“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. 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.”
To be the slave or servant of God was no shameful thing. On the contrary it was a title of the greatest honour. It had been carried by Moses, Joshua and David. Paul was proud to use it as was James. However Christ offers to all His followers the position and privilege of an intimacy unknown previously – with the possible exception of Abraham who was referred to as ‘the friend of God.’
It is one thing to read it. It is quite another to appropriate to oneself the great truth that God is our friend – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The implications are enormous.
For example: Friends love each other and enjoy each other’s company. Friends talk to each other and share their inner selves with each other. Friends support each other and respond to an expression of need. Friends desire the best for each other. Friends forgive each other, do not knowingly grieve each other and do not betray confidences. Friends protect and are patient with each other. Friends trust each other. Friends want to be with each other.
Children are not always friends of or with their parents. However God wants to add this further element to our relationship with Him of Father and child. He wants us to be His friends and to see Him as our friend. He has shown us how far He was prepared to go in His love for us – now He asks us to trust Him and His love in a living relationship.
To be friends with God we cannot keep Him at a distance. We need to respond to Him and indicate our desire for a closer and more intimate relationship.
• “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:8)
• “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
Take time to pray and think over this remarkable invitation.
Father it can be easier to withdraw into myself where there is less likelihood of hurt, rejection and shame. Lord Jesus You stepped out for me. Holy Spirit You have come to me. Help me please to draw closer to You so that You can draw closer to me. Amen.