Jesus said: “You are my friends if you do what I command.” – John 15:14
With great authority Jesus spoke this profound statement. Not only is Jesus our Maker (John 1:1) and deserves our utmost respect and obedience, He is also our Friend. His friendship, though, is conditional and dependent on our decision to accept His friend-request. In order to be His friend we have to do what He says. A friend is one who is attached to another by affection or esteem. Friends are companions, confidants, and comrades. Jesus goes on to say in verse 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.” But to be called a friend of Jesus, we must first be born again (John 3:3). Once we’ve established a relationship with Christ and have repented of our sins, we are Jesus’ friends. If we do whatever we please and flout His commands, our friendship with Christ is broken. He continues to love us, but friendship must be mutual.
Wonderful Savior and Friend: What a privilege it is to say that I am a friend of Jesus. Thank you for that honor; I am eternally grateful. Help to always make decisions that follow what You have asked of me in your Word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
4 cups zucchini – grated
1 small onion – chopped
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 eggs – beaten
½ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup Cheddar or Provolone, grated
Combine all ingredients except cheese; spread in a greased 9×13-inch baking dish and top with cheese. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until center is set
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
– John 15:10
Christ is the focus of the Father’s love and we are instructed to pattern our lives after Him. As are all the other “ifs” in the Bible, this is a decision that falls within our jurisdiction. We can choose to obey what Jesus tells us and reap the joyous benefits of eternal life with Him, or ignore what He has to say and pay the penalty of our sin. Jesus tells us in verse 11 that the reason He tells us to obey His commands is so His joy may be in us and that our joy may be complete. This is a serious issue if we truly meditate on what Christ is saying. To not obey God’s Word means to be separated from the Father’s love and have no communion with Him. So, how does one stay in the Father’s love? We are told to read God’s Word and do what He says to (John 14:23). If we do, we will remain in our wonderful Father’s love.
Heavenly Father: Thank you for showing your love to us in your Son Jesus. Thank you Jesus for showing us how to love our Father by obeying His will and honoring His Word. I choose this day and forever to live in obedience to your will. Please receive my actions, my words, and my thoughts as my offering of praise to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
6 ears fresh corn
¼ cup butter
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon flour blended with 1 tablespoon water
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¾ cup milk or half and half
Cut corn from cobs; scrape with sharp knife to get pulp and juice. Melt butter in large pan. Stir in corn and juices, 3 tablespoons water, and sugar. Cook until corn tender. Stir in flour-water mixture, salt, and pepper, blending well. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Cook about 2 minutes longer. Do not boil.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” – John 15:7
Being a Christian is more than merely believing promises and obeying commands. Christianity isn’t a religion, it is a relationship and relationships require a high commitment to communication. That’s why it is so important to daily spend time in Gods Word and communicate with Him in prayer. We all have daily demands in our lives that require wisdom, guidance, and strength if we want them to be honorable and righteous in God’s eyes. This is only done if we remain in close contact to Him 24/7. Jesus tells us that if we do, we are able to petition our needs to Him, and our prayers will be answered. So, our answered prayers are conditional and only granted if we bring our minds into obedience to Christ and ask according to His will. If we cultivate an intimate love relationship with Christ, we would desire what He desires, and we would ask and receive.
Father: I need your strength and wisdom to daily make decisions that bring You glory and honor. Help me as I read your Word and pray to grow in my faith so that my every prayer is answered according to Your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
BLACK BEAN AND CORN SALAD
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
1 large red onion, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon pepper
Mix everything together. Refrigerate; serve with chips.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. – John 15:4
In this verse “if” is understood. Jesus wants us to know that “if” we remain in Him, the Vine, He will remain in us. But, if we do not remain in Him, we will die or become barren. All of us have seen trees whose branches have broken and are either hanging lifeless, or have fallen to the ground. In either case, the branch is dead and no longer able to produce leaves or fruit. Once the life-source has been broken from the tree, its fruit-bearing days are over. The same is true for us. Just as the branch that is broken away from its source of nourishment will die, so will we die if we break away from our spiritual sustenance, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus desires for us to cleave to Him with full purpose of heart so to derive grace, strength, and nourishment from Him. Our physical bodies need food and water to survive; and so do our souls require spiritual nutrition to remain alive. This can only happen if we stay connected to God by reading His Word and being obedient to what He requires of us (Micah 6:8).
Thank you Jesus for the way you teach us how to live so we might bear fruit and remain alive in You. You are my nourishment and now I need to feed only from You. In Jesus Name, Amen.
2 cups ham, ground or put through food processor
1/3 cup Miracle Whip (more or less to taste)
¼ cup sweet pickle relish (more or less to taste)
½ small onion, finely diced (optional)
Mix all together and refrigerate until ready to use.
Jesus said: “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” – John 14:15
Here, Jesus tells us the secret of our identity as believers: Love? Obey! To truly love the Lord means to follow Him wherever He leads, do whatever He asks, and trust Him in every circumstance. To love Jesus is to reflect the love that God has for us (1 John 4:10). Another way of showing our love for Christ is to care for the ones He loves (John 21:16; 1 John 4:19). This is agape love and is unconditional, and a choice. Agape love is not based on emotion, but on the will. If we love Jesus, we will obey His commandments. If we do not obey Him, we cannot say we love Him. Jesus teaches that loving Him requires an action, not an emotional feeling. If Jesus is to be loved as He commanded, then a conscious choice must be made to act according to the love described in 1 Corinthians 13. Therefore, to love Jesus is to willfully act in such a way that our devotion to Him is proved through our actions toward Him and our obedience of Him.
Loving Father: Thank You for teaching me what love is, and how I might prove my love for You. As I read Your Word and seek to know what You require of my life, help me to become strong and willing to be obedient to Your Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
2 pounds stew beef (1-inch cubes)
1 envelope Onion Soup Mix
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 (4-ounce) jar mushrooms (whole or sliced)
1 cup of ginger ale
Mix everything together in crockpot. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4-5 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35
Jesus spoke these words after he had finished washing the disciples’ feet. He made it quite clear that our loving one another was not a suggestion, but a “new commandment” from Him. This love we are to have for one another is not optional, but a required mark of the Christian. This love must also be of the same quality as Christ’s love. He implied that we would judge the quality of our love by His, “just as I have loved you”. This attitude should be deeply rooted in every Christian. We are not to judge spirituality by comparing ourselves with others, but with Christ. Jesus gives the world permission to judge our Christianity by the love we have for one another. This is a high calling, but it will be to the world’s good and our joy to pursue it in Christian community.
Loving Father: Please help me to pattern my life as a Christian after You, and not others. As a disciple of yours, give me strength to love those who are loveable and also those who are unloveable. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
CREAMY PULLED CHICKEN (crockpot)
2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
2 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese
2 (1-ounce) packets dry Ranch seasoning
8 ounces bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
Place chicken, cream cheese, and Ranch seasoning in a crockpot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high doe 4 hours, until begins to fall apart. Shred chicken with a large fork or spoon. Mix in the crumbled bacon. Serve on buns.
Jesus said: “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” – John 11:40
Sisters Mary and Martha had complained to Jesus about the their brother Lazarus dying because of His failure to come and heal him when they requested. They struggled with the fact that Jesus seemed to take His good old time getting there; but Jesus had a divine plan in order. When Jesus and the sisters, along with some compassionate Jews, went to the tomb where Lazarus’ body lay, Jesus asked them to remove the stone blocking the tomb; but they hesitated. After four days they were sure their brother’s body would stink. “If only,” thought Mary and Martha. If only Jesus would have come sooner, they would not be in this stinky predicament. How many times have each of us based our satisfactions in life on the “if onlys?” If only Jesus would do this; or if only we had a different spouse; or if only we had more money, then we would be happy. We offer our stinky circumstances to God all the while telling Him what we want Him to do about them. Then Jesus turns to us and says the same thing he told Martha, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” Jesus does amazing things. We must trust Him and He will turn things that stink into things that shine for His glory.
Father: Thank you for taking my stinky heart and transforming it into a new heart that beats with yours. Thank you for taking the odor out of my life and replacing it with the sweet smell of your sacrifice. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound Velveeta
1½ cups Salsa
Brown ground meat; drain. Add cheese and salsa; cook on low until cheese melted. Serve with chips.