My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. 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. 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. This is my command: Love each other. -- John 15:12-17
To this day, it blows my mind that Jesus wants to do life with me each and every day.
That when He called me by name, He called me to Him.
And not to walk behind Him, but beside Him. Alongside Jesus Christ.
That the Creator of the universe wants to be by our side for it all.
And in doing so, He also calls for us to be in constant communion with Him.
Because Jesus is our friend.
And as He’s called others, they’re His friends, too.
And by association, they’re our friends!
In essence, the body of Christ is one big, happy family, but I believe that Jesus ignites mini-communities within it to allow us to grow and mature in Jesus.
Communities of brothers and sisters that walk alongside us, alongside Jesus.
That encourage and support one another as co-laborers with Christ.
Because there is no greater love than to lay one’s life down for a friend.
For Jesus, that meant dying on the cross, so that we might walk together, hand in hand with Him, bringing His light and love to the rest of our brothers and sisters (who will one day become our friends) here on earth.
For us, that means dying to ourselves, our selfish wants and desires, to be the hands and feet of Jesus down the line of friends all walking alongside one another.
That being said, Lane of Roses has been an example of such a community for me.
Each woman involved in this ministry is absolutely covered in the grace and love of God.
And it just overflows to everyone around them; it’s contagious in the best way possible.
And whether it’s reading their stories online or meeting them in-person at community events, I look at them and I am introduced to another part of the Father that I hadn’t known before.
All of them have their own stories and strengths and gifts and personalities, but they all seek to encourage and lift one another up.
I am inspired by each and every Lane of Roses woman...
To cultivate the gifts that God has given me.
To practice selfless, agape love anywhere and everywhere I go.
And to seek Jesus in all things.
But most of all, to run after Him and all He has for us in this life.
For we are not meant to run this race alone.
And I am so grateful to be able to do so with my savior Jesus, but also my sisters in the Lane of Roses family.
And you are invited to join us!!
Whether it’s our online Bible Study throughout the month of July or one of our monthly Community Events, you have a place in our community.
Contact us for more information. We can’t wait to walk with you!
1. What communities are you a part of? Why did you decide to become a member?
2. Is Jesus calling you to join another? If so, which one and why?
Jesus, thank You so, so much for the Lane of Roses community. Thank You for these like-minded women who both encourage and push me to seek You, and to know You better each and every day. I thank You that You are building all of us up as we get ever closer to the heart of God. I just pray that anyone reading this devotional who feels led to get involved, would know that they are welcome and wanted. I pray for these women, Jesus, that through Lane of Roses, they would grow in You. I pray peace and hope and joy over them. Thank you, Jesus, for all that You have done and all that You will do through this ministry, but more importantly community... In Jesus’ name, Amen.