Dear brothers and sisters,
Good afternoon. I didn’t expect our staff meeting took up the whole morning. And it is time for a farewell party for one of our coworkers, who left for health reason. Please pray that God will provide us her replacement: a graphic designer/IT support.
"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" (John 15:15). We never know the joy of self-sacrifice until we abandon in every particular. Self-surrender is the most difficult thing - I will if…! Oh well, I suppose I must devote my life to God. There is none of the joy of self-sacrifice in that.
As soon as we do abandon, the Holy Spirit gives us an intimation of the joy of Jesus. The final aim of self-sacrifice is laying down our lives for our Friend. When the Holy Ghost comes in, the great desire is to lay down the life for Jesus, and the thought of sacrifice never touches us because sacrifice is the love passion of the Holy Spirit.
Our Lord is our example in the life of self-sacrifice - "I delight to do Thy will, O my God." He went on with His sacrifice with exuberant joy. Have I ever yielded in absolute submission to Jesus Christ? If Jesus Christ is not our target, there is no benefit in the sacrifice; but when the sacrifice is made with the eyes on Him, slowly and surely the molding influence begins to surface.
Beware of letting natural kinship hinder your walk in love. One of the cruelest ways of killing natural love is to disregard natural kinship. The kinship of the saint is the Lord Jesus. Love for God is not sentimental, for the saint to love as God loves is the most practical thing.
"I have called you friends." It is a friendship based on the new life created in us which has no kinship with our old life, but only with the life of God. It is unspeakably humble, unblemished pure, and absolutely devoted to God.
We don’t even know how to become genuine friend with people let alone to be with God. Our idea of friendship becomes self serving. We want a friend to be our companion when we are lonely. We want a friend to be our helper when we have a project in mind. Our idea of friendship is becoming so self-centered. We may not care how other may feel or need. We only concern about how we feel and need. When we say we have no friend, we usually are complaining no body care about ME, or none pay attention to ME. Therefore, we choose friends that are influential, helpful, capable, smart, good looking and so on. We are like shopping for friends that we like for our own pleasure. But this is not the same way Jesus chose us as His friends. None of us will meet His standard if He were to choose us as His friend. He chooses us as His friend not because we are good and capable. It is purely His mercy and grace. I guess this is what we need to learn from our Lord in terms of building friendship in Christ.
Love you as a friend in Christ.