We know the word “devoted” … if not by some definition out of a dictionary … then by a relationship! We experience the reassurance, the warmth of knowing that our loved ones are devoted to us and we to them.
It is this same devotion that the apostle Paul was speaking of in Romans 12:10 when it comes to our relationship with those of “like precious faith!”
This kind of “devotion” … this “being kindly affectionate” to those in the body of Christ is so much more than the love as the world so often wants to define it.
Recorded by the apostle John in chapters 13-17, are conversations, actions, and expressions of Jesus as He devotes Himself in these closing chapters of His life on earth as a man.
Jesus demonstrated in a most unforgettable way the true meaning of loving, serving, caring, and being so mindful of others that His demonstration could not be missed!
He washed the feet of each of His disciples (John 13:1-17). To be clear, this “devotion … being kindly affectionate” includes a deep level of spiritual love that is good, pure, honorable, and holy!
He would say in John 13:34, 35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
This was to become in a strong way, speaking accommodatively, a badge of discipleship that was to distinguish God’s people from others. There was to be a degree of sacrifice, unselfishness, and complete willingness as had not been seen before by the world.
Jesus would go on to say in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
The following true story took place a number of years ago, but it sure emphasizes the kind of devotion we’re talking about.
In a hospital located in a small midwestern town lay a baby girl who had been critically injured. She had lost a great amount of blood and was in dire need of a transfusion. But having a rare blood type, there couldn’t be found someone who had this same rare blood type.
It soon became apparent that her 7-year-old brother had the very same blood type. The physician took the little brother into his office, held him on his knee, and softly said, “Son, your sister is very, very sick. Unless we can help her, I’m afraid the angels are going to take her to heaven.”
“Are you willing to give blood to your baby sister?”
The young boy’s face turned pale, and his eyes widened with fright and uncertainty. It was quiet in that office, but only for a few minutes, when the older brother whispered in a shallow and reserved tone, “Yes, I will.”
The doctor smiled reassuringly and said, “That’s a fine boy; I knew you would.” The transfusion took place, but the brother watching the tube carrying the life-giving fluid to his baby sister, seemed apprehensive, to say the least.
The doctor seeing his concern took the little boy’s hand and said, “Don’t be nervous, son. It will all be over before long.” It was at this moment that alligator tears welled up in his eyes.
And then his question that silenced everyone in the room, “Will I die pretty soon?” It then became very clear why the little boy was so apprehensive and nervous … you see … he thought he was giving up his own life so that his baby sister could live!
I will let you draw your own conclusions … and make your own applications.
The Bible offers a great way to apply this principle of “being devoted to one another” with the following words speaking of our Lord and the way and manner He lived among men, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” (Philippians 2:3)
Bill Fairchild, Jr.