“Making & Keeping Friends”
a devotional by Jackie Tahtinen

Friends…they can make our lives great and they can even frustrate us sometimes, yet everyone wants a friend…a really, really good one that you can go to and share your greatest joys with, that you can laugh all night long with, or even cry with when something just doesn’t go the way you wanted it to.

Sometimes we get into relationships and we start to think all about “ME”.  We want others to do for me, we want our friends to give to me, we just want to be fulfilled and we require so much from others around us.

Jesus says in John 15:12-15

12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that one 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 slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.

Jesus commanded us to love others, He did not command others to love us…
We need to consider how we can be a friend to others.  These verses are giving us some guidelines in our friendships.

  1. It says to “love one another”. It’s easy to love ourselves, but when it comes to others sometimes it’s not so easy.  We may think we love others, but are we “being nice” to them to get something in return?
  2. It says we “lay down his life for his friends”. Wow, does that really mean to die for our friends?  We should allow our inner desires to “die” and think of others first.  For example, allowing your friend to get the recognition for a job well done instead of you always being in the spotlight, or allowing them to make the decision about what to do next.  We should be willing to sacrifice our will for the benefit of others.

Did you know that Jesus calls us HIS friend?  In John 15:15 it says, “but I have called you friends”.  Jesus loved us; He loved us so much that He did actually physically die for us.  That’s pretty serious love!!!  YOU have an opportunity to be Jesus’ friend.  You can accept that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, believe that you are in need of this sacrifice because of your sinful condition that we are all born with, and then confess that Jesus is the only One that can change that sinful heart and make it whole again*.

You know, since Jesus so willingly died for you so you can be His friend, don’t you think that you can love others enough to sacrifice your will for them?

How can you start becoming a better friend to others?

*If you are wanting to know more about Jesus’ love and how to be called His friend, please contact us at camp (camp@llbc.org). You can message us and we will get back with you.   You can also talk to your pastor or church worker.  These people love Jesus and love you and would be so willing to talk with you about Him.

In Him,
Jackie Tahtinen