And God sure has a way of speaking in sermons that I least expect it.
I'm not sure what the exact scripture was that was read on Sunday, but I do know that John 15:13 says something very similar (and maybe that was the verse). "Greater love has no one that this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." Greater than what love? Jesus' love. The love when He healed the blind man; the love when He spoke to the woman at the well; the love He had for His mother; the love He had for you, for me, for His friends when He died on the cross. "No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you." Jesus laid down His life for His friends. You are His friend. You are loved. You are worth more than the world and you were created for a purpose - to love and to be loved.
To love. Love. So often in the Western world we hear this world and automatically think "romance." But there are other meanings to love. Jesus didn't have romantic feelings for the world, He had brotherly love. The kind of love you have for your family and close friends. The kind of love that sits and listens when your friend needs it most even if you'd rather be doing something else. The kind of love that you have when you clean up the mess nobody else wants to, but it is a blessing to your mom. The kind of love you have when you offer a meal to the homeless. The kind of love that is always open when someone needs it most, even if it's midnight and you want to sleep. The kind of love that holds a crying child, or torn teenager. The kind of love that a mother has for her child. This is the love of Christ. This is the "laying of our lives." The little things that seem annoying are the big things that change lives.
This is what I took away from the sermon on Sunday, and then promptly forgot due to work and sleep. And then on Tuesday I started a discipleship program and the first memory verse was John 15:13.
I think God was trying to get a point across.
So will you join me in my challenge to live a live of loving others? But don't forget to let others love you too.