Love: Chosen Friends?
“This is my commandment, that you love one another 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 what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
John 15:12-19 English Standard Version (ESV)
True friendship is a beautiful thing. It usually means we actually like those whom we profess to love. We all have people we love but who we may not like so much. Many people have those they label as a "BFF" ("Best Friend Forever"), but what person really deserves this title? In Jesus Christ, we have a Friend who laid down His life for us and One who offers us eternal love. As we follow Him, we realize that we have been chosen to experience the ultimate friendship. He loves us and has promised to never leave or forsake us. And He calls those who follow Him "friends"! Can we really count on anyone but our Friend, Jesus, to die on a cross to ensure that we may have fellowship with Him forever in God's Kingdom?
Christ has chosen us as His friends for a reason. As we love one another, we bear fruit showing ourselves to be friends of God through obedience and sharing our knowledge of His goodness. As believers, we profess Jesus as our Lord and Savior, but we did not choose Him. He chose us to befriend, to love and to save. He walked among us, showing us how to live as those in a loving friendship with God because the world at large does not know Him. He wants His friends to share this friendship with others. Sometimes the world gets a little uncomfortable around God's chosen friends because there is a lot of power in this relationship. Following Christ gives us a true Friend in high places.
When the world does not show love to us, we must always remember we are in the good company of our one and only forever Friend, Jesus Christ. The world hated Him first, but He is still the Best Friend we will ever have. We are commanded to love each other, not the world, and Jesus has chosen that His friends be out of this world, even as we now live in it.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 NIV