A Friend of Jesus
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. (John 14:12-14, NIV)
I had a buddy in high school named Trey Barr. Trey was never rude, self-seeking, easily angered, rebellious or slothful. He always smiled. He worked harder than anyone in the whole school at whatever he was doing. He had a perfect GPA. He crossed the finish line of every two-mile track event by collapsing over the line. He served longer, harder, and with more zeal than anyone I’ve ever known. Trey was also what I call a radical friend of Jesus.
Trey single handedly influenced my personal devotion and pursuit of relationship with Jesus more than any other peer. He proved his love for Jesus in the way he loved people and laid down his life—that is, his own wants and desires— for others.
My niece, Emma Jenkins is much the same, and she is followed by thousands on social media. She’s actually so happy, full of joy and radically serves others so genuinely that it really perplexes people. They think she’s totally weird because she is ALWAYS full of bubbly, positive personality, joy and encouragement, and is never obscure or caustic in her interaction with people. She has even been attacked and her life threatened on social media for being so nice.
As a result of loving Jesus with everything she has and always demonstrating love for people, over 100,000 people follow her on instagram and she’s growing to be a very influential speaker at student events all over the United States.
People think Emma is unhinged because she actually is so full of the Word of God and Jesus’ love that she literally now embodies this verse as fully as anyone I’ve ever seen:
Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:18-20, NIV).
TWO THOUGHTS ABOUT LOVE AND PURPOSE
- Loving people as Jesus loves them
Your purpose in life is being a disciple of Jesus. A disciple proves their discipleship by obeying Jesus’ commands, especially his greatest one. Jesus says obedience is the ONE THING that lets the world know you’re a true follower of Him.
Loving people as He loves them shows your obedience and proves you’re a follower of Jesus.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:35, NIV).
2. Laying your life down for your friends is SERVANTHOOD
Serving is the way to lay down your life. Giving what you have is serving. Investing your time, resources and energy for the benefit of others is the ultimate sign that discipleship is rooting in and you are fulfilling your purpose in life.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 14:13, NIV).
When you look at how I described Trey and Emma, what is it that makes them actually love people so sincerely? Are they exceptions to Christ’s expectation or are they a picture of a friend of Jesus? Why?
Ephesians 5:18-20 describes what happens when a person fills up with the Holy Spirit. What would change in you today if you filled up with the Holy Spirit as a true friend of Jesus?
Jesus, you have called me friend and I long for a deeper filling of your Holy Spirit. I pursue the true fullness of Joy in you today. By your spirit, I love people today. I thank you for every person you put in my life and I choose to empower people with service and love today in Your Name, Amen.
- DREAM TEAM – Get involved as fully as you can in serving in a ministry at Anchor Church. Visit www.myanchorchurch.com/dreamteam today and begin investing your life in serving others.
- GROWTH TRACK – register today for Step 1, 2 or 3 in the Growth Track at www.myanchorchurch.com/growthtrack. Then tell someone about what is happening in your journey to Know God.
- GET IN A GROUP – explore the opportunities to connect with other people in an Anchor Group at www.myanchorchurch.com/groups. You will grow and you will help others grow in their faith.