Jesus Promises Us Friendship with God
Sunday - April 26th
Today's Scripture to Read: John 15:14-15
Our current Stay-At-Home Order issued by state authorities reminds me of the 1978 blizzard in the Midwest. Not that our 95 degree days right now have any similarity to the cold of the blizzard days. But, we were not able to leave our home for a solid week or so. As an 11-year-old kid, it couldn't get any better - no school, trapped at home with my next-door neighbor as my best friend, and lots of snow to make forts.
Lance and I spent a lot of time during that blizzard doing all kinds of different things. Our little dead-end street only had three homes: our two houses and a home with no children. We began writing a book (The Blakes Adventure of the Endless Cave), made a short movie with his Dad's 8-millimeter movie camera (a bit of a horror film), and played lots of Yahtzee and Monopoly. We probably irritated his sister (who was four years older than us) and ignored my brother (who was three years younger than us).
The friendship between Lance and me started when we were about three years old. With no one else our age within miles of us, we quickly became inseparable. While our connection drifted apart during high school and college, as we settled into adulthood and started families, Lance and I reconnected. We continue to text each other and try to connect every year or so when I am back in Indiana. He was very kind to let me include a bunch of our stories in my memoir, All But Normal: Life on Victory Road.
Even during the times we were not that close, I knew we were still friends. Friendships like that don't come along very often. They are unique and last the test of time. Friendships in the Bible often get highlighted as key stories unfold. David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi, Paul and Barnabas - there are dozens of friendships woven throughout Scripture.
Outside of Abraham, few, if any, characters of the Old Testament were ever called a friend of God. Most of those who walked with and served God were called His servants, not His friends. The night before His crucifixion, Jesus called His disciples His friends. That was a radical concept at the time. They were now a part of the mission of His Father, and to be a part of that meant that they were friends, not servants.
All of us, as followers of Christ, are now the friends of God. We did not bridge that relationship. Jesus did that for us in His death, burial, and resurrection. I was once an enemy of God. Now, through Jesus, I am a friend of God. Think about it. You, who the Bible describes as once being an enemy of God in your sin, are a friend of God by grace. What a promise! What a privilege!
Because of Jesus, the God of the universe is your friend!