Well, here is the third post in the series, Who Am I? If you missed the first two here are the links: Who Am I? I Am Accepted in Christ , Who Am I? I Am God’s Child. Today, I am discussing another blessing for those in Christ. This blessing is that we are Christ’s friends. For some of us this is not a new concept, but to many, they may never have had a good friend and cannot imagine someone choosing them as a friend. Yet, this is the truth for everyone who is in Christ. They each have a friend in Jesus.
I often have a hard time with this truth myself. I haven’t really ever been able to keep a good close friend longer than the time I have been in high school or college. I gain friends and then after the few years in school are up we go separate ways. This isn’t intentional, but it just happens. Life takes us separate ways. So, after “losing” close friends and going our separate ways I have a hard time getting close to a new set of people or even a single person! So, I am writing on a topic that I am not well versed in because I myself feel alone most of my days.
Enough with the sob story…. On to the truth of the Gospel! The truth is that even for a guy such as me who has trouble making friends and keeping them Christ had no trouble choosing me and keeping me as a friend. Let me illustrate from The Gospel of John.
John 15:12–17 (ESV)
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
Christ loved you so much that he gave himself for you. You will not find a greater love than that. If you do, that person is probably lying to you. As I am preaching through 2 Peter I came to 2 Peter chapter 2. It is all about false teachers and their followers. What you see happening is these false teachers exploit others for their own good. Unfortunately, they gather a huge following, all the while wearing masks that lure people in and cheating them. The path of the false teachers’ teachings leads to destruction. Yet, what does Christ do? He doesn’t exploit people for his own benefit. No, Jesus selflessly gives himself for his friends. He does it for the good of others. The result of his giving himself up is eternal life to all who believe. How great is that!
We are Jesus’ friends if we follow his commands. Now, that may sound like a burden, but really it is freeing. Christ does not shackle us with his commands, rather they are completely freeing. One of the ways you will know that you love God and that you love His people is by obeying God’s commandments. What is the greatest commandment? Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. The second greatest commandment is similar. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Do you love God? Obey his commands. Do you love others? Then, obey God’s commands. Obedience is a sure sign of love.
1 John 5:2 (ESV)
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.
So, all of this to say that you have a friend in Jesus if you have placed your trust upon his work for you on the cross. He gave himself for your good. He emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Phil. 2:7,8). What wondrous love he has for us that he would leave his rightful place in Heaven and humble himself for us. Oh, what a friend we have in Jesus! Because of his great friendship toward us, we too must be good friends to others. Love God. Love people. We have a great Friend, now be a great friend to others.
Are you going through a tough time? Go to your friend, Jesus Christ. Take it to the Lord in prayer and you will find your rest. You can trust Jesus because he always wants what is best for you.
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer!
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer!
– What a Friend We Have in Jesus by Joseph M. Scriven