Jesus Calls Us Friends

Friends of Jesus

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.

Trust in God’s Promises

Trust God's Promises

And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness. Genesis 15:6
God told Abram not to fear. I’m going to protect you and reward you. But Abram wondered what good is the blessings when he didn’t have an heir. God reassures him that an heir shall come forth out of thine own bowels and that his descendants will be like the stars too many to count. God already knows what we don’t have and he also knows what we are in need of.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us Ephesians 3:20. And that scripture is forever so true, God tells Abram, For me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee, Genesis 17:4, 6. He is letting Abram know I’m going to do more than give you an heir.
God will always do what he said he is going to do. And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him, Genesis 17:19. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year, Genesis 17:21.  Four chapters later, For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac, Genesis 21:2-3.
He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God: And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform, Romans 4:20-21.
We can trust in God’s promises because God keeps his word and Psalm 138:2 says for thou has magnified thy word above all thy name. God is pure, holy, all powerful, all knowing, good, and truth and therefore so is his Word.
Jeremiah 1:12 NIV The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.

 

Measure Your Faith Level

Levels-of-Faith

Be honest with yourself and rate your faith level. Here are the choices:
A.      None – Never had faith.
B.      Partial faith – Sometimes I believe and then I doubt that God will come through.
C.      Abundance of faith – Activated faith, overflowing and living by faith, trusting God in every area of your life.
This is for the people that reluctantly picked A or B, rely on God, His Grace, His Promise, and His Power. Faith is the beginning of your relationship with God. Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarded of them that diligently seek him. Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
If you still have doubt that faith works the Bible has plenty of examples of faith. The Roman Centurion who asked Jesus to heal his paralyzed servant. He was a man of authority over 100 soldiers, but recognized Jesus’ supreme authority and power Matthew 8:5-10. The Canaanite woman, Jesus healed her daughter that she said was waxed with a devil and because of her great faith her daughter was made whole, Matthew 15:22-31. These are two stories in the Bible where Jesus talks about great faith.
There are other stories of faith, Abraham willing to sacrifice his son Isaac to the Lord, Genesis 22:1-18. Gideon with his small army defeated the Midianites. The Midianites had 135,000 men and Gideon 32,000. God told him he had too many men, in the end he conquered them with only 300 men. God did not want them to boast that they did this in their own strength Judges 7:2, with fewer men they would have to have faith that God would help them.
Take a look at Luke 1:28-38 Mary the mother of Jesus accepting the plan of God that she would conceive though she was a virgin but that the Holy Ghost would come upon her. Her answer in Luke 1:38 was so profound, And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word, And the angel departed from her. All I can say to this is let thy word be done – this was FAITH!! The prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 was fulfilled.
 Read more about Faith in Hebrews 11:1-40
Faith is the assurance that things even though unseen and what you expect in faith will come to pass. For all those who picked “C” who have an abundance of faith, that unshakeable faith, you already know there is no greater faith than to trust the word of God. If you are a person with no faith or partial faith – the doubter at times, work towards a new level of faith – pray and leave it with God, believe in the one who created you, trust in God’s word and watch God show up!!
Be Blessed