I'd be lying to you if I did not admit to you that I have a favorite portion of scripture. A place in God's word that I can find myself resting is for good long periods of time.
Is it safe for me to say in times like this, days like these, that while I cherish the whole Word of God, that yes indeed I have a place marked where I enjoy it and cherish it the most? A hiding place, a refuge a sort of 'mine and Jesus' spot only? Is that allowed, knowing we're to revere every word from God and meditate on it day and night?
I am going to take an educated guess with those questions and launch my own physical E.M.P. and say "yes" to them all.
The place I find myself going to, time and time again isthe Gospel of John Chapter 15.
From the ESV, read with me:
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants,[a] for the servant[b] 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. 16 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. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.I don't know what your personal relationship with Jesus is, however I can tell you I often imagine myself in that room. As a disciple of Jesus, hearing these words, especially these words, "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".
If it were me, following Jesus those days as a disciple I truly would feel there was a distance between me and Him. In my heart of hearts, hearing His every word, witnessing His every miracle I would judge myself. In my woundedness I'd begin to compare myself to Him and my sins would crush me under their weight. Yet, as the disciples grew in strength and immunity under Christ's teaching there came a time to pivot, a time to transition - and Jesus nailed it quite well.
Knowing what was in their hearts, the fears they had, the concerns they left unvoiced and the general sense of uneasiness with their calling - He took them aside and man-to-man acknowledged their relationship for what it was. He immediately referred to them as servants "No longer do I call your servants" even sharing a servant does not know it's master business to set their hearts up for what was next:
"But I have called you friends."
Stop right there. "Wait a minute, back the fish truck up, you mean to tell me Jesus - I, me, Kurt Ramspott am your friend?"
I can see me and Him now in that room and the look He'd have on his face as only the Savior could pull off looking back at me saying, "Yes silly [PAUSE] you're my friend." Then me, starting to see spots, getting all woozy starting to go down with the other disciples catching me, reviving me and Jesus coming into view last as I wake up from almost fainting laughing with uproariously prolonged bursts of belly laughter with the other disciples having fun and all joining in.
Brother/sister if you want to know who you are in Christ, I'll tell you: As a disciple - YOU ARE - Jesus' friend (John 15:15).
Now go live like it!
Till next time,
Guys For Life and Kurt's Korner of Who You Are is adapted from: Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ by Neil T. Anderson
Image of Jesus from the DVD "The Gospel According to Matthew" Bruce Marchiano as Jesus