Read these words slowly:
[box]“You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends . . .” (John 15:14–15)[/box]
That is Jesus talking. Every time I hear this it does something to me. Friend. He calls me “friend.”
The Greek word used here is: phílos – a friend; someone dearly loved (prized) in a personal, intimate way; a trusted confidant, held dear in a close bond of personal affection.1
What does that do to you, to know that He dearly loves you? You are held by Him in a “close bond of personal affection?”
I don’t know about you, but reading those words gives me happy goose-bumps!
Friendship with God is not only possible, but is something He offers. Abraham had an intimate relationship with, and was known as the friend of God (2 Chronicles 20:7 Isaiah 41:8 James 2:23). Have you ever thought about the elements of his life that would lead to such a privileged position, to be called “friend of God?”
Was a he a super saint that God chose to hang out with because he was so spiritually superior? Well, there’s a couple of pretty embarrassing episodes where he failed to trust God and kind of hid behind Sarah’s skirts to save his own skin (see Genesis 12:10–13, Genesis 20:1–13).
The first incident happened before his name change and the other (eerily similar) happened after he’d grown a bit in his relationship with God, entered into a covenant with Him, and had a name change (from Abram to Abraham). I really hate seeing that side of Abraham, but at the same time, I’m glad his mess-ups are included. Because I’m not perfect, either.
God didn’t love Abraham because he was perfect or was a super-saint. God just loved him. God called Abraham to Himself, and in the process of a shared history and a walk of faith (sometimes faltering faith), God claimed Abraham as His friend.
I think there are some principles we can glean from their relationship:
- God’s love for us is extended on the basis of His character, not ours.
- He delights in those who surrender their plans to follow His.
- His love reaches beyond our failures.
- His love compels us to walk in obedience.
- Walking in obedience to Him forges the unity of friendship.
Where are you in your relationship with God? Does He call you friend?
1 copyright © 1987, 2011 by Helps Ministries, Inc.
For complete text and additional resources visit: HelpsBible.com
Image courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net/David Castillo Dominici