Christ's Friendship: Its Evidence

Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. - John 15:14

"He began with absolute surrender of His life for us. He can ask nothing less from us. This alone is a life in His friendship. This truth of the imperative necessity of obedience, doing all that Christ commands us, has not the place in our Christian teaching and living that Christ meant it to have. ...The secret thought that it is impossible to do the things He commands us, and that therefore it cannot be expected of us, and subtle and unconscious feeling that sinning is a necessity have frequently robbed both precepts and promises of their power....Surely our Lord ask nothing less than that we heartily and truthfully say: 'Yea Lord, what You command, that will I do.' These commands are to be done as a proof of friendship.  The power to do them rests entirely in the personal relationship to Jesus." - Murray

It seems that the Lord's commands
 to abide and obey
do seem like they are unattainable
...therefore why try? 
The point and very aim of scripture is to point us to this fact:
we can't do it. 
I can't do it. 
I cannot abide. 
I cannot obey. 

I need to be brought low to be lifted up. 
As I humble my heart and admit that I can't,
Jesus lifts my chin and meets my eyes and says,
"With God all things are possible."

So that it s the theme: 
you can't, but He can! 
Jesus is the enabler and strength we need to abide and obey. 



Click HERE  to hear the song below:

You dwell in the songs that we are singing
Rising to the Heavens, rising to Your heart, Your heart
Our praises filling up the spaces
In between and frailty and everything You are
You are the keeper of my heart

And I'm restless, I'm restless
'Til I rest in You, 'til I rest in You
I'm restless, I'm restless
'Til I rest in You, 'til I rest in You
Oh God, I wanna rest in You

Oh, speak now for my soul is listening
Say that You have saved me, whisper in the dark
'Cause I know You're more than my salvation
Without You I am hopeless, tell me who You are
You are the keeper of my heart
You are the keeper of my heart

And I'm restless, I'm restless
'Til I rest in You, 'til I rest in You
I'm restless, I'm restless
'Til I rest in You, 'til I rest in You
I wanna rest in You

Still my heart hold me close
Let me hear a still small voice
Let it grow, let it rise
Into a shout, into a cry

Still my heart hold me close
Let me hear a still small voice
Let it grow, let it rise
Into a shout, into a cry
And I'm restless, I'm restless
'Til I rest in You, let me rest in You
I'm restless, so restless
'Til I rest in You, 'til I rest in You
Oh God, I will rest in You
by Audrey Assad

I love the line, "you're more than my salvation." 
I don't want to be drawn to Him only for safety.
I want to be drawn to Him for my very existence.

Christ's Friendship: Its Origin

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. - John 15:13

"He gave His life for us in death not merely as a passing act that when accomplished was done with; no, but to make Himself ours for eternity. Life for life; He have His life for us to possess that we might give our life for Him to possess. This is what is taught by the parable of the Vine and the branch, in their wonderful identification, in their perfect union....His life for his friends. How wonderful the lessons of the Vine, giving its very life to its branches! Jesus gave His life for His friends. And that love gives itself to them and in them. My heavenly Vine, O teach me how wholly You long to live in me!" - Murray

My life comes from Christ.  What does that mean in the everyday?
It means I have the ability to eat when I'm a 0.
It means I have the ability to not yell at Jack all day.
It means I have the ability to glorify God all day long.

I want to live in You, O Christ.  I sometimes think of "hard things" that I must rely on You for....like forgiving a hurtful person....like keeping my tongue from evil....but You are my life so that I can do what is good and easy as well.  I can clean.  I can be patient. I can sit and play.  Lord, teach me what Your will is for me today...everyday.  I sometimes feel like I'm on a treadmill and I just keep doing the same things everyday.  Show the variety of life and the excitement of being a stay-at-home mom.


As I Have Loved You

This is My commandment, that ye love one another. - John 15:12

We are to love, as Christ loves.  That seems impossible.  You here "love others" and your mind immediately goes to that one person that has wronged you, shunned you, spread lies about you, etc.  In other words, we immediately think of those people that are "impossible" to love.  Then, we are discouraged because we cannot love them. So before we've even tried - we feel as if we've failed this one great commandment that Jesus so plainly lays out for us.  However, we miss the "even as I" phrase....loving like Christ means a few things.  First, it does mean love everyone (sorry!) - Second, it also means love in the power that Christ loves.  Where does Christ's love come from - Himself: THE VINE.  Where do we get the power, the ability, the love to love others?  THE VINE!  "even as I" means that we draw the power to love only through being completely connected to the Vine. 

Murray says:

"How are we to begin if we are really to learn the mystery? With the confession that we need to be brought to an entirely new mode of life, because we have never yet known Christ as the Vine in the completeness of His quickening and transforming power. With the surrender to be cleansed from all that is of self and detached from all that is in the world, to live only and wholly as Christ lived for the glory of the Father. And then with the faith that this "even as I" is indeed what Christ is ready to make true, the Vine will maintain that very life in the branch wholly dependent upon Him."


Love One Another

This is My commandment, that ye love one another. - John 15:12

God is love
In His love He brought forth creatures,
that He might make them partakers of His blessedness.

Christ is the Son of God's love,
the bearer,
the revealer,
the communicator of that love.

The Holy Spirit is the
Spirit of love.
He cannot impart Christ's life without imparting His love.
Salvation is nothing but love
conquering and entering into us;
we have just as much of salvation as we have of love.

Love your brethren as the way to abide in the love of your Lord.
Christ means it: You must obey, or you cannot abide in His love.

But I have tried and failed.
I see no prospect of living like Christ.
that is because you have failed to take in the first word of the parable -
"I am the true Vine: I give all you need as a branch, I give all I Myself have."

He will teach you to love, even as He loved.



Sometimes I feel as I need a whole year on the topic of "joy"!  Maybe that will be good for 2011....

Joy: as explained by Andrew Murray in "The True Vine":
(John 15:11)
"That my joy may be in you. -  We are to have Christ's own joy in us. And what is Christ's own joy? There is no joy like love. There is no joy but love. Christ had just spoken of the Father's love and His own abiding in it and of His having loved us with that same love. His joy is nothing but the joy of love, of being loved and of loving. It was the joy of receiving His Father's love and abiding in it, and then the joy of passing on that love and pouring it out on sinners. It is this joy He wants us to share: the joy of being loved of the Father and of Him; the joy in our turn of loving and living for those around us. This is just he joy of being truly branches: abiding in His love and then giving up ourselves in love to bear fruit for others. Let us accept His life, as He gives it in us as the Vine; His joy will be ours: the joy of abiding in His love, the joy of loving like Him, of loving with His love."

So many times I look around me to find joy.  And then I look inside me (as told to do by the world) to find joy.  Neither provide the true joy!  Only looking to Christ will I find joy - contentment in my circumstances.  How can I be content in Christ? By realizing that He loves me and the Father loves me as well.


Born to Die - Bebo

Christmas from the angel's perspective:

They never knew a dark night
always had the Son's light
on their face
Perfect in glory
Broken by the story
of untold grace...
come that day

Majesty had come down
Glory had succumed now
to flesh and bone
In the arms of a manger
In the hands of strangers
that could not know
Just who they hold
And the angels filled the sky
All of heaven wondered why
Why their King would choose to be
Be a baby born to die

And all fell silent
For the cry of an infant,
the voice of God
Was dividing history
For those with eyes to see,
the Son would shine
From earth that night
To break the chains
Of guilt and sin
To find us here
To pull us in
So we can join in Heaven's song
And with one voice around the throne

All the Angels filled the sky
And I can't help but wonder why
Why this King would choose to be
Be a baby born for me
Be a baby born
Be a baby born to die

Ye, Even As I

If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love, Even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love." - Joh 15:10

"He was made like us in all things,
that we might be like Him in all things.
He opened up a path in which we may walk
 even as He walked.
He took our human nature
to teach us how to wear it,
and show us how obedience,
as it is the first duty of the creature,
is the only way
to abide in the
favor of God
and enter into
His glory.
And now He cames to instruct
and encourage us,
and asks us to keep His commandments,
even as He kep
His father's commandments
and abides in His love....
In accepting
and doing
His will,
I rise into fellowhip
with Him.

The branch cannot
bear fruit
except as it has exactly the same
life as the Vine.
Our life is to be
the exact counterpart
of Christ's life....

Do let us take from our Lord
the lesson of
as the secret of
Let us confess that simiple,
universal obedience
has taken too little the place it should have.
Christ diedf or us as enemies,
when we were
He took us up
into His love,
now that we are in Him,
His Word is:
'Obey and abide; ye, even as I.'
Let us give ourselves
to a willing
and loving obedience.
He will keep us abiding in His love."

How do I abide?
Live in obedience.
Obey the commands.
Live a life marked by
Have a life marked by


Obey and Abide

Many of my friends, with whom I grew up, have forsaken all things related to God.  They may still claim to be Christians....maybe attend church once in a blue moon, but their lives are stark contrasts to everything that God has asked them to do.  They have forsaken His commandments and done what they wanted.  

I have to admit, sometimes I am overwhelmed with all the things that God has commanded me to do.  Usually it is in a particular character trait or attitude that He is trying to instill in me.  For example, forgiveness was the theme of last year.  After weeks, and then months of struggling to forgive, I gave up trying to do it on my own.  It was a very freeing event to have surrendered to God my inability to forgive on my own, and then see Him transform my heart so that I can honestly say I have forgiven that person.  Even though I did let God forgive through me, I still had to do my part.  I had to chose to think right things about that person.  I had to make myself forgive, and then the feelings came much later (still working on the feelings!)  I am still called to obey and although God does give me this power....there is still something for me to do.

So many commands by God can seem like a major burden!  Maybe that is why so many of my friends have drifted away....maybe that is why I seem to struggle so. 

So why do I continue obeying?  Why do I still strive to be holy....live a life that is God-honoring?  Because of the reward.  No, not the eternal reward (although I am looking forward to throwing my crown at the feet of Jesus).  It is the reward spoken about in John 15.

Murray put it this way:
"Obedience has reference to the positive keeping of the commandments of our Lord and the performance of His will in everything in which we know it. This is a possible degree of grace, and our Savior speaks here of the acceptance in Christ's strength of such obedience as we purpose in our heart. Faith in Christ as our Vine, in His enabling and sanctifying power, fits us for this obedience of faith and secures a life of abiding in His love....It is the wholehearted surrender in everything to do His will that gives access to a life in the abiding enjoyment of His love...Obey and abide. Gracious Lord, teach me this lesson, that it is only through knowing Your will that one can know Your heart, and only through doing that will one can abide in Your love. Lord, teach me that as worthless as is the doing in my own strength, so essential and absolutely indispensable is the doing of faith in Your strength, if I would abide in Your love."

I spoke in my last post about Abiding in God's Love...and the joy, peace, and comfort that comes in abiding in that love.  Here is the key: obedience.


Abide in My Love

As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you; continue ye in my love. - John 15:9

We speak of a man's home as his abode.
Our abode,
the home of our soul,
is to be the
love of Christ.
We are to live our life there,
to be at home there all the day:
this is what Christ means our life to be
and what He really can make it. 
You have probably heard or read of what is called
the higher
or the deeper life,
of the richer
or the fuller life,
of the life abundant...
The love of the Father to the Son is not a sentiment -
it is a divine life,
an infinite energy,
an irresistible power....

The feebleness of our Christian life
is that we do not take time to believe that His divine love
does really delight in us
and will possess
and work all in us.
We do not take time to look at the Vine bearing the branch so entirely,
working all in it so completely. 
We strive to do for ourselves what Christ alone can,
what Christ,
oh so lovingly,
longs to do for us...

To believe that everything that makes it difficult
or impossible
will be overcome by Christ Himself;
to believe that love really means
an infinite longing
to give itself wholly to us and
never leave us;
and in this faith to cast ourselves on Christ to work it in us;
this is the secret of the true Christian life....

And how to come to this faith?
Take more time with Jesus,
gazing on Him as the heavenly Vine,
living in the love of the Father,
who wants you to live in His love...

Abiding means going out from everything else to occupy one place and stay there.
Come away from all else,
set your heart on Jesus and His love,
and that love will waken your faith
and strengthen it.

O Love of Christ,
come live in my heart.
Be the center of my life. 
Be the strength of my flesh. 
Be the change in my attitude. 
O Love of Christ,
Make your home
in my soul.
Be the patience I long for with my children.
Be the forgiveness I desire for those that have wronged me.
Be the wisdom to guide those around me.
O Love of Christ
Permeate all of my life.
So that I may have life - and have it abundantly!


The Wonderful Love

As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you - John 15:9

"We are in danger of looking to Christ as a Savior and a supplier of every need, appointed by God, accepted and trusted by us, without any sense of the intensity of personal affection in which Christ embraces us and alone in which our life can find its true happiness....Even as the Father loved Him, He loves us. His life as Vine dependent on the Father was a life in the Father's love; that love was His strength and His joy; in the power of that divine love resting on Him, He lived and died....And now, if Christ loves us with such an intense, such an infinite divine love, what is it that hinders it triumphing over every obstacle and getting full possession of us? The answer is simple. Even as the love of the Father to Christ, s His love to us is a divine mystery, too high for us to comprehend or attain to by any effort of our own. It is only the Holy Spirit who can continually shed abroad and reveal in its all-conquering power this wonderful love of God in Christ." - Murray

So many times do I try and try and strive and strive to overcome the obstacles in my life: to love this person; to forgive this person; to give this; to persevere.....yet I need only rest.  Rest in Christ' love for me.  I talk about Christ's love for others, but what about me?  Christ loves me, as the Father loves Christ. Amazing. Astonishing. Reassuring. Comforting....strengthening!  And through the power of the Holy Spirit, I can overcome all that the world tries to throw at me. 


True Disciples

Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit, so shall ye be my disciples. - John 15:8

"And are those who do not bear much fruit not disciples? They may be, but in a backward and immature stage.  ...There have always been a smaller number of God's people who have sought to serve Him with their whole hearts, whereas the majority have been content with a very small measure of the knowledge of His grace and will....[Those that seek to be His true disciples] - Their cry is to bear as much fruit as they possibly can, as much as their Lord ever can desire or give in them....Let our desire be nothing less than perfect cleansing, unbroken abiding, closest communion, abundant fruitfulness - true branches of the true Vine." - Murry


The Father Glorified

Herein is my Father glorified: that ye bear much fruit.  John 15:8

"How can we glorify God? Not by adding to His glory or bringing Him any new glory that He has not.  But simply by allowing His glory to shine out through us, by yielding ourselves to Him, that His glory may manifest itself in us and through us to the world. In a vineyard or a vine bearing much fruit, the owner is glorified, as it tells of his skill and care. In the disciple who bears much fruit, the Father is glorified. Before men and angels, proof is given of the glory of God's grace and power; God's glory shines out through him....We have sometimes mourned our lack of fruit, as a loss of ourselves and our fellow men, with complaints of our feebleness as the cause. Let us rather think of them in and shame of little fruit as robbing God of the glory He ought to get from us." - Murry

My life cannot just automatically give God glory, it is working through the ability that He has given.  It is my life looking a lot less like me and more and more like Him.


If Ye Abide

If Ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. - John 15:7

"If we are to live a true prayer life, with the love and the power and the experience of prayer marking it, there must be no question about the abiding....Be wholly occupied with Jesus. Sink the roots of your being in faith and love and obedience deep down into Him. Come away out of every other place to abide here. Give up everything for the inconceivable privilege of being a branch on earth of the glorified Son of God in heaven. Let Christ be first. Let Christ be all. Do not be occupied with the abiding - be occupied with Christ. He will hold you; He will keep you abiding in Him. He will abide in you." - Murray

Sometimes I keep striving to abide, when I simple must just focus on Christ.  Focus on Him and Who He is.  He will see that I'm abiding.


What Ye Will

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. - John 15:7

"The promise is given in direct connection with fruit bearing. Limit it to yourself and your own needs, and you rob it of its power; you rob yourself of the power of appropriating it, Christ was sending these disciples out, and they were ready to give their life for the world; to them He have the disposal of the treasures of heaven...Let us realize that we can only fulfill our calling to bear much fruit by praying much....And let us equally remember that we cannot appropriate the promise without a life given up for people. Many try to take the promise, and then look around for what they can ask. This is not he way, but the very opposite. Get the heart burdened with the need of souls, and the command to save them, and the power will come to claim the promise....Souls are perishing because there is too little prayer. God's children are feeble because there is too little prayer. We bear so little fruit because there is so little prayer. The faith of this promise would make us strong to pray; let us not rest till it has entered into our very heart and drawn us in the power of Christ to continue and labor and strive in prayer until the blessing comes in power." - Murray