I love my dog, Chester. Chester is now 11 years old. My daughters often would say to me that I love Chester more than I love them. The reason is because when they would get home from school and if I wasn’t there, I would call them and ask if Chester was OK. My one daughter would say, “Thanks mom, my day was good,” meaning I had not asked about her, but asked about Chester. I learned how this really bothered them when one day they came to me and asked me how would they know that I love them more than I love Chester. My response to them was, “Because I would give my life for you.”
In John 15:12-21, Jesus says, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Well, I said I would lay down my life for my children – not my friends! And, would I ever be able to give up my child for the sake of others? NO! I don’t honestly think I could do it! But, yet it is what God did for us – gave up His Son for us! It is what God is calling us to do.
In fact in John’s text, Jesus says, “You are no longer servants, but my friends…” (v.15).
“…the Father will give you whatever you ask Him in my name.” Jesus is saying that I cannot do the impossible, but God can! And, he says that we are to love one another as I have loved you. And so, this begs the question: Are you willing to demonstrate your love for others by giving your life to Christ? What is more important to you – Living in this world or living a life of Christ, regardless of the consequences? I don’t think we can answer that question until we are presented with that choice. However, with Jesus Christ, we can know that what we need when we need it, will be given to us – if only we ask.
Let us pray…Gracious God, we pray that we never must face the kind of persecution that you faced. We pray that our children are never in harms-way because of our work for you. Help us to know that when we bear fruit for you, you are there to always keep us safe and sound. Send your Holy Spirit giving us the strength to live for you alone. In your name we pray, Amen.