Friendship with Jesus
Lord, help me to see today just how great is the love You have lavished upon me (1 John 3:1)!
Read JOHN 15:9–17
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Somewhat paradoxical is the Lord’s command to keep his commandments, which usually produces conflict, in order to experience joy.
The depth of love with which both Father and Son have loved their disciples should always stagger us. Too often, perhaps, we take it for granted and almost assume that it is God’s job to love us! Yet, it is through Jesus’ death (which, while not specifically mentioned in these verses, is clearly
in his mind when he describes both his and his Father’s love; John 13:34) that we see the means whereby we can appreciate how this amazing love has come to us.
The love which Father and Son have for believers (9) is the love that we are to remain in and show each other (12). What does this love look like? Simply stated, it is believers willing to sacrifice themselves for their friends (13). This is a caliber of love that does not come naturally to us, yet Jesus requires that it characterize our behavior and attitudes. How we need his Spirit to live like this!
Our phenomenal privilege is to be called friends of Jesus (14). We might say that we are also servants of God, which in itself would be an honor, but we’ve been appointed friends and thus elevated to a higher level of intimacy with Jesus as he has chosen and appointed us to go and bear fruit (16). The result of obeying him is to know his joy (11), which Jesus equates with knowing him. This was C. S. Lewis’s experience as he changed from unbelief to a relationship with God, and he called joy “the serious business of heaven”
(Letters to Malcolm).
Do you know this joy? It is “something that completes us and in its fullness, spills out into the lives of others” (C. S. Lewis, 1898–1963).
Father, draw me to You. I desire a deeper experience of Your joy.
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