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.

Parents Obey God, Kids Obey Your Parents

maroon obedience

Did you do what I asked you to do? How many times did you hear that question growing up? How often have you asked your kids that same question? How many times have you did what God has asked you to do? Obedience is required, no excuses period. Parents I know you want the best for their kids from bringing them up in the right neighborhoods to wanted them to attend the best colleges. And expectations are pretty simple, do exactly what I tell you to do because I’m the parent and I know what is best for you. This is where it gets questionable, kids are being told what to do by their parents who are not doing what they are supposed to do according to the word of God, which was given by God and is truth.

We want our children to listen and obey and if they don’t there are consequences. That same principle applies to parents – to all those who are called the children of God. If you are not being obedient you are sinning. And the wages of sin is death. So as far as raising children and holding them accountable for their actions and behavior are you being the example and role model for them to follow? Is a majority of your time devoted to your career or hustle, and buying more and more stuff that by the way you can’t take with you when you die and it can’t get you into heaven, that there is no time left for God? With that being said, what are your children doing in the meantime and who are they listening to and spending time with.

Parents are always saying they want their kids to be the best they can be, I just hope that includes Jesus in their life. Who will show them what Jesus looks like and introduce them to God’s word? Kids normally do what they see. Therefore, you can’t be lukewarm and straddle the fence. You can’t be singing the praises of God at 7am and fussing and cussing people out on the phone and in your car by 8am. Shift your priorities to put God first and become doers of the word of God. Our kids need to see you in action doing the things of God, it gives them a visual and someone to emulate giving kids a pattern to follow.

Let me give you a great example of kids doing what they see their parents do and why it is not effective to say “do what I say.” Here it is, parents say always tell the truth. But they hear their parents lying to each other, to a friend, or a bill collector etc. Poor kids this can be so confusing, my parents are telling me not to do something that they do whenever it suits them. Ponder on this, how many excuses and apologies have you said before God to justify your actions and your kids do the same thing to you. We desire for our kids to get it right and God desires for us, his children to get it right. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

The following are scriptures for the family:

Duet. 6:1-7

Eph. 6:4

Proverbs 22:6

Matthew 19:14

1John 5:21

Proverbs6:20-22

Exodus 20:12

Matthew 19:19

Eph. 6-1-3

You have birth them and now you are raising them, but they belong to God just as you do. We are God’s children. In Romans 8:16-17 KJV The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. And 1 John 1:4 KJV I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

To be children of God, let’s be like our Father in heaven. Here are additional scriptures to guide your family:

Fruit of the Spirit – Gal. 5:22-23, Eph 6:5:9

Beatitudes (specific behavioral standards) Matthew 5:3-12

The Lord’s Prayer – Matthew 6:9-13

The 10 commandments – Exodus 20:3-17

In the Old Testament the Israelites had done terrible things while wandering in the wilderness with Moses. Creating a golden calf and worshipping false gods. Joshua reminded them of what God had done for them, bringing them out of Egypt and providing for them and their ancestors. Joshua explained to them that it is better to serve the Lord than false idols. In the end he let them know who will be following God. If they want to continue worshipping their false gods go right ahead, but his family would be serving the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord Joshua 24:15 KJV. Parents obey the Lord and serve him with your whole heart and in doing this, kids are obeying their parents, who are obeying their Father in heaven. I can’t imagine anything better than living in a household of faith, love, and obedience.

Be Blessed

Obey God the First Time

Obey God

God is merciful and patient as exhibited in the story of Jonah. We can act like Jonah at times and what I mean by that is God can give us specific instructions, we refuse to do it and go off in a different direction only to end up doing what he said to do in the first place.

In Jonah 1:2 God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and tell the people to repent. But Jonah not being obedient to what God has called him to do makes the decision to flee to Tarshish Jonah1:3.

Jonah has entered a ship mind you, uninvited and now there is chaos on the ship and God had caused the wind to stir up the waters. Now those on the ship are asking Jonah what has he done and he explained he was fleeing from the Lord and this had caused the trouble to come up on them. They throw Jonah overboard and the sea calms immediately. At the same time a fish swallows up Jonah and he remains in the belly of the fish three days and three nights Jonah 1:5-17.

Our actions effect other people that have nothing to do with what we may be going through. If we would listen and do what the Lord tells us to do the first time it would save time and trouble for ourselves and the people around us.

In Chapter 2, Jonah prays while in the belly of the fish and God delivers him out of the belly of the fish. This is very familiar when we look at our own lives. We get into trouble then we want to pray for God to deliver us out of it and it didn’t have to go that way in the first place.

Chapter 3:2 God tells Jonah to go to Nineveh again. Ohhhh you bet Jonah goes this time. Jonah 3:3-4, Jonah tells the people of Nineveh to turn from their wicked ways or it will be overthrown.

The people of Nineveh took heed and turned from their wicked ways, Jonah 3:5-9. Let’s stop right here and look at this for a moment, God speaks directly to Jonah and he refuses to do what God said, however the people of Nineveh did exactly what God said and God’s word came from the person who didn’t want to obey God and deliver the message. WOW!

Jonah didn’t think they would turn from their evil ways. This scripture comes to mind.…. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, 1Cor. 3:19. We think we know so much and what’s right and we don’t. Trust God people.

Jonah was upset because God was patient and merciful with Nineveh and he knew God would give them a chance to turn their lives around. God asks Jonah was it right for him to be angry about this?

God teaches Jonah a valuable lesson in Chapter 4.

Jonah sat and waited to see what would happen to the city and while waiting it grew hot, so God grew a plant to give Jonah shade, but the next morning a worm ate some of the plant, now with limited shade and the unbearable sun beaming down on Jonah he wanted to die. God explained to him in Jonah 4:9-11, is it right for you to be angry about a plant dying that you didn’t do nothing to put there and he pretty much said yes angry even unto death. God said you felt sorry for a plant that only has a short period of time to live, so shouldn’t I feel sorry for a city living in spiritual darkness whose sin was going to lead them to death.

Jonah had more pity for a plant than the spiritual lives of people God was trying to save.

When God ask you to speak to 1 or 100 people don’t say it is a waste of time. God doesn’t think we are a waste of his time; he loves us and wants the best for us. Jeremiah 29:11 says, For I know the thoughts I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

When God chooses you, GO and give the message. Fulfill your God given assignment. Some of us are for planting the seed, some water and God gets the increase. We can do it our way and take the long way around, but God’s will will be done.