Many have questioned what Jesus means in John 15:12-14. History shows that some heroes of faith did indeed lose their lives for God’s and others’ sakes. There’s more, though. Friends are those you have something in common with. In this case, it’s God and all that He is and what He has called us to do and be. What Jesus is saying is look out for each other in every way: physical needs, safety and spiritually. While it’s wonderful to care outside the circle of believers and provide for needs, Jesus specifically targets believers and followers as the recipients of this special kind of love that He showed to the apostles and us.
Scripture: John 15:12-14
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man more than this, than to lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.
Father God, You may not require me to sacrifice my physical life for the ones I love, but You may require some other act of love that may cost me in terms of comfort, time or money. Help me to be like Jesus and rely on Your power, strength and support to be and do all that You would have me be and do regardless of how I feel about it. Help me to always place Your will above my own so I can truly be about Your business. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Things to Think, Pray and Journal About
1. Have you ever provided food, clothing or shelter for believers?
2. Have you ever been led by the Spirit to donate funds or goods to a ministry even though you knew you were sacrificing from your table or pocketbook? Would you do it again?
3. Have you been led to give encouragement or time to a believer when you were sick? Did you ask God to empower you to do and be what you knew He wanted you to do and be in spite of how you felt? What happened?
4. Have you ever felt discouraged or depressed when someone turned to you for encouragement or some other need? Did you ask Jesus and the rest of the Trinity for help to be their instruments in whatever the needs were in spite of how you felt? What happened?
5. When you know of a need, what’s your first thought: “God will provide” or “How can I help”?
copyright 2014, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved