"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).
The old hymn, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" comes to mind immediately as I read this scripture. The song title needs an exclamation point at the end. Actually the phrase continues "All our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!" Truly, we are so blessed to have Jesus as our ultimate friend in life. No matter how troubled our lives may be or how discouraged we feel, we can come to Jesus with every burden and lay it down at his feet. And he will carry it for us.
As the scripture says, Jesus calls us to be a friend to others as well. We are to open our hearts and love each other. Sometimes we may feel lonely and sorry for ourselves, thinking that we don't have a friend in the world, but that is the time we need to reach out and love others. Jesus calls us to be a friend and to share his love. Perhaps you know someone who is feeling lonely or sad. Jesus commands us to love each other. He has shown us all that he learned from his Father and he chose us to bear fruit that will last. Showing love to others creates a fruitful life.
In this season of Thanksgiving I'm so thankful to know my ultimate friend, Jesus. "In His arms He'll take and shield thee; Thou wilt find a solace there."
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV).