Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
My commandment is this – to love one another just as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this – that one lays down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. John 15.12-14
What a challenge! At first glance, one might think that this is an easy thing to do. Love one another. Sure, I can do that. However, if you have ever worked in a public job, you know how difficult people can be to like, much less to love. This love is a decision to do the best thing for a person. The emotions involved are not important. That is how it is possible to love our enemies, Matthew 5.44. It is a decision. That sometimes means putting aside our emotions to do the right thing. Not something that comes naturally to the general population. We have been fed the lie that my enemy does not deserve my good will, after all he is my enemy. But Jesus went to the cross when I was still his enemy, Romans 5.10. He died for me and for you. He demonstrated how great God’s love was for us. But, Jesus here is talking about laying down our life for our friends. Loving our friends. Should be easier, should it not? My relationship with Jesus is dependent on my obedience to him. Without that, there is no relationship with Jesus. If there is no relationship with Jesus, then there is no relationship with God. How is your friendship with Jesus?