A Good Friend

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.
John 15:13–15 NIV
Several years ago, Israel Houghton wrote a simple chorus. Every time I hear it, it moves me. The lyrics read,
“I am a friend of God. 
I am a friend of God. 
I am a friend of God. 
He calls me friend.”
He’s the King of Kings and He calls us friend. 
He’s the Mighty God and He calls us friend. 
He’s The Great I Am and He calls us friend.
True friendship is never based on what you know, what you have or what you do, but on who you know and who knows you.
Houghton reminds us of our value to God,
“Who am I that you are mindful of me, 
that you hear me, when I call. 
Is it true that you are thinking of me? 
How you love me, it’s amazing.”
God values us. He thinks that much of us and that often of us. He calls us friend.  Solomon wisely reminds us that to have friends, we must “show ourselves friendly”. (Prov 18:24 KJV)
Take few moments and consider how God shows Himself friendly?
He Sacrifices. Jesus tells us the greatest story of love involves sacrificing. He says, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (‭Jn ‭15‬:‭13‬ NLT) True friendship is seen in the sacrifice by selfless service. John illustrates God’s incredible and impacting love for us, “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up His life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” (‭1 Jn‬ ‭3‬:‭16‬ NLT)
He Sees. He knows all about us . . . all of our “stuff”. He sees our failures, our faults, our fears and our frailty . . . and He still forgives us. He knows all of our loses and loves us. His eyes never communicate displeasure or disappointment . . . we are His delight. In The Message, Eugene Peterson captures Paul’s thoughts, “I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” (‭Rom‬ ‭8‬:‭39‬ MSG)
He Seeks. Luke tells us that Jesus “came to seek and save those who are lost.” (‭Luke‬ ‭19‬:‭10‬ NLT) As the Friend who sticks closer than a brother (Prov 18:24), He saves us from our sin, He seeks us at our lowest points, and He surrounds us with His love. Casting Crowns reminds us that Jesus is a friend of sinners. They sing,
“And I was the lost cause and I was the outcast. Yeah.
You died for sinners just like me, a grateful leper at Your feet.”
He passionately pursues us.
He Shares. Jesus shares an abundance of life and an abiding Spirit. His intimacy gives us insight. All that Jesus has learned from His Father, He gives to us. Jesus says, “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature . . . I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.” (‭Jn 15‬:‭11-15‬ MSG)  Philosopher and teacher, Aristotle reminds us, “Friendship is one soul living in two bodies.” Jesus shares His soul with us.
He Swaps. An authentic friend will take your bad day and make it better. Jesus trades our tragedies for triumphs. The prophet Isaiah writes, “To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” (Is 61:3 NIV)
Harry Nilsson wrote the following lyrics to a 1970’s television program entitled, “The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father”, “People let me tell you ’bout my best friend, he’s a warm hearted person who’ll love me till the end.”
Our God loves us from the beginning of this life to the beginning of all eternity . . . and that’s just the beginning.
Take some time to day to spend with your Best Friend, He will love you to the end.

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