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Relationship, Not Religion

May 28, 2017

Greetings,

Jesus said:

“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.  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.  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last.  Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.  This is my command: Love each other.”  John 15: 12-17

This is oh so very simple.  Jesus desires that we love Him and one another.  We were created to be in an agape and phileo love relationship with the Lord and each other.  Jesus wants to be friends with us.  We are called to be in a relationship with Him that goes deeper and is much more personal than He just being Master and us being His servants.  Christ’s example indicates that being friends is perhaps our highest calling in this life.  This relates to my last blog about making disciples.  The best and most effective way of making disciples is via friendship.  That is exactly how Jesus treated and taught His disciples.

Friend to friend is how we reach others for the Kingdom, not teacher to student, Pastor to “layperson” or Clergy to “laity”.  Knowing these things should lead us to view everything through the lens of relationship, instead of the lens of religion, tradition or doctrine.  When we read and try to understand the bible we should do so in a relational manner.  The Spirit will lead us into all truth and I say that all truth is relational truth.  When we approach the bible in this manner we will see it as living, alive and real; instead of a book of rules, dead letter and regulations.  If you look for relationship, love, grace and freedom you will find it there.  However, if you take a non-relational approach you will just find dead religion instead of Christ.  Taking a purely academic approach will fail you also.  To understand the text you will have to use your heart more than your head.  They say most people miss God by only 18 inches…the distance between your brain and your heart.

Jesus is the King of Kings and He commands that we be in a loving relationship with Him and one another.  To make a friend you have to be a friend.  It involves laying your heart and everything else on the line.  To know Jesus is to Love Him and to love Him you must surrender everything, including your personal comfort zones.  In the process of making friends you end up making disciples.  The challenge is to love Jesus and those He places in your life each and every single day.

Love and…..

Kirk Out !

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 Comments
  1. Hi Brother Christopher,

    There is another layer to this verse which only strengthens your point. In biblical times, and even today in some parts of the world, to be a friend is to be in covenant. The passage you quote is from a longer passage including chapters 14-17, in which Jesus is telling His twelve disciples, now friends, of how the kingdom operates-He in the Father, the Father in Him and the disciples in them both. The precursor event of his monolog is the last Supper. During that meal, Jesus took “the cup, ‘and said, this is the New Covenant in My blood.

    A little background. A covenant in those days was called “cutting covenant” because blood was always a part of the ceremony of entering into covenant. Often it was a cut in the wrist of both covenant parties, pressed together. The symbolism is one of joining in blood. My blood becomes yours and yours mine. Now that we are one in blood, all that is mine is yours and vice versa. A good example is David and Jonathan. Their covenant extended to Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth. He was considered David’s son because of the covenant of the two men.

    Now the beautiful part. Once a covenant was established, the two called each other “friend.” We use the term for too lightly. Friendship meant that they were in a relationship to death, each considered himself bound to the other in a lifelong promise to care for, share all life’s ups and downs and this would last to death and beyond death to the children’s children-basically forever.

    When Jesus captures our heart, we are bound in a blood covenant, through His shed blood, in a binding covenant. What is His is ours; what is ours is His. He promises on His own blood to care for us, to keep us in Himself. And, in covenant with Him, we are in covenant one with another. We, too, are “friends,” and can legitimately use that title for one another in its deepest meaning. There is no closer relationship than this covenant. Marriage is the closest thing we have to it.

    So, yes, we are to be in relationship one with another with the only One above us is He who cut the covenant on our behalf, He who calls us friends and brings us into the friendship with Himself and each other.

    All we who call on His name are in covenant. There is no room for division or hierarchy or even dissention. No matter how far apart our beliefs may be about some doctrinal position, we are still brothers and sisters in Him and those differences become minor when we both look to our covenant Head and recognize our covenant relationship with Him and with one another.

    It hearkens back to your post a few days ago on unity which is based in the same principle.

    So, brother, friend, blessings,

    Win

    • Win, thank you for sharing and teaching us here today. Covenant relationships are very deep and rich for sure. It all boils down to loving others as Jesus does.

    • tom ball permalink

      Well said, Win. Thank you for this.

  2. Sue heumann permalink

    So many things I’m reading tight now point to this very thing. Love others as Jesus loves us! Wow. Unity, not conformity. Looking past differences and seeing the relationship of Jesus love between us. Thank you for your confirmation of truth today! Meeting new folks who I’m sure there will be dinferences with. Looking for Jesus in all of us!

    • Sue, thank you for your confirmation today. I am praying for you as you meet new folks.

  3. Sue heumann permalink

    Yep, differences, but yep, Jesus was seen! Thx for prayers👏🙏😘

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