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.
We want to do what is right, but what does right look like? It is not simply doing what is right because what we think is right is not what God says is right. He wants righteous living and with every fiber of our being we should seek him and be like what he has called us to be – HOLY. Let’s read 1 Pet. 1:16, Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. I can only imagine your desire to do that, but you struggle to get there, well you don’t have to struggle any more, Jesus said do what you have learned, received, heard and seen. Let’s get to the heart of each of these commands and begin to walk in the ways of the Lord and receive the promise of peace.
We have learned to be obedient and to forgive others (the Lord’s prayer talks about forgiveness.) In his word we have learned we can trust in the Lord. The wisdom and knowledge of God is in his word to teach us those things of God, so as you can see, we have no excuse not to learn his ways. Hebrews 10:7, Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Here are some scriptures to bring back to your remembrance the things you have learned, set aside time to read them. Luke 9:23- deny yourself, Matthew 19:4-6 honor marriage, Galatians 5:13 be a servant, Matthew 22:37-38 love the Lord, Matthew 22:39-40 love your neighbor, John 14:15 keep his commandments, and Matthew 28:19-20 make disciples.
Next are those things you have received. For we can be thankful for we have received his Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8), his love, his word, grace and mercy, forgiveness, and spiritual gifts. We have received answered prayers and healing. He strengthens us when we are weak. God has given us refuge in times of trouble. We have received blessings on top of blessings. Amen.
Have you heard his word? Of course, especially if you grew up in the church. The word of the Lord was poured into you in church on Sunday morning and again at the Sunday evening service. Let’s not forget attending Bible Study and Sunday school, evangelizing in the neighborhoods and tent services. You have heard he died for your sins and rose on the third day. You heard he is the Son of God, and our Savior (believe this) with all your heart and soul. Jesus came to save the lost and healed the sick, blind and lame. We have heard he will never leave us or forsake us. Don’t take what you heard lightly, but read and study it all for yourself. In 2Tim. 2:15, Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
What we seen in Jesus is what we should emulate daily. Forgiveness in Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment and cast lots. He showed compassion, Matthew 9:26. Jesus understood people’s needs physically and spiritually. He was a humble servant always willing to serve others. Committed to what he came here to do, pay for the sins of the world. We should have that kind of commitment to God to live holy. Jesus was patient with those who came up against him. Jesus demonstrated self-control when tempted by Satan.
Putting this in perspective, we are his disciples and our actions should mirror that of Jesus. We have learned of him, we have received the Holy Spirit, we have power, we have heard the Good News and seen the miracles he has done in our own lives. Therefore, those things, which ye have learned, and received, and heard, and seen in Jesus DO them and God’s peace will be with you and that is reason to rejoice.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2Tim 1:7
God makes it plain. He did not give us the spirit of fear. So, where does fear come from? The enemy and your own thoughts running crazy. Fear stops us from moving forward and hearing what the Lord is saying to you. Ask yourself why are you accepting something God did not present to you? Do not claim fear but rebuke it. Fear makes excuses. Fear stops you from starting that business. Fear keeps you doubting and asking am I good enough? Fear will keep you in a state of mental bondage. Fear keeps you from trusting God. God didn’t give you the spirit of fear, remove the fear that is holding you back. Declare and decree that fear will no longer have a stronghold over your life.
I love this scripture because God didn’t leave us guessing well if he didn’t give us fear what did he give us? God said of power, and of love and of a sound mind. Power – Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. And that power is the Holy Spirit. Love – 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. In Mark 12:30-31 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Sound mind – Phil 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
By doing all things through the power of the Holy Spirit you are walking by faith, showing love, and at peace in your mind, leaving no room for fear. The opposite of FEAR is FAITH. Faith means YES YOU CAN do ALL things through Christ.
The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalm 121:8 NIV
If you truly believe with all your heart that God is for you, then why doubt that he is watching over you and will come through for you? Some things we ask God for may not be the right time to receive it. The delay could be that God has something better for you on the horizon. How many times have you thanked God for not allowing things you wanted to come to pass? For example, you wanted that new car in 2017 but now in 2019 you are glad you didn’t get that new car because your job downsized or your spouse lost their job and the income is not there to support the payment. God is watching over you he sees the beginning and the end. Trust in the creator and trust God’s plan he knows you better than you know yourself. He said in his word, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee…Jeremiah 1:5. And Matthew 10:30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
If you are still having self-doubt that God has your back, Matthew 6:25-26 should put you at ease. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
God is always with you when you are coming and going. Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. As I’m writing this, I’m feeling victorious and my spirt is over joyed in the fact that God is with me every day and everywhere I go, HALLELUJAH!! Keep the faith, God was with you last year and the years before that. He brought you over the hurdles in your life thus far, big and small. He has fought your battles and has kept you yesterday and he will keep you today. God never sleeps or slumbers, so forget worrying and fear not because God is watching over you forevermore.
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