"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."
What does it mean to lay down your life for someone?
Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and when we encounter Him and see Him as He is, we can't help but be changed.
Don't sink into guilt if you are more "Martha" than "Mary." Perhaps you've felt like a second-class Christian if you aren't like quiet, contemplative Mary who stopped everything to sit at Jesus' feet. Maybe you feel guilty if you're more like Martha, often busy and distracted doing many things. If God wired you to run a children's ministry or company and you always have so much on your plate you never get it all done, He understands. If you are a single parent and juggle multiple tasks and responsibilities, God knows how stretched your time is. Martha's serving was honorable, and as we do our work and service as unto the Lord, with our focus on Him, He receives it as worship.
You don't have to be someone you're not or try to change yourself to be more contemplative or spiritual. It is in seeing and encountering Jesus that transformation happens. The Lord met Martha as she was, in the midst of her life, in the middle of her grief over losing her brother, and revealed Himself to her And just as He knew the longing in her heart, He knows the longings of your heart and will meet you there as you lay them out before Him.
As Mary did, offer all you are to Him who laid down His life that we might experience newness of life on this earth and life forever with Him. When you turn all of your being in utter, joyful abandon, your life, though outwardly busy, will become a "living prayer" and you will be increasingly aware of the Lord's presence. Give yourself again or for the first time completely to Him who created you and loves you with an everlasting love. "I despair when I try to change myself and patch myself up," said Corrie ten Boom. "I can't do it and never will be able to do it, but if I surrender myself to Him who made me, I experience miracles!"
Lord, help me to love others the way You do. Help me to lay down my life in love. Amen.
We look forward to your comments and questions in these devotionals!