Wednesday – October 18, 2017–Loving each other.
2 Corinthians 5:20 (NIV) We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
John 15:11-16 (NIV) 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.
Paul called Christ followers ambassadors. Jesus called them friends. Ambassadors represent the King and His Kingdom. Friends represent the Father and His business. Ambassadors and friends do not represent themselves and their own interests. Paul tells us what it cost him to represent the King. (Read 2 Corinthians 11:23-28). We all know the price that Jesus paid representing His Father.
Why are you a follower of Jesus Christ? Is it because you recognize Him as God; as one worthy of your devotion? Or do you follow Him because you want Him to bless you as you continue to go your own way and do your own thing? When you pray to God, in Jesus name, it is because He has chosen you to follow Him. As disciples we represent Him and when we pray in His name it is to advance our Father’s business. It is not about me and my world, it is about Jesus and His world. Being a follower of Christ is not for sissies. It is not for prima donnas, divas or those who insist on the limelight. It is not for those who want to be the center of attention. It is not for those who want the world to revolve around them. It is not for those who want to accumulate riches and keep them. It is for those who will learn to prefer and love others, to be concerned about others and to reach out to them. It is for those who will truly know what sacrifice is and be willing to embrace it as a disciple of Christ.
When you ask for something in His name to advance His business, the Father will give you whatever you ask for. Since what you ask for is not for you and your kingdom, but for Him and His Kingdom, it will produce eternal fruit that will not only last now, it will last forever.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for making me your ambassador while at the same time calling me friend. Help me to represent you well.
Proverbs 18 | Audio
Unfriendly people care only about themselves;
they lash out at common sense.
2 Fools have no interest in understanding;
they only want to air their own opinions.
3 Doing wrong leads to disgrace,
and scandalous behavior brings contempt.
4 Wise words are like deep waters;
wisdom flows from the wise like a bubbling brook.
5 It is not right to acquit the guilty
or deny justice to the innocent.
6 Fools’ words get them into constant quarrels;
they are asking for a beating.
7 The mouths of fools are their ruin;
they trap themselves with their lips.
8 Rumors are dainty morsels
that sink deep into one’s heart.
9 A lazy person is as bad as
someone who destroys things.
10 The name of the Lord is a strong fortress;
the godly run to him and are safe.
11 The rich think of their wealth as a strong defense;
they imagine it to be a high wall of safety.
12 Haughtiness goes before destruction;
humility precedes honor.
13 Spouting off before listening to the facts
is both shameful and foolish.
14 The human spirit can endure a sick body,
but who can bear a crushed spirit?
15 Intelligent people are always ready to learn.
Their ears are open for knowledge.
16 Giving a gift can open doors;
it gives access to important people!
17 The first to speak in court sounds right—
until the cross-examination begins.
18 Flipping a coin[a] can end arguments;
it settles disputes between powerful opponents.
19 An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city.
Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.
20 Wise words satisfy like a good meal;
the right words bring satisfaction.
21 The tongue can bring death or life;
those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
22 The man who finds a wife finds a treasure,
and he receives favor from the Lord.
23 The poor plead for mercy;
the rich answer with insults.
24 There are “friends” who destroy each other,
but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.