Let Me Be Frank… 7-3-19

We must honor those who dedicate their lives to keeping us free. 

Those that are far away from their families on this holiday, those who are preparing to leave for three months (or more) at a time, and those who continue the fight here at home.  They are the ones running to the fight.  They don’t back down.  They won’t leave a fellow soldier.  This is exactly what they signed up for.

Jesus is speaking to His disciples and His time on this earth is growing short.  He’s washed their feet, comforted them, promised the Holy Spirit and told them they must stay connected to Him.  “Remain in Me, and I will remain in you.”  I imagine at this point in their journey with Jesus they are just trying to understand.  They try to make sense of what they are hearing, but then Jesus says something even more cryptic.

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” 
John 15:13
They wouldn’t quite wrap their heads around it until later.  But I wonder, as they deserted Him and ran for their lives, if they didn’t start to put all the pieces together.  Even in death, Jesus was teaching them.  “Greater love hath no man…”  He laid down His life for them – for the entire world, but He didn’t stop there.  He would rise from the grave on the third day so that we could be free.
“Freedom comes at a cost.”
We’ve heard the saying, “Freedom isn’t free.”  We take that to mean that others lay their lives down for ours.  That they have the burden to bear.  But freedom comes with responsibility. 
“This is my command: Love each other.”
John 15:17
After Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection the disciples were emboldened to share the gospel, regardless of the cost.  They laid down their lives for Jesus.  But how many others gained their freedom just by listening and accepting the disciples’ claim that Jesus was none other than the Son of God.  In the end, their love was displayed through difficult conversations, through gentle correction, through bold proclamations, and through adherence to the words of Jesus. 
Jesus didn’t call us to live safe lives.  He called us to share our faith.  He called us to love those around us enough to walk alongside them, to hold them up when they are struggling, and to encourage them to keep the faith.  Life can be messy and being a Christian is definitely not easy.  But, as believers, we are the ones running to the fight.  We don’t back down.  We won’t leave a fellow brother or sister in Christ.  This is exactly what we signed up for.
We are Central… and we’re in this TOGETHER! 
F –