Daily encouragement

Video by

Kimber Gilbert

ACF Devo Team Leader

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John 15:13

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

Behind the Scenes

“We’re just moving next door,” I told the postal clerk. I slipped her the change of address form and requested new mailbox keys. “If any letters or packages come to the wrong mailbox or porch, I’ll just bring them over.” She said, “You’re so neighborly, so sweet,” and the kid in me beamed with pride at having done right. As I walked out the door I wondered, “Wait, is acting neighborly really that rare?”

If acting neighborly is a rare gem in American society, how much more precious a jewel is Jesus-love! Eugene Peterson paraphrases “Jesus-love” in this way: “this is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends” (John 15:23 MSG). Bringing mail to your neighbor is a lovely start. There are a million tiny ways we can inconvenience ourselves to show the love of Christ. But Jesus-love is also speaking up on behalf of silenced voices, risking societal approval. It’s speaking truth in love at the cost of losing a friend. It’s babysitting a friend’s kids on your birthday so she can celebrate a wedding anniversary with her husband. For some, it is risking life itself so others can live.

Jesus knows all about dying so we might have life, but he also knows all about dying to self in the trenches of the everyday. In Romans 12:1 Paul calls this phenomenon a “living sacrifice.” Jesus sacrificed rest to teach the crowds (Mark 6:30-34). He valued outcasts more than his reputation (Mark 2:13-17). He washed the feet of his own disciples, a task usually relegated to servants or the wife of the host (John 13:1-17). What about us? When was the last time we put our lives on the line in the service of a friend?

Make it Real

If we desire to make evangelism an everyday thing, the most practical and powerful way is to love as Jesus does. It will cost us, and we won’t always see the direct fruit. But other times, the Holy Spirit will break the dam of unbelief so God’s truth is a sweet swift current flowing from one soul to the other. Maybe that’s through an unexpected gospel conversation with the person you never would have thought would be open to talking about faith. Maybe it’s an unexpected moment of vulnerability that softens a family member’s heart to the message of Jesus. Maybe it’s simply the confidence the Holy Spirit gives you in that moment to take the opportunity you see the Lord teeing you up for.

Regardless of the momentary outcome, though, we can be sure the impact will rattle a culture bent on serving the self as it encounters a counter culture bowed low before Jesus, our Savior and Lord.

End in Prayer

Lord Jesus, open our eyes and hearts to the movement of your Holy Spirit today. Show us how to set aside self-interests to better love those in our community. May we have the courage to speak up, to go the extra mile, or even invite someone to church tomorrow. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Written by

Kathleen Raygoza

ACF Devo Team