“I Call You Friends”

Reading Time: 8 Minutes

Update on a walk with Jesus

In yesterday’s article I wrote about taking a walk with Jesus to better appreciate his words, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love” (John 15.9). I would really like for readers of real-voices.com to take a walk with Jesus and visit with him about his astounding gift of love. If you do, please include your thoughts in the comments section or on Facebook.

I plan to take another walk and to visit some more with Jesus about his love. Here’s what I have discovered in the experience so far.

(1) I was a bit frustrated in the prayer time, because I think I was looking for some kind of feeling. Even though my feelings were not affected, my faith was increased. If I have to choose, I always choose faith over feelings.

(2) My daily prayers have focused on family, Maywood people, western Independence, the nation and the world. If the Father loves all of us with the same love he has for Jesus, then we can pray confidently for all of the people God places on our heart.

Please join me in this prayer activity. I feel each one of us has a role to play as we join God in his work in the world.

Love includes other people.

John 15.12-15“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.

15 “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love” (John 15.9). Because we experience his love, Jesus commands us to love one another in the same way he has loved us (verse 12).

God’s love works like this:

The Father loves the Son.
The Son loves people like us in the same way that he has experienced the Father’s love.
People like us are to abide in the love relationship that Jesus has offered us.
People like us are to give the Jesus-kind-of-love to other people.

Jesus did not make loving other people an optional “add on” to our life with him. He commands us to love other people with a Jesus-kind-of-love.

Someone says, “I love Jesus, but I have trouble with people.” Have you thought of how easy it is to love Jesus? He is the greatest Being to grace the face of the earth. He is the most loving and has the best personality of anyone. Sure, it is easy to love him.

What about loving other people? Some people are very easy to love. I have two grandsons who are the easiest people on earth for me to love. But, what about those people who are difficult to love?

Could it be that hard to love people are in my life, because Jesus wants me to learn about his kind of love. After all, he loved me when I was absolutely unlovable and had nothing to offer him. What if Jesus wants to develop me into being a loving person who has the characteristics of his love?

Another question, what if Jesus wants me to focus on my capacity to love, rather than working so hard to get others to like and/or love me?

Jesus’ command to love is the place where we can experiment with living his kind of life. Let’s not miss it.

How about another walk?

Jesus says to people like us, “I have called you friends” (verse 15). Please consider taking a 20 minute walk and talking to Jesus about what it means to be one of his friends. See what Jesus has to say to you during your walk.

Another Prayer Promise

John 15.16-17 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.”

Last Sunday, Coach Jake Taylor began a series of messages from Ephesians. He focused on verse 4 in the first chapter, “He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him” (Ephesians 1.4).

How amazing is that! It is beyond our comprehension that God has chosen us to serve alongside of him. Jesus has both chosen us and appointed us to bear fruit. What does this fruit involve? Here are two suggestions:

(1) We are to bear the “fruit” of a personality that is immersed in the life of the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5.22-23 – “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control . . .”

(2) We are to be witnesses to what Jesus has done for us, so Jesus can produce the “fruit” of another friend of God.

Matthew 28.19“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit . . .”

Notice the role Jesus gives to prayer in the process of bearing fruit. “Whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you” (verse 16).

Samuel Gordon in his book, “Quiet Talks on Prayer,” captured the role of prayer and producing fruit: “You can do more than pray after you have prayed but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.”

Your Turn

Please get alone with the Lord today and talk to him about his love for you and his desire to be your friend. Please use what Jesus gives you to pray for other people at this time in history.

Please let Jesus’ love for you deepen your love for other people.

If God has given you an insight into his love, please leave a comment on real-voices.com or on Facebook.

Today’s Prayer

Dear God, we are continually amazed when we consider your great love. As you reveal layer-upon-layer of your character, we see more deeply your loving heart. Please fill us with your Spirit, so we may bear the fruit of your love, peace and joy to those around us.

6 Comments

  1. As this blog marches on to to the verse of my life found in John 17:17, “Sanctify them by the truth, your word is truth.” I have to concur that feelings can be very inaccurate when an overlay of faith is placed over that feeling based on truth, which is grounded in the word of God. We are sent by means of that truth. My walks began well before the pandemic, but seem to be more of a blessing lately by bearing fruit in that I know my neighbors better than before. Sometimes I walk during the 7pm period where our coaches talk and pray. Some of those neighbors ask what I am listening to, and I tell them it is far better than anything from the media these days. This intensified infusion of the word has been a faith builder indeed! Thank you Bob for being part of my walk day by day…Now on to Ephesians…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Lee. I think God is leading several of us to do some walking and praying. I know you have seen answered prayers and I rejoice with you in them. May God give us all many more answered prayers to the glory of God!

    Like

  3. I commented yesterday but erased my honesty. I confess that I want to walk and pray – but an incident a few years back has left me fearful of going out alone. Mike would never allow it – even if I took the dog with me. I always had to meet my brother for my regular walks. I’ve been spending more prayertime focusing on the daily verses from John here at home or while driving to work but my mind is distracted by other drivers or the growing list of chores needing attention. I’m asking Jesus for the courage to walk with Him. For the trust that He will keep me safe. For an ever-growing relationship with Him. For deeper connections with our church body.
    I so enjoy the evening “church” time every day – its like an old-fashioned revival! Remember revivals? Do churches do those anymore? It seems like we are right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Praying for you Denise!

    Am a day behind and went for a walk on this just now. Was reminded of times when Jesus has been so generous and thoughtful with me when I did not feel worthy of it; recent things just in the past year. Made me pray and ask if there was a way I could surprise someone else with a thoughtful gift who may feel as I did in those moments (not good enough, not keeping up…).

    Thank you Bob for these blogs!

    Liked by 1 person

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