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Friend of God

The friend of God. Who would not want to be a friend of His? Who would want to be His enemy if you were not a friend? And how would one become a friend of His? If you look back on life, you may have noticed it may be challenging to find a friend or to be a friend to or of somebodies. Friendships seem to take time to grow, develop and flourish. The Oxford Dictionary announces that a friend is a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, a person who is not an enemy or opponent, an ally. I believe everyone wants to be a friend to someone or have a friend to confide in. Man was not made to be alone. He desires fellowship and desires to love something or someone and desires to be loved. Do we have any examples in the Bible of a friend of God and what does that look like? Abraham would be that example from the Scriptures.
In James 2:23, we read,” And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to Him as righteousness, and He was called the friend of God.” 2Chron.20:7 states, “of Abraham Your friend forever.” And Isa.41:8, “Jacob whom I have chosen, descendent of Abraham, My friend.” That is a special title, a special privilege, a special honor. One special trait, one great truth we see about this friend of God Abraham, is the compassion he shows toward even the sinful, wicked, and unrighteous people of Sodom. In Gen.18:23-33, Abraham pleads with God not to sweep away the Righteous with the unrighteous people there. Abraham knows that the righteous do not deserve to die amidst the sinners whose sin is exceedingly grave, but that also those sinners need the salt and light of those who know God in order to be saved. As Abraham interceded for sinners in Sodom, is this not just like Jesus who saw the multitudes as sheep without a shepherd, scattered, lying exhausted and defenseless against the evil one? After all as well in Luke 7:34, they say of Jesus,” Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.”
Commentator Alexander Maclaren states, “Indifference to the miseries and impending dangers of Christless men is impossible for any whom He calls ‘not slaves, but friends.” In Luke 11:5-8, we see a man knocking on a door to find three loaves. The friend though is sound asleep. And Jesus in verse 8 states, “ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of His persistence he will get up and give him as much as He needs.” The Greek word for persistence here, found only here in the New Testament, meaning shamelessness. He will do anything because he is his friend. A great lesson in prayer for us to be continually persistent of Him for our needs, to be met according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. This was Abraham in His requests in Genesis 18, we can count at least six different petitions. Maclaren states,” On the human side we are here taught the great truth, that God's friends are intercessors, whose voice has a mysterious but most real power with God.” And Martin Luther stated, “If I have a Christian who prays to God for me, I will be of good courage, and be afraid of nothing.”
To be a friend of God, let us hear Jesus Himself tell us how that comes about. In John 15:14, He states,” You are My friends if you do what I command you.” Is it impossible? John tells us it should not be in 1 John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome.” Being filled with the Holy Spirit, we should delight, cherish, and treasure obeying His commandments. 2Cor.5:15 shows us that is the truth and goal of our friendship with Him in all we say and do, “He died for all, so that they who live may no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” Are you a friend of Jesus? Lord willing, in two weeks we will look into the ways of mortifying, destroying, or killing sin in our lives.
Elder Randy Slak