Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director, LHBC

John 15:12-13
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

Do you enjoy friendship? You probably said yes, but think deeper on that question for a moment.  We might like having friends, but do we actively partake in the blessing of those relationships?  In our busy world, it is healthy to stop and ask: “am I making time to love on my friends?  Am I making time to be loved on by my friends?”

In our fast-paced world, it is easy to take relationships for granted. Jesus commands us to love one another and models sacrificial love.  What are some areas in your life that are hard to give up for others?  Time?  A day on your calendar? A listening ear?  Sending a quick text or sharing a Facebook post are fun ways to stay in touch, but they don’t fill our need for human touch and emotion.  Our soul desires to feel heard, and it wants to respond to the needs of others.  Though technology continues to advance, pixels will never be able to replace real people. We need real laughter, real eyes, and real emotion.       

What are some of the benefits of spending time with friends?  A few things that come to mind are companionship, support, encouragement, help, fun, laughter, and a shoulder to cry on.  And there are many more! Proverbs 27:9 tells us that a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.  1 Thessalonians 5:11 calls us to encourage one another and build each other up.  Proverbs 27:17 reminds us that as iron sharpens iron, we sharpen one another.  We were not meant to go through life alone, but instead live with love, support and community.  Not only can we be nourished by these relationships, but we can nourish others as well.  

Friends like all relationships take time and effort, and occasionally repair and restoration. Christ leads the way and not only teaches us to love, but empowers us to love His way by the Holy Spirit in us.  “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:12-14

Name 1 friend in your life today: How can you show  (his or her name here)  sacrificial love this week?    

Father God, thank you for the people you have put in my life.  Teach me to nurture my friends and to allow people into my life to love and encourage me.  Convict me of any area I have let busyness take over my ability to connect with people and community.  Guide me in creative ways to love my friends and encourage them this week.  Grow the fruit of Your Spirit in me to follow your commandment to love others.  In Jesus Name, Amen.  

Psalm 27:1
The Lord is my light and my salvation;  whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?