Day 1:

I Have Called You Friends


“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” 

– John 15:15

One of the most endearing and treasured terms a person can call me is that of friend. When we refer to someone as a friend, we are saying that they have a special role in our lives. I believe that the term friend is held in such high regard due to the characteristics that make a friend. Think of some of the words we typically use to describe a friend. One who is valued, chosen, trusted, understanding, respected, cherished, comfortable and welcomed. 

Perhaps the most satisfying aspect of friendship is the mutual nature of these beautiful, relational qualities. People don’t have to be friends with one another. They want to be friends with one another. There is a reciprocal aspect to friendship that is sometimes as strong as any relational bond we have in life. In other words, a friend loves and is loved in return.

In John 15, Jesus is spending one last evening with his friends before his journey to the cross. Therefore, as these are some of Christ’s final words to the disciples, they are also some of his most profound words. Jesus opens his heart and mind to his friends, declaring not only his love, but offering all that he knows. As a friend, Christ offers an intimacy with God and a reciprocal love and knowledge of God which was unprecedented before he came into the world. And the offer still stands, Christ’s words are meant for you and me as much as they were directed toward John, Peter and the other disciples present at the Last Supper. Christ seeks a deep lifelong friendship with you and with me.


The offer has been extended. We have been chosen. But why? Why is Christ offering us his friendship? I believe one answer gets to the heart of who Christ is. It’s because he loves us deeply and he knows the broken world in which we live. It can break us to pieces. Just as Christ, became close to the broken and healed the sick and the hurting while on earth, he seeks to soothe the inevitable pain and suffering life brings to us. Like any true friend, Christ not only knows us, he knows what we need. He knows we need the compassion of a friend when a test result isn’t what we’d hoped. Christ is the friend who offers solace when a husband decides to end a marriage or when a company decides to end your employment. Christ is the light of the world. Like the wisest and most compassionate friend you have, Jesus will bring clarity for our minds and comfort to our hearts as he walks with us every moment of every day, because he has called us friends.


For reflection:

1.      Think about the friendships you have experienced in life. What characteristics made the most enduring friendships so special?

2.      Friendships require attention and maintenance. How will you be attentive to Christ’s call of friendship and how will you maintain your friendship with Christ?

Day 2:

Spiritual Practice


Among the many gifts that we regularly receive from God, one of the most overlooked is our ability to read. To look at the printed characters, placed one after another upon paper or a screen and have these characters form words, then sentences and paragraphs which immediately place thoughts in our minds is a minor miracle. We are used to reading in a forward fashion where we move along at our own pace to be entertained or gather information, rarely returning to just a word or sentence. Biblical reading is different. We read to be transformed and this requires a more deliberate approach. To take the ancient and sacred words of Scripture into our minds and souls, we need to read slowly and thoughtfully. This enables us to receive the full power and meaning of the Word that God has given to us.

With this in mind, please take some time this week to slowly read through John 15:12-17

12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

Examine the individual words of Christ in this passage.

Through prayer, ask God to open your heart, mind and soul to what He wants you to know and feel as you slowly read Christ's words.

Which words touch your soul?

As you read the passage once again, imagine Jesus sitting across from you in your home saying these words directly to you, looking into your eyes.

Finally, spend time in prayer, lifting to God your thoughts about your careful and slow reading.

Day 3:

The Bread of Life


“For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

- John 6:33

We live in a world that is under a constant bombardment of advertising attempting to influence our desires. The ultimate goal of the advertiser is to convince us that we need their product. The truth of the matter is that we simply may want the product, but the damage has been done, the lines between a want and a need have been blurred. We need far less than we want but can no longer distinguish between the two. We will probably never be able to truly tell ourselves the difference between what we want and what we need. However, Jesus knows the difference between our needs and our wants and he knows the needs of every person on earth and he makes it abundantly clear. He knows that the most vital and one true need in life is…Him.

In one of his most astounding miracles, Jesus multiplied several loaves of bread to feed five thousand people, demonstrating his care for their physical needs. Shortly afterwards, Christ refers to himself as “the bread of life”.

“I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry and he who believes in me will never go thirsty” – John 6:35

This is a profound declaration.  With these words, Jesus, using bread as a metaphor, proclaims that our spiritual need, our hearts and souls, will be sustained only through a relationship with him. Just as the physical bread was essential to physically sustain the five thousand people, Jesus is telling us that He, the bread of life, is vital to sustaining our spiritual life. Jesus is saying that he is not a want but a need. And not only a need, he is THE need in life.

We certainly have physical needs in life. We need to eat and sleep. We need shelter and clothing. However, we also have an inner life that must be attended to and cared for. Our inner life has needs. To be honest, on my own, I had not done a good job tending to my inner life.  By coming to “the bread of life” we are coming to the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Christ gives life to our souls. He is our constant companion that tends to our souls like the Good Shepherd, he is. When we accept Christ, His spirit lives within us, every second of every day. When we come to Jesus, we entrust our souls to the loving, gentle, and humble spirit of Christ, who understands our life and our needs more accurately than we can. Christ makes clear our wants and needs. He is the guide. And in Jesus we have a lifelong friend and companion who meets us with compassion when we suffer, who befriends us in our brokenness and is faithful, even when we are not.

For reflection:

1.     Rather than assuming what your greatest need might be at this time, pray and ask Jesus to show you what your greatest need actually is

2.     In this season of Lent we are used to giving up practices or things to enhance our connection to Christ. After Easter, think about what you can add to your life to highlight the resurrection and new life Christ brings. Please refer to the list of spiritual disciplines on the spiritual practices page..

Day 4:

Spiritual Practice


For today’s devotional you are invited to select and do a practice from the  spiritual practices page. God bless your time with the Lord today.

Spiritual Practices