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Thursday, 14 February 2019

John 15 : 1-17

“You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” -John 15:14

One of the greatest relationships man can enjoy on earth, is the love of a friend. Many of us have been blessed with such friends.  Yet there are those who deprive themselves and tend to live solitary and lonely lives. In our reading today, we see the heart of Jesus who longs to have an intimate relationship with His disciples whereby their response to Him would be out of love and not force. He desires the same of us- He does not want us to come to Him ritualistically but reach out to Him relationally.

How would you define your relation with Jesus? If He hasn’t become your ‘Best Friend’ yet, listen to what He tells you in V.13: Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Jesus did for this for you! He laid down His life so you can have a deeper relationship with Him.

Now it’s your turn to respond! How?

1. Live in Him[VS 4,5&6]: Jesus wants us to be satisfied in our communion with Him and not look for other things or people of the world to satisfy us or make our lives more exciting. We read in Romans 1:25 that the world replaced “the Creator with created things.” The only way our life could become effective and productive is when we dwell in Him. That’s the first step in our friendship. This friendship with Him is the essence of all good things and blessings in our lives. But if we let the things of the world take His place, then our love for Him would become cold and slowly numb our relationship with Him. What then happens? We will slowly dry up like a branch that’s only good enough to be cut off and used for a bonfire (V.6)

 2. Remain in His Word [V.7]: All through Scripture we see a demarcation between people who obeyed God’s word and who didn’t. After the death of King David there arose a number of kings who spurned the laws and commands of God, leading the whole nation into sin. Then arose a young King Josiah [2 Chron.34] who renewed his relationship with God by making a decision to listen to all that God had to say to him and his people. Renewed relationship with God always leads to regenerated hearts of men, that heed to the voice of the Lord. This leads to two like-minded people— God and you! He longs to do what you want Him to and you long to do what He wants you. That’s why Jesus in this verse says “You ask what you wish and it will be given to you.” Isn’t that a great friendship?

3.Continue in His Love [Vs 10]: The world is looking for this love in all the wrong places. Romans 5: 8 says,God demonstrated His love….” We need to be looking at Jesus who demonstrated His love for mankind when He gave His life on Calvary. That’s the greatest kind of love we can ever find. Having received this love, He commands us to love others (V.12). The best test to know if we still are friends of Jesus is to see if we practice 1 John 4:20 in our everyday life: ‘If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?’

Are we practising the above principles? Many are called to be His friends but only a few are chosen. He has set His eyes on you. How will you respond?

Thought for the Day: ‘…. there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.’ (Proverbs 18:24)

Listen: There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus 

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