Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Being God’s Friend

John 15:14

You are my friends if you do what I command.

Life ChangeIf you’ve ever helped raise children – you know the heart of every parent is for their children to listen to them and grow to make good decisions. We train and discipline them to behave properly. We spend their lifetime trying to equip them to have good morals and values – to trust in God and follow His teachings. Every morning – as our girls were headed to school – my wife told them – make good choices – watch your surroundings – and listen to the Holy Spirit. Wise words to guide your life.

I was listening to Andy Stanley this morning and he was talking about treating his children well. If anyone didn’t treat them well – he was their enemy. The Papa Bear came out in him when his children were mistreated – and look out for Sandra – his wife – because she was a very protective Mama Bear.

We want the best for our children – and so does God. Jesus said – you are my friends if you do what I command. Speaking to His followers – and even to the whole world – we can consider ourselves friends with Jesus if we follow His commands. Do we know His Word? It is in knowing the Bible that we know the commands of Jesus. Two significant commands of Jesus – according to Jesus – encompass the entirety of the Ten Commandments. Mark 12:30 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. God wants us to obey Him – to follow His commands. Jesus wants us to follow the example He set forth.

Here’s today’s passage in partial context. Mark 12:28–34 – 28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.” 32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

As we approach the cross today – as we remember the love of Christ as He died for our sins – let’s model His love to one another. Jesus loved us so much that He died for us. The Father loved us enough to send His only Son. They have modeled for us the love that we should show to one another. Even our enemies. Matthew 5:43–45 – 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor  and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

As we walk toward the cross today (hope you can attend our Good Friday service at 7 pm tonight or somewhere today) – let’s open our hearts to the love of God and let it transform us after His likeness. Loving one another is the command of God and we are His friends when we obey.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

April 19, 2019 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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