A reflection on John 15:15
By Sharon Nelsen
“Let us rejoice and be glad for God has saved us,” was going through my mind. I remembered, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3.17). I recalled Jesus telling us, “I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. (John 10.9)
· What have you saved me from, Lord?
· How do you save me?
I wrote my prayer:
Dearest Friend Jesus whom I can address as friend because you called me as “friend” first. Thank you for wanting a deep and intimate relationship even as I have sought (and still sometimes seek) a relationship based on “I want,” “I need,” and “Please help me.”
All of that is human and good, but it is just a beginning. I may begin human friendships with needs – a need to be understood, a need for companionship, and a need for strengthening. But if the relationship stays at that entry level, it does not develop and grow; instead, it slides into a child-parent relationship of neediness; it is unbalanced.
Friendship is reciprocal—we lean on each other’s strengths. I think, Dear Lord, you are wanting me to understand how I lean on You, and how You lean on me; how I depend on You, and how You depend on me. That thought alone is almost too incredible to grasp!
How do I lean on You, Jesus?
I lean on You:
· For understanding – the enduring aspect and the temporal aspect in my part and in Your part as my life unfolds.
· For strengthening and courage on my journey and for boldness to speak up for truth.
· For Love – to know I am accepted “as is,” and to be able to love those who have hurt me, or use me, neglect me or abuse me.
· For forgiveness – of myself for my sins; of others who continually hurt me; of those who are annihilating whole groups of peoples through war, starvation, unemployment and greed.
· For joy – that cleanses me of the residues of sadness; that brings Your Light to my perceptions, enhances my perspective and celebrates our relationship.
And now, I ask You, Dear Divine Friend, how do you lean on me?
Beloved Friend, Beloved of My Heart-- Yes, I call you friend:
“I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.” (John 15.15)
I lean on you, dear friend to:
· Trust Me – entrust all needs, hopes, desires, and works to Me.
· Hear Me – take time to listen to my counsel before you begin any new work, whether it is writing, volunteering your services, taking a trip, running a meeting, whatever--I will not lead my beloved astray.
· Move for Me – to be my word, my hands, my healing touch, my eyes and my ears in the place where you are-- in these circumstances, with these people, for this purpose.
· Recognize your limitations AND gifts; My Power AND My Desire for you (The good, life-giving Will of Our Father)
· Remember and give thanks – When you do that, every good work grows. I can strengthen you for the next endeavor because you are open to My Way, My Grace.
· Rejoice and Celebrate with Me – Can anyone truly celebrate alone? Rejoicing with Me increases the power of God’s Deeds Done! The goodness spreads. That is why I have inspired you to write - to lift souls above the waves of despair into the heavens of hope.
Lastly, Dear Friend, I lean on you to let Me work through you; to save you in areas where you believe it is impossible. For “All things are possible with God.” (Mark 10.27b) As soon as you start to think something I have inspired in you is impossible, pray to Me for Truth to dispel the lie, and send the liar out.
I lean on you to let Me love you, now and forever,
Jesus, Your Eternal and Best Friend
Thank you Jesus, for letting “…your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.” (Psalm 80.4)
Thank you, that you tell me, “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.” (John 15.16)
May I place above all else our friendship, the friendship You have chosen -- especially when I am tempted to believe that I am “on my own;” that I have to do it all by myself.