Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Chosen Friend

A Chosen Friend

9) “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
10) “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
11) “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may remain in you, and that your joy may remain full.
12) “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
13) “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
14) “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.
15) “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from my Father I have made known to you.
16) “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
17) “These things I command you, that you love one another.
                                                                                  John 15:9 - 17

Does anyone else remember as kids, standing in a row of children, in gym class, waiting to be chosen by one of the two kids already picked to be team captains for whatever game you were about to play?  I do.  For those of us that didn’t excel in sports it proved to be pure torture. However, it was equally wonderful to hear your name be called.  It was such a relief! 

It’s a great feeling to be chosen isn’t it?  There are different events in our lives that lead us to Jesus.  Situations and circumstances bring us to a place of brokenness and we know our moment has arrived.  It is actually that tenderness of heart or God’s goodness and mercy that draws us to repentance (Romans 2:4) He actually initiated the contact and chose us.  According to our scripture passage, not only does He choose us but Jesus calls us friend.

Sounds lovely doesn’t it?  It’s wonderful to be considered a friend…especially a close personal one.  Jesus loved us enough to lay down His life for us…His friends.  He tells us in verse 15 that servants don’t know what the master does but since we are friends, He has made His plans known to us.  He clearly wants us to be involved and a part of what He is doing.  How awesome is that?

He truly is our friend.  The evidence to that affect is staggering, in that, He laid down His life for us!  He calls us friends but I want to set a question before you.  Are we His friends?  Are we fulfilling His criteria for friendship?  We don’t have to wonder or speculate and hope that we get it right.  We can know.  It is right there in red and white for us to see in verse 14.  It states, “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.”

That could sound really daunting but it isn’t meant to.  If we look to verses 12 and 17 of the passage, we find that the only thing He commands is that “we love one another as He has loved us.” In the beginning of this passage He talks about how that love between He and the Father and Jesus love towards us is all intertwined.  He tells us to abide in His love.  You would think it would be all about pleasing Him and in essence it is, but somehow in His great lovingkindness towards us we are the primary beneficiaries. 

There are two benefits to this friendship with our Lord.  The first, according to verse 11 is that His joy would remain in us and not only remain but be full.  The second, from verse 16, is that your fruit…your accomplishment as a result of this wonderful abiding love and how we draw others to Him, would remain also in the form of good fruit and produce discipleship in its purest simplest form…bringing the great commission of Matthew 28:19 to life, which is really the point of it all.

So, let us, in honor of His choosing us, as friends, live our love walk as a reflection of our friendship to Jesus!

Be blessed!

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