Sam, Living the Spirit Filled Life, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers) 1998, c1992.

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About Dale

Christ follower, husband, dad, dad-in-law, pops, son, brother, uncle, nephew, friend, pastor, longview lobo, baylor bear, dbu patriot, swbts alum, native texan, illinoisan. I am passionate about worshipping Jesus Christ and leading others to worship Him through the arts.

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