A Memorial Thought About Dying for Others

No Greater Love




“This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater

love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends…. Hereby

perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay

down our lives for the brethren.”





   Throughout the generations, we can count the soldiers, martyrs, servants and missionaries

who have given the final, best gift of service to others. To give one’s life up to death for another

is the greatest act of love and service. Jesus tells us that there is no greater love. Jesus Himself was

our example of sacrifice. He not only died for those who believed on Him, but also so that others

could claim His love as a doorway to spiritual liberation.


    First, we must pause this day and give thanks for the countless, faceless servants of old who

gave their lives for others. Whether on the battlefield or in the daring rescue of another, we give

honor and recognition to the souls of men and women who gave their last breath to defend a

cause and the people they loved. As we answer the call to our leadership journeys of faith, we,

too, should know that following Christ means we may be called to give that same final measure

of love to others. We may be asked to die for others in one act or over time in service.


   We should couch the reality of dying for others in terms of love for others. We should cover

it with the words of Christ, which celebrate death for a brother as the greatest act of love. Dying

for another or for a cause invokes the highest calling and the most potent form of love. Sometimes

we may not die a physical death, but we die to our own time and desires in order to serve

others. Dying to ourselves means we are giving up our lives in small increments for the work of

God. It may mean leaving the safety of our own communities and traveling to dangerous places

to carry out a mission. It may mean time spent away from the presence of family. It may mean

giving up money and comforts of this world.


   When we measure the love and sacrifice of others, it changes us. It changes how we lead

others, and it changes the priorities of a nation or institution. It makes us value the lives of others

in a new way. It makes us pause and not take for granted our liberty, freedom, and material

blessings. It harkens us to never take lightly the death or loss of limb and innocence that so many

have experienced in order to carry forth their duty and service to others. We pray and trust that

God has an awesome reward waiting for those who give their lives for their friends. We pray that

God will instill in us a fearlessness to serve without consideration to losing our own comfort or

our own life. God’s love is sufficient, and His glory will hold us in all eternity.


Our Prayer: God of life and death, we pause to remember the servants of all time who literally

gave their lives in service to those they loved. We give our ultimate praise and thanksgiving to Christ

the Lord, who died and was raised from death for salvation. Instill in us the understanding and

courage to face the sacrifice of leadership even until the final call of death. Never let us be discouraged

or dismayed as we serve in the light of Your salvation and protection. Amen.