Monday, August 18, 2008

The Secret to Joy

This coming Sunday a couple of my long-time, and not recently seen, friends are to be at our church service. Those times always raise the stress level for me, wanting to "play" to them, all the while making sure that my focus is really on the Lord. For I DO know, it is about HIM and not about them, or me! ;O)

Anyway, thinking about my friends drew me to passages of Scripture that speak of friendship. I settled in John 15 where Jesus speaks of calling His disciples friends, not just servants.

What grabbed me is that He chose us.

Now I have chosen, or tried to choose, lots of people to be my friends. Some have responded kindly to my "choosing," while others did not even know that there was a friendship choice be offered. Needless to say, they did not choose me either. But, here in this passage, we have Jesus not only calling us friends, but choosing us, including us in His kingdom and work.

Now, this friendship, like all true friendships, demands responsibility. Here it comes in the form of obeying the command of Jesus, and what is that command but to love one another. Sounds easy enough.

The rub?

We are to love each other as Jesus loved us. We are to love selfless and sacrificially. So, the question before me is how do I do that, I mean apart from physically being crucified on a cross for my friends? I realize that "might" happen some day, but truthfully, the difficult part is not just found in the physical dying, but the physical living!

And yet, notice the great blessings that come from this obedience to His command of love. First, we are thus able to live in the midst of His love, and second His joy would be made complete in us. The secret to joy? Obey Christ's command to love, not just because He is God, but because He is our friend!

How blessed is that!?! May you know the blessed friendship of the Lord today, and may the Holy Spirit show us each how to live out the Lord's command of love.

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