“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.”  John 15:12-14

Last night I was reminded of what friendship is all about when I realized it was the greatest thing that ever came out of Zephyrhills Jr. High School in 1982.  In my opinion, never before this time nor since then, do I believe anything as great as this has ever come from this place.  An introduction between two 12 year old boys on the first day of science class.  A friendship, nurtured through time and tested with life’s most challenging events — death of family, marriage, abandonment, accomplishments and failures, betrayal and family crisis to only name a few.

I’ve thought about what life might be like without friends.  It’s pretty quiet to say the least.  No one to share life with or rejoice in victory.  No one that cheers and no one that listens.  A true place of isolation.  It reminds me of how I thought Wall-E must have felt (even though he was a robot) — but even he had a pet roach!

So I cherish my friend!  I am unable to express in words what his friendship really means to me.  But it pales in comparison to the worth of friendship my Father has of me!  As much as I value the one thing that has stood the test of time on earth, it too will pass.  My joy in this earthly friendship is knowing our lives will extend into eternity — into the presence of Christ — an eternal existence far more indescribable and greater than anything on earth.

So long as I’m still on this earth, everyday I am able to live in that heaven.  I experience the essence of what Christ intended in our relationships through the gift of this friendship He orchestrated.  His blessings, through friendship, is a reflection of His character living out in me and through Him, I am able to live in peace and joy of knowing the nature and future of our friendship.

It is merely a taste of the friendship the Father, through His Son, has for me!  Christ commanded us to Love one another as (He) has loved (us).  This is how we are to relate with one another and an example of Christ THROUGH you!  Our love — true love — is only possible THROUGH Him!  And when we do!  When we trust in His love towards our friends, He then says, “you are my friend!”

What?  Christ is my friend?  I have always understood Christ as my Teacher, Christ as His Son, Christ as my Sacrifice, Christ as my Life, Christ as my Comfort, Christ as my Rock, Christ as my Deliverer …. but friend?

How blessed I am to have a friend on earth that reminds me of what Christ means when He says He too is my friend!

by:  Mark Cruver

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