Friendship With Jesus

If I had to choose one book out of the entire Bible as my favorite it would be the book of John. Of course every book in the Bible is unique. For example, most of the Old Testament tells us about God’s covenant and holiness; while in the New the other Gospels tell us what Jesus did. When we get to Acts we learn how the church came to be and later the Apostle Paul shows us what it means to live as a Christian. But John, from its very first verses tells us about Jesus.

In Chapter One He is the Word of God
In Chapter Six the Bread of life
Chapter Eight He tells us He is the Light of the world
And In Chapter Ten He is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life
By Chapter Eleven He tells Martha He is the Resurrection and the Life
Chapter Thirteen reveals Jesus as Lord and Master
Chapter Fourteen the Way the Truth and Life
Chapter Fifteen He is the Vine and we are His branches
And finally to Thomas in Twenty He reveals He is Lord and God

But of all these amazing titles, I find the most amazing is Friend.

No longer do I call you servants,[a] 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. John 15:15

When our oldest son was just a baby we lived in a tiny third floor apartment. The two features we loved most about it were that it was cheap and that it was furnished. But it was so small that you could walk through its three rooms in less than ten steps. Three for the kitchen, three more for the living room and a bit less for the bedroom which over looked the street. One hot summer afternoon our one year old son Chris woke from his nap while my wife was working in the kitchen. The window was open just a crack to let in whatever breeze might be stirring to let in some air. For some reason Chris decided that it was much more interesting watching the cars below on the street than in going to see his mom. As he climbed out, Nancy heard the sound and turned and saw our son out on the roof toddling back and forth unafraid and unaware of the danger. Being the cool headed woman that she is Nancy, looked out and smiled at Chris, then spread her arms wide and called gently. “Hi honey! Come give mommy a hug!’ Chris lit up when he heard his mother’s voice and walked back to the window and embraced his mother. As our friend, God is exactly like that. He clearly sees the danger we are in teetering on the edge of eternity because of our sin. We have all climbed out the window of His will to try and get a better look at the world. But our almighty Creator does not panic. He does not shout orders or demand instant obedience. He knows we cannot obey in fear and that in fact we will be even more likely to fall off our tiny ledge of safety. Instead the Master of the universe spread His arms open wide to us on the cross and called. “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Now that’s some amazing kind of friend! Won’t you rush to Heaven’s window and reach out for His everlasting arms!

Oh what a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer

I hope you like our good friend Matt Maher’s version of What a Friend. It is one of my favorites!

Being Friends With God

And He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them,  “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; Mark 9:36-37a ESV

Several years ago, my wife sometimes babysat for two children at our church. David was seven and his little sister Leticia five. On Sundays, I would wave and say, “Hey guys! Good to see you!” David would wave back and smile, but Leticia always hid her face. Every week, I would smile and wave, and every week the results were the same. “I’m sorry.” her mom said, Leticia is just so shy.” “No problem. She’ll smile when she’s ready.” I always answered. But I wondered if that day would ever come. Then one Sunday, just as I was about to sit down, Leticia slipped out of her pew, looked right at me and came running full speed and jumped up in my lap! That scene reminded me of today’s verse. As Jesus walked down the road and his disciples argued about who was the most important, He interrupted their conversation, reached out, and took a child by the hand. Just as I had learned, small children do not stay near to people they do not trust. You can lecture them all day about being polite to guests, but you cannot force friendship. Jesus had children around because they knew he was a friend. He had raised a little girl from the dead and healed a boy with seizures. Children showed up because they liked being around Him. They knew they mattered to Him. He noticed them, talked to them and on occasion even took them in His arms and blessed them. So, if you need healing or even just someone to talk to, Jesus is close by. We do not need to convince Him how important you are. All children are matter to Him. We can all run and jump up into his lap if we are ready, because Jesus is waiting for us to come!

Our son and granddaughter

 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15

Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer. – Ed Cunningham

If we want to experience friendship with God then we must do the same!

Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends leave footprints in your heart. – Eleanor Roosevelt

If you have decided to make God your best friend then the footprints of His love will be seen in us every time we pray!

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com