â€œThis is my commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesnâ€™t know what his lord does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you.â€ Â Â Â Â John 15:12-15 (WEB, my emphasis)
It is a wonderful (that word does not really express my heart but Iâ€™ll use it) â€“ a wonderful place in my life that I know that I am Godâ€™s friend and He is my friend! For many years, our relationship would have been described as acquaintances. Friendship means both parties not only want to be friends but are willing to put forth the effort it takes to make and keep the friendship. Godâ€™s effort was done when Jesus made the perfect sacrifice that covered all my sins. My effort is a daily choice to be His friend and live with Him as He lives with me. It is a life that is marked with hope, forgiveness, and love.
Do you know someone who speaks about or lives their life in hopelessness? Do they say they do not know how to forgive someone who has hurt or wronged them terribly? Maybe they do not know how to forgive themselves? Do you know someone who is desperately looking for love? Have you offered them Jesus? How long are we going to allow them to suffer?
There are as many ways to show Jesus to someone as there are â€“ commercials for cell phones! I just have to be willing and loving!
Live my life as Jesusâ€™ ambassador. Walk out my life in the spirit and truth of who Jesus is. That means that anyone who meets me â€“ meets Jesusâ€™ kindness, gentleness, compassion, and forgiveness. I am what I show myself to be. Not perfect â€“ just forgiven! This is the primary way to share Jesus with the world and we have no excuse not to do it! However, I do not believe it is the only way. People are going to ask, â€œHow do you survive ____?â€ or â€œYou never seem to get frustrated in this job. How do you do that?â€ A shrug or suggestion to take up palates is taking the easy way out and avoiding giving God the first credit for your life!
Share briefly how God has changed how you live or think. Everyone should have a three point, brief story to share about 1) how I was, 2) what happened/when I decided to make a change, and 3) how Jesus helped me to where I am now. It is not a sermon. It is a brief way to share that Jesus and your relationship with Him has made the difference that they see. You are not convincing them â€“ you are sharing Who has changed you!
Suggest they might want to listen or read something about Jesus that has helped you. Maybe you have recently read a Max Lucado book or listened to a CD that you could suggest. I have discovered a website that is awesome for someone who maybe did know Jesus but has let their relationship slide away or they think Jesus could not possibly forgive them for what they have done. It is Prodigals Only. It is Jesus in the 21st century â€“ inviting the prodigal home!
â€œI call you friends…â€ Come meet my best friend, Jesus. Youâ€™ll like Him.