I remember the argument like it was yesterday. We were in a Bible class and discussing our personal relationship to God. One man stated, “Its impossible to be a friend of God. He’s God. To think of ourselves as God’s friend is wrong, almost blasphemous.” While others tried to interject, the man was adamant. It wasn’t long before he and his family moved to another church. Was he right? Were the others wrong? Can we be God’s friend?
Many of us are familiar with the stories of Abraham (James 2:23), Moses (Exodus 33:11), and David. Did you know that each of these men are known as “friends” of God in Scripture? But this was in the Old Testament. What does the New Testament say?
Did Jesus consider tax collectors and harlots His friends (Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:34)? Did Jesus call Judas His friend (Matthew 26:50)? Did Jesus consider Lazarus His friend (John 11:11)? Did Jesus call the paralytic His friend and then forgive Him of his sins (Luke 5:20)? Did Jesus refer to His disciples as His friends (Matthew 9:15, Luke 12:4)?
I encourage you to consider each of the Scriptures listed, but to save you the time the answer is “Yes!” Jesus made friends with those who followed Him. John 15:13-15 says, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
Can we be a friend of God today? Again, I urge you to remember the words of Jesus in John 15:13-15. Jesus gave His life for His friends. Who are His friends? Jesus said His friends are those who “do whatever” He commands.
How can we know if we are friend of God? In the context Jesus reveals a few things about His friends: (1) They bear fruit (John 15:8), (2) They have joy (John 15:11), (3) They love one another (John 15:17), (4) They will be persecuted (John 15:20), and (5) They will receive the Holy Spirit (John 15:26-27).
Have you spoken to your Friend lately? Maybe you need a little talk with Jesus. Have a great week!!!
You are loved.
Dr. Ray Reynolds
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