Today's verses are John 15:13,14: "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command you." My child, what is the greatest love you can express toward another human being?  Wouldn't it be your willingness to give your life so the other could live?  Isn't that the best evidence to prove your love for your beloved?

That's exactly what I did for you.  Willingly, joyfully, I came to earth knowing the cross was my final destination.  When I left heaven, I knew that I would lay down my life for you, my friend.  It was the major reason I came!

Does it surprise you that I call you my "friend?"  It shouldn't.  Yes, it's true, in the Old Testament the only people I called my "friends" were Abraham and Moses.  They were my friends, for they faithfully obeyed my will in their lives.  Yes, it's true, that before you gave your life to me, I called you an enemy, traitor and rebel.

But that has all changed through the cross.  Where you once were my enemy, now I call you my friend.  Yes, you are now the friend of the omnipotent Creator of the universe.  Because you abide in me, and my word abides in you, and you obey my commandments, we are in a close, intimate, personal relationship.  You are now my friend.  I am your friend.

We walk together.  We talk together.  You can tell me anything and I will understand.  Your deepest hurts are held securely in my heart.  I will never betray you.  I watch over you.  I care for you.  Your deepest longings and needs are my deepest longings and needs.  We are friends with one another.

My child, what a friend you have in me.  All your sins and griefs, I do bear.  What a privilege it is for you to carry, everything, everything in your life, to me in prayer.  Oh, what peace you often forfeit.  Oh, what needless pain you bear.  It's all because you don't carry, everything, all your needs and hurts, to me in prayer.

Every morning, when you arise, imagine me in your living area, waiting for you.  See my smile.  Feel my embrace.  Your closest, dearest, most intimate friend awaits you.  Spend time with me.  Abide in my word.  Hear my heart for you.  Hear my words of affection for you.  Receive my forgiveness anew for anything that may have ensnared you.  Claim again and again that nothing can ever separate our love for one another.  I am yours.  You are mine.

You are my dear, close, personal friend.  Never let anything today interfere with our closeness and intimacy.  Let me carry your load.

I love you.

You can trust me today.