Perhaps one of the most scandalous truths in the Bible is that God desires relationship with us. We struggle to comprehend it. That an all powerful Creator would care about us as anything more than subservient subjects.

Yet Jesus told his disciples that he considered them friends! Not servants of some distant, all powerful Deity, demanding obedience and reverence. Or even employees working for a benevolent Boss. But friends. Confidants. Partners. Maybe even co-conspirators.

God delights in us so much that God desires our companionship. So lean in close and contemplate the wondrous and beautiful truth that you are a friend of Jesus.

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Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born from God. Whoever loves someone who is a parent loves the child born to the parent. This is how we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep God’s commandments. This is the love of God: we keep God’s commandments.

1 John 5:1-3a

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As a parent I get so happy when my kids do something without being asked. It can be as simple as taking their dishes to the kitchen or remembering to throw away the wrapper from their granola bar. It makes me happy, because I think these small actions are often choices of love. As if my kids are consciously telling me, “See Dad? I remembered what you said.”

Rules provide boundaries, help us respect one another’s needs, and even protect us from harm. But maybe it is more helpful to think of them as opportunities to love and care for one another.

We love God by keeping God’s commandments. And mostly these involve trying to love other people the way that God loves us. Where are God’s commandments creating possibilities for you to love today?

Chad Senuta

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Loving God, thank you for the gift of your commandments. As I go through this day, teach me to see them as openings to love you and others in my life. Help me to remember what you have taught me and to put it into practice. Amen.

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May relationship with God fill you with the delight of the One who delights in you.

May friendship with Jesus teach you to love, as you have been loved.

And may the companionship of the Holy Spirit free you to live and to share that which has been freely given.

Chad Senuta

Chad Senuta serves as the Associate for Youth and Campus Ministry for the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. He is passionate about helping young people develop a lifelong friendship with God. He lives in Northfield, IL with his wife Lisa and two daughters.

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

Ken Medema

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