From day to day
It will always be this way
My soul awaits the Spirit of God to overtake thee
I declare and I decree
Anticipating what he has for me
Blessings on top of blessings
My husband is my best friend, but I’m also super excited that Jesus calls me friend. And if anyone is going to call me friend, I want it to be Jesus. John 15:15, Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
The way I see it everybody can’t have the title of friend. Friends look out for each other, they care about your well-being, they have been with you through thick and thin, sharing everything from A to Z, and they are honest with you, telling you the truth even when you don’t want to hear it. Think about the person you have chosen to bestow the title of friend. Are you happy with your choice? Now, for everyone else they would be called acquaintances. For Jesus to call you a friend you have to be very special and important to him. However, there is a requirement to be called his friend. A condition, “an if” that Jesus said we must do. John 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Therefore, to be considered Jesus’ friend we are to do what John 15:12 tells us, This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Jesus repeated it again in John 15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
I can think of four distinct friendships in the Bible. The first is told in John 11: 1-44 Lazarus had died and Jesus displayed his genuine grief over the death of his friend in verse 35, Jesus wept. And Jesus had a beautiful and close relationship with Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary, it is written in John 11:5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. Jesus also called Lazarus friend in John 11:11, These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of his sleep. He had been in the grave four days. But you know you will do whatever you can to help your friend and Jesus did it, raised him from the dead, John 11: 39-44.
The second is the friendship between Abraham and God. Isaiah 41.8 But thou Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. And James 2:23 confirms Abraham’s friendship with God. And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. It wasn’t that Abraham was perfect he just never stopped believing God.
Our third friendship is about Abraham and his servant Eliezer. Abraham’s servant was trustworthy and would have inherited all of Abraham’s wealth had he not had a child. He could have been jealous or resentful of his son, but he was not and remained a loyal friend. Eliezer also was entrusted to find a wife for Abraham’s son Isaac, Gen 24:2-4. Only a friend could be assigned such a task.
And lastly, Job and his friends, which may remind you of some of your own friends. Job had lost everything except for his wife and like any good friends should be, they were there for him, but when things didn’t seem to get better, they began to question whether he was guilty of some sin. Their reasoning was everything from Job must have sinned and that is why he is being punished to God is using suffering to make Job a better person. That’s friends for you, they think they have the answers when you are going through some fiery trials. They have good intentions, but sometimes their answers are way off base. In Job 42: 7-17, The Lord rebuked Job’s friend because of the things they said, but Job prayed for them. And when Job prayed for them God gave him back everything he lost and more.
The friendships mentioned above are great and I’m sure we all think our friends are wonderful too but, Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends, John 15:13. I can’t doubt that I am a friend of Jesus because he laid down his life for me, you, and us. I recall what Jesus said, Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you, John 15:14. Jesus thank you for calling me friend, and I am forever humbled, I will obey and love others as you have loved me, my friend.
It may not be the longest or shortest book in the Bible, but the book of Jude carries some weight with reminders of the importance to stand firm in our faith, beware of false teachers, and ending with praise for the Almighty God. Jude didn’t hold back, he hit hard telling believers to learn and know correct doctrine (2Tim 2:15.) Defend and fight for truth, (Titus 2:1 and Titus 1:9) not compromising the truth of the word of God by twisting it to sooth our sinful nature. Ephesians 4:21, If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus.
Jude makes very good points: the first being the rescues and punishments and false teachers. God delivered Israel out of Egypt, (Exodus 12:51) And it came to pass the selfsame day, that the Lord did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies, but destroyed those who did not remain faithful as told in (Numbers 14:26-35.) Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed for sexual immorality, but God rescued Lot. In (2Peter 2:6-9) And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgement to be punished.
Also, he shares of false teachers who have led people to believe that because of forgiveness you can live any way you want undermining the teachings of Jesus Christ. Examples of this are Cain murdered his brother Abel out of jealousy (Genesis 4:1-16), Balaam prophesied out of greed (Numbers 22-24), and Korah rebelled against God’s appointed leaders (Numbers 16:1-35.) Enoch (mentioned in Genesis 5:21-24) prophesied about ungodly acts in Jude verse 14-16, which is also found in the Book of Enoch.
Then Jude goes on to explain that believers should build up their faith through prayer. Keep close to Christ who will keep you from stumbling. And as you help others, be careful not to compromise your belief and the foundation of your faith, hate the sin, but witness to others. And give all glory to God who keeps us from falling. Jude is great book that reflects on consequences and deliverance, our need for prayer, to be a servant and praise God always.
Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22
Life can get complicated and stress can creep upon you or it can hit you all at once. So, allow me to encourage you today, there is no need to worry about the outcome because we have our heavenly Father who loves you unconditionally and cares about your life. Take it to him, leave it at the alter and trust that he will work it all out. Let God and you just breath – it will be okay. Start believing your situation is about to turn around and you are coming out victorious and into a season of greatness!! Amen. God has his hand on you and covering you. Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Praise God in the middle of your mess. You are not an afterthought to God he cares about everything concerning you. If you are stressed, broken and hurting get in his presence. Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Get that in your spirit and don’t let the fear of not having answers to your problems weigh you down. Walk with you head held high, giving thanks as if it is already done. You don’t see it, but you believe that it’s done and we all know what that is, it’s called FAITH!! Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. God is a way maker and this too shall pass.
In order to make a sacrifice it’s going to take a commitment of obedience. The goal cannot be reached without staying the course and doing the work. Jesus came and did the work of his Father. Complete obedience. So, in knowing this I can drown out my worries and shower my thoughts with the sacrifice Jesus made for me, for us. Before his ultimate sacrifice on the cross he has taught me how to live humbly and with compassion, having the fruit of the spirit within me. Jesus thank you for your obedience and sacrifice, because I am a sinner in need of a savior. Now, it’s my turn to make the sacrifice, to deny my flesh in order to be closer to you God, making a vow of obedience to the one who created me in his image. Oh, how I count my blessings!!
I am blessed beyond measure and will not take for granted the love God has given me over the years, months, weeks, days, hours, and seconds. I cannot and will not live any old kind of way. My lifestyle of being more like Christ I will work at daily. I die to my flesh everyday with the help of the Holy Spirit and think on the things of Jesus to keep me focused and strong. God’s outpouring of love, grace, and mercy rejuvenates me and I know that I am not alone – he is with me. There are days where I immediately hit pause in my daily routine to give him the praise he deserves, and my nights belong to him too, when I have awakened to say thank you Lord for all that you do. I’m not perfect, but my heart is fully dedicated to God and being a servant to the best of my ability. Lord I pray that you forever search my heart and know that I love you mind, body, and soul.
I can’t complain because I’m breathing because of him. I can’t complain because things could be worse. I can’t complain because he first loved me. I can’t be sad because joy is running through my veins. I can’t be sad because he is there in my good and bad days. I can’t be sad because he is my God, my Father, my redeemer, my protector, the creator of all the earth. As a disciple of Christ, I am the salt of the earth where my speech will be seasoned with salt, knowing how to answer every person with love. I will keep his commandments because I do love him, John 14:15. My vow is not to stir up evil but to show love in a major way. I have the fullness of peace and will run this race to see what the end will bring, always running towards the mark. I patiently wait to hear a whisper from him in my quiet place to replenish my soul. And what I know for sure is with him I can do all things because he strengthens me. Therefore, in my obedience, I will present my body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is my reasonable service. Dear Heavenly Father this is from my heart with sincere gratitude and love.