Three times a month, Jermaine Washington and Michelle Stevens get together for what they call a “gratitude lunch.” With good reason! Washington donated a kidney to Stevens, whom he described as “just a friend.” They met at work where they used to have lunch together. One day Michelle wept as she spoke about waiting on a kidney donor list for 11 months. She was being sustained by kidney dialysis, but suffered chronic fatigue and blackouts and was plagued by joint pain. Because Washington could not stand the thought of watching his friend die, he gave her one of his kidneys. Jermaine went from being just a friend to being a life giver.

In the relationship of Jesus with us, there is a lovely progression. Like the original Twelve that Jesus called to be with Him we are first His servants. As time passes, we become His disciples, His students. Then, when we have reached a level of spiritual maturity, we are sent forth, as apostles, to witness and share the gospel. Then, as service, knowledge, and obedience grows, there comes time when we become His friends. John 15:15-16 explains. “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.Then Jesus said: 16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”

Because we are the friends of Jesus, let us ask the Father, in HIS name, to give us holiness, souls for our labor, a heart of gospel obedience, the joy of loving the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, healing for our bodies, and a heart gratitude so that we never forget what Jesus has done for us.

He gave us His life.

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