How to be a friend and the results of being one, part 3
Over a few days I am exploring these verses in John 15 v9-17 focusing on friendship and love, with an action and a result to consider.
People are never convenient. If you wait till you feel like it, you will never have genuine fellowship, nor if you wait for things to be perfect. There can be a fantasy of what community should be like.
“He who loves his dream of community more than the Christian community itself becomes a destroyer of the latter … If we do not give thanks daily for the Christian fellowship in which we have been placed, even when there is no great experience, no discoverable riches, but much weakness, small faith, and difficulty; if on the contrary, we keep complaining that everything is paltry and petty, then we hinder God from letting our fellowship grow.” Bonhoeffer, a German pastor who was martyred for resisting the Nazis.
Action: Do it unselfishly.
What must be one of the most beautiful things Jesus said in v13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” A total act of self-denial. Being unselfish means you are probably going to be the one who gets hurt for the sake of friendship and to demonstrate love.
Only the kind know the disappointment of harshness.
Only the gracious are shocked at the response of selfishness.
Only the hospitable get taken for granted.
Only the givers stand out amongst the takers.
Only the generous see the greedy.
Only the Christlike are like Christ.
Sometimes it hurts.
But the alternative was not an option.
To do nothing was to turn out your light.
To ignore was to ignore who you are.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ”.
Result: Revelation of heaven.
Jesus said that as friends of Jesus, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. “v15.
A friend knows things that an acquaintance doesn’t. The closer you get the more you know.
God told Abraham things that He hadn’t told anyone else. Genesis 18 v17 Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?”
As we walk in love for others Jesus says we will be his friends. As that happens heaven will open and we will see and hear what others don’t.
We will see what God wants to show us. We will view the possession, the inheritance that is ours in Christ. We will see people who Christ died for.
We will weep. We will become like Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, “Oh, that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the slain of my people.” (9 v1) Oh that those who want to prophesy at the moment will be quiet and just weep. Yes God will bring good from the covid pandemic but today as we lay our lives down we understand what Jesus did for us. We can see the sacrifice and we can see his tears. It is the revelation from heaven. Those tears lead to further love for people and to befriend them.