Scripture: “You are my friends if you do what I command you. 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.
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 to you.
These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” John 15:14-17
Observation: I should pay attention to “if/then” type of statements in the Word of God—not as a formula for getting something (like many want to make them), but to see what is expected of me…
Analysis: Fall on my face and declare, “I am not worthy!”
That should be my predominate response to any of the Promises.
It isn’t. Not even close. Even when I remember, “Oops”, my worthiness is not the first (second, third, or even 100th) mental response concerning God’s mercy in promising things. Most of the time my response is “Cool. Let me file that away for a time when I will need it.”
Why should I have the attitude of “falling on my face?” Jesus calls me a friend. Do friends fall on their face to each other? Answer: Where did I forget the price paid for me?
My attitude has to do with how I perceive the situation of my relationship with Jesus—what do I deserve vs. what has been granted.
Take Jesus’ blunt statements: “You did not choose me. I chose you.”
In my experience, when I “choose” something, I think I retain some measure of control. However, in this case I have been “chosen.” What is that hairs breath of difference? My attitude. Look at the scene of Revelation (starting in chapter 4 and continuing) and the folks before the throne. Presumably they are “friends” like Jesus calls us. While all those guys acknowledge Jesus calling them friends, they don’t presume on that friendship but practice falling on their face, tossing crowns, etc.
I habitually forget I am a servant, really a servant, and not some privileged creature. Part of being a sinner, I suppose. Here are a few things that I try to keep front of mind:
- Chosen does not mean special (as in value comparison). After all, that selection is all the Triune God’s decision and only He knows what criteria He used.
- I have been called a friend. I still consider myself a servant.
- I am commanded to bear fruit. Still working on that lifetime assignment.
Hammer point: My relationship with Jesus is clear: He calls me friend. Do I deserve being called friend? From my POV, probably not—servant is all I deserve. Jesus is much more full of Grace than I am.
Prayer: Jesus, that you call me friend is more than I deserve. I have said that repeatedly in this post. Please help me not to presume on Your Mercy and Grace towards me. AMEN.