“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other. ” (John 15:12–17, NIV)
He who spoke the universe into existence. He who breathes life into every living creature on earth. The One in whose image every human being has been created. This high and mighty God, looks at those who follow Him and says, “I no longer call you servants…I call you friends.”
As a follower of Christ, you are a friend of God. Now think about that for a minute. Because it is, in fact, the distinguishing characteristic of our faith.
Examine any other religion in the world, and you will not find a god that is being served whose compassion so moved him to condescend from his throne on high to dwell among his creatures. Not only that, our God willingly enters into the sufferings of His creatures in order to redeem them and this world. No other theistic religion in the world will make this claim!
You are a friend of God and no greater love has anyone than he who lays down his life for his friends. And that is exactly what He did for you and I.
We did not earn His favor. We did not merit His love. We were dead in our trespasses and sins and dead people don’t move!
And so, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He love us, God moved first. He made us alive together with Christ. For by grace you have been saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.
Did I already say unimaginable?
If this is true, and it most certainly is, do we need any greater motivation for us to go out and do the same? That’s the point Jesus is making!
Those who have received this great love must share this great love. Those who have been forgiven much, must forgive much. Those who have been given mercy, must show mercy. In other words, do unto others as it has been done unto you. Jesus is our example. Go and do the same. He withholds nothing from those who walk in the ways that He has prepared beforehand.