TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES: TRUE FRIENDSHIP
Our sermon series Truth or Consequences continues with the sermon True Friendship. All of us understand the power of friendship. One of the most difficult moments in life is when we doubt the genuine friendship of the people around us. When we cannot trust our friends, it leads to fear and uncertainty. Life during the pandemic was framed by a loss of this basic, but critical reality. It will take time to rebuild this relational fabric in our society. How do we rebuild the fabric of friendship? Our scripture this Sunday is John 15:5-17. One of the great statements of friendship is found in these verses: Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13) “If you want a friend, then be a friend,” is the way an old saying goes. Jesus communicates God’s desire to be our friend. This a friendship like no other because it can give us joy that helps our lives to thrive! When we follow Jesus’ directions, we find the truest friend that we could ever imagine. It is our prayer that you will be filled with the joy of Christ as you read John 15:5-17: 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 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. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit– fruit that will last– and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.