June 16 What Do You Make Of This?
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay
down his life for his friend.” . . . “I have called you friends.” John 15:13,
Jesus does not ask me to die for Him, but to lay down my life for Him.
Peter said – “I will lay down my life for Thy sake” and he meant it; his sense
of the heroic was magnificent. It would be a bad thing to be incapable of
making such a declaration as Peter made; the sense of our duty is only realized
by our sense of the heroic. Has the Lord ever asked you – “Wilt thou lay down
thy life for My sake?” It is far easier to die than to lay down the life day in
and day out with the sense of the high calling. We are not made for brilliant
moments, but we have to walk in the light of them in ordinary ways. There was
only one brilliant moment in the life of Jesus, and that was on the Mount of Transfiguration;
then He emptied Himself the second time of His glory, and came down into the
demon-possessed valley. For thirty-three years Jesus laid out His life to do
the will of His Father, and, John says, “we ought to lay down our lives for the
brethren.” It is contrary to human nature to do it.
If I am a friend of Jesus, I have deliberately and carefully to lay down
my life for Him. It is difficult, and thank God it is difficult. Salvation is
easy because it cost God so much, but the manifestation of it in my life is
difficult. God saves a man and endues him with the Holy Spirit, and then says
in effect – “Now work it out, be loyal to Me, whilst the nature of things round
about you would make you disloyal.” “I have called you friends.” Stand loyal to
your Friend, and remember that His honour is at stake in your bodily life.