Friendship with God — John 15:9 [a practical, devotional study of scripture]

Excerpt from Devotional Sessions | Practical Spirituality

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. (John 15:9, prompted from Devotional Sessions – Phil Rice).

This is such a profound statement found in scripture. So, let’s not move past it too quickly. Jesus says that in the same way the Father has loved him, he carries this same love for you and for me. Not only that, but he invites us to remain in this love that he has extended to us. Now without even going to the question of how, let’s simply sit in the reality of his desire for us and speak our desire back to him.

If you need language to engage with, you can simply pray, Holy Spirit, open my life to the experiential love of Jesus. It’s something that I really want to experience and maintain. After you sit in this place for a time, end with this simple prayer, Holy Spirit, give me a deeper undistracted longing to be loved by Jesus.

Write down any impressions that come to mind during your time of prayer and meditation.

My personal engagement with this session [Friendship with God]

For me, this is the most important aspect of my connectedness to God. I must know that I am loved by Jesus. And this love must be what compels me forward, in everything. If I am compelled forward by anything but the love of Christ, I am navigating from an imbalanced place. I am either working to gain something from God [which is pride, as there is nothing I have to offer him apart from my affection] or it is servitude [which Jesus has called us beyond, into friendship]. In my experience, we never graduate beyond this meditation. Spirit of God, keep me from distraction, that I may love and be loved by Jesus.

An added note from Phil Rice

I hope you’ve benefited from this excerpt from Devotional Sessions | Practical Spirituality. If you’d like more meditative content like this [and beyond]. Consider jumping in with my monthly 5-things email — meaningful content for the religiously disillusioned [spiritually tired] seeking to authentically follow Jesus in real life.

Thanks for journeying alongside,
Phil Rice


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“Phil writes like he speaks – with a God-centered, challenging, winsome humility.  He gives permission to reflect on the edge about what it means to be the Church.” — Lance H.