Daily Devotional

John 15:12-17

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 know to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

This charge given to Christ’s disciples is so inspiring. He starts out commanding his disciples to love one another and then gives a description of the ultimate expression of love…to give your life for your friends—and Christ did just that on the cross. We are commanded to love one another!  How do I apply this commandment to my life?

One of my fondest memories helped me begin to understand this. In 1975 Jim began Seminary at Talbot in Southern California. Our apartment in North Hollywood was on the bottom floor. Our new friends, Monnie and Joane lived in the apartment above us. We were so very thankful to have friends in our lives during those stressful Seminary days! We loved one another through shared meals together, cared for each other through deep trials and celebrated joys together.  

One day Monnie and Joane said they needed to meet with us. We gladly invited them downstairs curious to hear what was on their mind. They told us that they had come to a decision. They had decided to become “life-long” friends for us. They explained that they wanted to be committed to us, no matter where we lived, no matter what challenges we would face in the future…they would be there for us. Both Jim and I never expected this! We never had anyone in our lives make this kind of commitment. We were humbled and honored. The commitment to be life-long friends became mutual.

Our friendship continued to grow—even to the point of preparing wills that would grant each other their kids if anything happened. We went on vacations together and ministered together.
We have not lived in the same town for years—but that doesn’t stop our friendship. To this day, we know that our mutual commitment to love one another is rock solid. When we need each other, we are ready to take action. Monnie and Joane chose us to be their life-long friends, we chose them to be ours. We have loved each other through the years and will continue to do so on into Heaven.

FOR PARENTS:
1. Teach your children that Jesus is the ultimate example of love, loyalty and friendship.
2. Teach them the meaning of the words: Love, loyalty, friendship.
3. Pray with your children regularly that they will learn to be good friends.
4. Acquire the book “Wise Living in a Foolish Age” by Jim Cecy. I highly recommend this book for parents to go through with their kids. Through Proverbs it teaches on a variety of subjects. There is a section on “The Friend” that will help you guide your kids on the topic of Friendship.  
"English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers."
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