Verse of the day
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
For most people, when faced with the executioner, the last thing on their mind is other people. Many will descend into self-pity, and that’s understandable. If you were faced with imminent death, most reasonable people would not begrudge you some self-consideration. Yet we read here of our Lord being preoccupied with thoughts of other people; “He loved them unto the end.”
What manner of love is this that is so consumed with the object of its love that its own needs and pains fade into insignificance? It is the kind of love that made Christ put aside his deity, and take the form of a servant. It is the kind of love that he recommends to us when we are told; “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”
It might come to your mind that this isn’t a very practical thing to ask; that a person who is confronted with his own death should care about the needs of others. But we find that it may be difficult but certainly not impossible. By God’s grace, Stephen, not merely facing the knowledge of his own impending death, but actually as the stones landed on his face, his back, his chest still cried out; not in pain but with agony of the soul, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.”
This shedding of love abroad is, in reality, the heritage of all saints. As we read of Paul, “in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?”
If it is the heritage of all saints that his love is shed abroad in our hearts, we ought then to ask often, does pain crush my love?
References: Philippian 2:5-7; 1 John 3:16; Acts 7:60; 2 Corinthians 11:27-29
What manner of love is this that is so consumed with the object of its love that its own needs and pains fade into insignificance? It is the kind of love that made Christ put aside his deity, and take the form of a servant.Click To Tweet
Dear Lord, help me to know the love of Christ and having known it, for all men to know it through me.
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