“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. 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.
…friendship with Jesus. We talk about it, we sing about it…do we live it? A question posed to me last week (posed through a book: A Fragile Stone by Michael Card) has stuck in my head and brings me to the verses in John.
The question(paraphrased): If you claim Jesus as your friend – how does He define you? Is there still a hunger to know Him? Was it a solid, emotional, meaningful relationship at the start…how is it now?
We’ve talked about it before, but I think we get too comfortable with the “process” of our walk. Too many read scripture, pray, praise, go to church…almost as if we’re wind-up toys. We are comfortable with tradition, not being challenged by the radical love of our Savior, our Creator, our Comforter. We look for ways to look good, to serve so we can say we’ve served. Sometimes it’s by choice; However, I think several of us fall into it gradually. We do something out of passion and/or obedience, then it becomes comfortable and tradition – we never question or pray if that’s where God wants us, we assume so…because it once was.
God shapes us for His good works, we don’t shape ourselves. He molds us, He is the potter. We are called to be obedient, to be the clay in His hands.
But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. [Isaiah 64:8 ESV]
It’s not OUR demands, but OUR surrender He wants. Around here at Crossroads (and other places) we refer to this as being chiseled on – God carving out His masterpiece in us.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. [Ephesians 2:10 ESV]
Notice we’re created IN Christ Jesus…us in Him and He in us (John 17). We need to keep that friendship open, working on the relationship. Staying in contact, following Him. Listening to His lead. Asking – Who am I in Jesus? How does His friendship define me?
We aren’t alone…He is the AUTHOR and PERFECTER of our faith. Stop and let that sink in a while. We don’t play either role…we don’t start/create…nor are we called to perfect it….He does. We run the race, endure, looking to Him.
How should our friendship with Him define us?…He should be our ALL, our EVERYTHING.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. [Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV]