Theme of the Week: Friendship
Bible Verse: You are my friends if you do what I command. John 15:14
Scripture Reading: John 15:9-17
How many friends do you have? How many do you need? How many do you want? There’s perhaps a more fundamental question when it comes to friendship: How do you define a friend?
We all want to be liked, to be accepted, supported, included. But none of those things really mean we have friends. The flip side of that coin is interesting too. Are we a true friend to anyone? Extending these courtesies to others may mean that we are being friendly, but it does not mean there is a relationship, let alone one that is ongoing and mutual. What does it take to be friends with someone? What does spiritual friendship mean.
Just before Jesus went to the cross, he gave his disciples a new category. He said they were no longer servants but friends. But he had a unique way of defining what it meant to be friends with Him. He had said that the greatest love one could show would be to lay down his life for a friend. And then He told the men who had followed Him for three years that they were his friends if they did what he commanded!
Imagine one of your friends saying that…
Of course, Jesus is in a different category. And that’s just the point. Friendship with Jesus is different than friendship with another human. We cannot take what it means to be friends from our relationship with Jesus.
Fortunately, the Bible has plenty of relational advice for us, even if the word friend isn’t used explicitly in every relational text. This week we are going to see what it might mean for us to have and be friends.
But one question must precede any other this week: Are you friends with Jesus? Do you have a relationship with Him? Do you follow His commands?
Prayer: Jesus, I want to be your friend. I know that I do not always follow everything that you have commanded. Help me today to follow you and your commands. Help me, by your Spirit, to be counted as your friend.
Reflection: Which command of Jesus do you find the most challenging? Why? What steps can you take this week to follow Jesus more closely?
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