Greater love has no one than this; to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13
I recently lost one of my best friends. She was an amazing friend. She was an example to me of what faithfulness and grace means in the midst of fighting her own battle with cancer. As one of her friends who walked along side her during her journey, I witnessed firsthand the outpouring of love and support from all of those who loved her.
Friends are one of the most precious gifts God gives us. Human interaction and relationships are at the very core of who we are. Throughout his life, Jesus surrounded himself with people. When you read John 15, you see the picture Jesus is trying to paint for the disciples of a vine and branches. He tells the disciples that they are an integral part of his ministry on earth. He states that they are growing in spiritual maturity and character by continuing to do the work that He started. In John 15:12 Jesus tells His disciples that He loves them. Then He moves on to say He loves them so much He is preparing to die for them. As usual, this information goes right over the disciples’ heads, but Jesus needed to lay the foundation of what the disciples were to continue doing and their responsibility to carry out His ministry.
Though Jesus seemed to constantly be surrounded by people there are times that he needed to be alone. In those times He wasn’t really alone, but talking with God the Father. Jesus is the ultimate best friend, He was loyal, forgiving (think of the way He treated Judas!), loving (we just established that), compassionate, and giving, just to name a few. Jesus was constantly surprising His disciples with acts of kindness and service. When is the last time you did something for your friend? Not out of obligation, but just to surprise them to let them know you love them. Have you ever sent a hand written note in the mail just because you cared? Jesus did nothing out of obligation; He genuinely cared for everyone and loved everyone so much He was willing to “lay down his life.”
My friend was a precious gift. I feel blessed to have known her and call her my friend. She was selfless and joyful. No matter what she was going through she would always ask how I was doing. She listened, she laughed, and her smile could light up a room. Can you think of someone in your life you feel God has gifted to you as a friend? What traits would you use to describe yourself as a friend? When you think of your close friends what is it that draws you to them? What do you value the most about them? Friends are one of God’s precious gifts. Don’t wait until it’s too late to let them know how much they mean to you.
Key Verses |
Action Item |
As you read John 15 take an inward look at your spiritual journey and relationships and see where God has planted you. Are you blooming or are you stuck in the weeds?
Thank God for friends. Thank you for all of the women you have placed in my life to encourage me and lift me up. Help me to be a better friend to those you have placed in my path. AMEN
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