As I read this passage in my devotions time this morning, something else struck me, actually a couple of things. If we are reborn, are we in a relationship with Jesus? Is it still a casual relationship where we might recognize Him in circumstances or in a word someone says? Or, have you moved to that deep intimate relationship where you walk together, laugh together, cry together, lay your burdens down and follow His lead? Is He a friend where you know you can rely on Him no matter what your circumstances may be and not “blame” Him because things aren’t the way you think they should be?
That last question is important. Friends in this world may disappoint us and even hurt us at times. Sometimes we are fortunate enough that we have found a relationship that has survived the storms, but most times we drift apart and look for another “friend” who will, hopefully, not hurt or desert us.
But Jesus will never leave or forsake us. We are His workmanship with a life plan that was created before we were born! Not a plan to hurt us, but a plan to be His hands and feet and love on this earth, to reflect His glory, and most importantly, to give Him glory!
It took something so tragic, so utterly heartbreaking before the disciples understood what Jesus was saying and what they had been trained for. But once they were “baptized” with His power, they were changed. They became like Jesus. They no longer considered their lives on this earth as “home”, they kept their eyes on the eternal home. They now, like Jesus did for them, were able to “lay down” their lives for their “friend”, Jesus.
They didn’t go out intending to die, they went as they were lead and trusted Him in each circumstance, no matter how devastating it might be. Rather than look at the present situation, they looked and listened and, most importantly, praised Him through it all.
Where are you in your walk today? Each of us have circumstances daily in our lives where we need to make a choice, do we follow what God has chosen for us, or do we choose to satisfy our own will? I can think of several everyday situations that God lays before us to choose Him. Do we even stop and ask Him or are we so focused on our desires that we don’t even consider meeting someone else’s needs.
Jesus gave us several examples in His word. Probably the first one most of us might recall is that husbands should lay down their lives for their wives. It works both ways, in other words, place one another’s needs before our own. That takes laying down our lives and setting aside our pride and seeking to see what our “friend” needs and compromising so both have value in the other’s eyes. And, guess what? Jesus was just glorified and you fulfilled the commandment to love one another and laid down your life for another. It’s the same with our children, it’s been a long day, all you want to do is relax but they need help with their homework, they may have a school activity, they just may need your attention because they didn’t have a great day either.
Beloved, what a love letter from our Lord and Savior! Won’t you join me today in thanking Him for His amazing love?
Dear Abba, we bow our knees before You today, thanking You for creating us to be in a deep intimate relationship with You. It’s so hard sometimes to consider that the One who created us, set a plan for our lives, gave Himself up to death on a cross for us, then sits at Your right hand interceding for us, can be both Lord of our lives and a “friend”. Yet as we read Your word, we can learn how that is true by walking with the disciples and Jesus. Thank You that You love us so much You spoke through them to guide us on our paths. Our paths may have different circumstances because of culture or advancement of technology, but the situations are really no different. How often we find ourselves in a boat, in a severe storm and think we are going to die, and yet all we need to do is go to Jesus and ask for help. Today, Lord, we ask for the eyes of our hearts to be open and to have the mind of Christ to begin making decisions based on Your love and to serve one another that will bring You glory. Lord, teach us to to readily pray “Thy will be done, not mine” and mean it. We love You! Amen.