John 15:13 (KJV) Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
A Disclaimer – Please read through to the end to understand what I hope to convey from my heart because I believe it is what is on the Father’s heart.
I was awakened earlier than normal this morning because I felt an impression that the Father wanted to speak to me about something. Honestly, it took a moment before I had come to this “revelation” because I wanted to remain asleep, but it was strong enough to cause me to ask Him what was on His mind and in His heart. I was directed to read 2 Peter 3:2, which says, “That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour…”
Anyone who has read this must understand that you cannot end your reading with this verse. It is almost imperative that you continue reading through to the end of the chapter. Why? Because it speaks of the lens through which we, as Believers, must begin to view the urgency of the contemporary context in which we live. This passage of Scripture begin to take on new meaning as we are confronted with the urgency of the Great Commission (Mt. 28:18-20).
As soon as I finished reading, three words entered into my mind, “Make the sacrifice.” Immediately, I understood that those three words were linked to what I had read a few moments earlier. So I asked the Father, “How can I make a sacrifice?”, to which He responded, “By giving your life as a living sacrifice.” This reference to Rom. 12:1 led to an additional question, “How?” This is when I was led to today’s main passage in the Gospel according to John 15:13.
Of course, this leads to another question of “how”. The way I make a sacrifice in relation to 2 Pet. 3:2 is through what I do on this website. Whether anyone recognizes it or not, God uses my efforts on here to reach out to others to show His love for them. It is an avenue through which I am able to minister to the needs of others. So when I study the Scriptures ad write something on here, this is how I should approach it. I should have in mind that when I am making a presentation, I must take what I am doing on this platform very seriously because someone’s eternal salvation is at stake.
As we pour ourselves in service to show the love of the Father to others, He will continue to fill us from the deep reservoirs of His infinite love.
This what the Father meant when He told me to make the sacrifice. There are some days wherein I really do not feel like studying or writing. Why? Because I work a very demanding job and I often work long hours. Then I come home to exercise and prepare myself for the next day. Then, I try to engage in my studies so that I can have time to think through what I am writing and communicating to make certain that I am communicating effectively and keeping things within context. Some days, I cannot think with clarity and will wait until the next morning. This is not me complaining. Trust me, there is a point in all of this.
So, the sacrifice that the Father was speaking to me about was the “love” that should go into what I am doing. In pushing through to make sure that I am giving 100% of myself to this “ministerial platform,” I am “laying down my life for my friends.” How so? Because when we submit something on here, we are asking people to give us their trust based on our commentary. Therefore, our commentary must be able to withstand some level of scrutiny from our reading audience. In other words, there will be times when the reading audience will ask questions, and we need to be in a position to provide an answer to support our position (1 Pet. 3:15). By having prepared ourselves, we are “laying down our lives for our friends” and communicating to them that we love them and that they are important enough to us to give of ourselves to them in this fashion.
As it relates to the verse in 2 Peter, this reality should remain at the forefront of our minds. Especially within the context of our global experiences within the past two decades. I am sure that I am not the only one who has taken notice that with each event, the level of intensity and suffering has increased. Many have begun to engage in “end-time preaching” about God’s judgment, but in speaking to this, we must understand that God, in His grace and mercy, always provides a warning before pouring out judgment. This is where we must realize the importance of what we do. As the Master’s vessels, we must use every opportunity to show the love of the Father to those who have not yet experienced Him. Why? Because the Father loves them to send you and me to reach them with the message of reconciliation because we should love them enough to do so as well.
It is a small sacrifice to make when considering the eternal benefits that others will be able to share with us as we all become joint-heirs of the Kingdom of God with Jesus (Rom. 8:17). This is the heart of the Father and as His offspring, it should be our heart as well. Why? Because the Father is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). This should be at the forefront of our minds each time we sit to pour out of ourselves into the lives of others. This is the Father’s heart, and so it should be ours as well.