John 15:13 reads: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
We find this character trait within the wide, expansive zone of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…in the self-sacrificing “brotherhood of soldiers” in warfare…in sports when players give up their own individual interests for the sake of the team…and as commonly seen in the “soccer mom” shuttling their children from one activity venue to another day-after-day, and to the father giving up his time to coach the little league baseball team or be active in Boy Scouts.
But all of this is squarely within the moral realm…physically on the vertical graph-line spectrum of goodness and light. It is not some stand-alone reality separate and apart from this vertical continuum…having absolute goodness and pure brilliant light at the top…with goodness and light dimming gradually as attitudes and actions move downward on this graph-line.
No greater love than giving our life for our friends is a God-given attribute. We cannot claim the credit for its existence.
Like the love that first-time parents feel for their new baby as they bring home from the hospital…with a power and a force amazing even to the new parents…it is just there. Like the inexplicable quality of the existence of things like friendship, loyalty, honesty, fidelity, integrity, fairness, and the commitment to truth…to name only a few…these are realities we have no plausible naturalistic explanation for.
It is vitally important for Spirit-born Christians to recognize that in a God-composed journey of faith life-script like we find recorded in the Bible…the precise circumstances and situations are designed by God to actualize in our lives the context for the “greater love” to find expression…way above the level of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.
In every biblical-quality adventure of faith then and now…there is an element of the cross of Jesus Christ that materializes into real action…this giving up of our lives for our friends. God writes into our life-script this elevated character trait so that we also can experience a portion of divine, self-sacrificing love (Eph. 2:10; 1 Pet. 2:9).
A journey of faith God-script for our lives is written for us…and for the people God can minister to through us. A God-composed adventure of faith for our lives takes this attribute of self-sacrificing “greater love”…and lifts it ingeniously and brilliantly to a higher point on the vertical graph-line spectrum…above what is found and experienced within worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.
This entire scheme of reality is above and beyond what humanistic thinking and contrivance could or would imagine or self-orchestrate.
A God-composed journey of faith life-script is for us…ourselves and others…as a gift from God to us in keeping with the same self-sacrificing love when God gave Himself to us in the Person of Jesus Christ to the world:
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Lk. 2:13-14).