This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another. John 15:12-17
I was reading in James this morning and as I was reading verse 2:23 caught my attention. It says, "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, 'Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 'Called the friend of God' jumped out at me and I thought 'How cool! To have that be your reputation; the Friend of God" As I kept reading I got to 4:4 and again noticed a familiar word. It said, "Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that the friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. This time my mental response wasn't, "How cool," but instead an "Oh, Ouch," And I quickly shot a cry to heaven. "Please, Lord God, help me to always choose my love for you over anything the world has to offer."
I then went to school and guess what song we did for opening? The chorus went like this; "I am a friend of God, I am a friend of God, I am a friend of God, He calls me friend." Next, the first verse one of my little ones needed to read to me was, Proverbs 18:24 ... A man that has friends must shew himself friendly. I don't know about you but I think today's topic is clear. We ARE going to talk about being a friend to God.
Jesus, in the verse above gives us a couple of hints on how to be His friend. The first thing He says is, "This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you." Listening and doing what He tells us is key to being "His friend." What He told us is to love one another in the same way He loves us and to lay our lives down for one another. If He is our friend than we will listen to what He has to say. We will go where He is and do what He is doing and, like He said, He is all about loving and laying down His life for His friends. Friends have common goals and shared experiences. Friends do things together. He wants us to share in loving and laying down our lives not only with each other but with HIM!
He said, "This is My commandment to love one one another ... You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you." Being His friend means you value what He has to say enough to do it.
He then goes on to say, ..."Henceforth, I call you not servants; for the servant does not know what his Master is doing; but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard from my Father I have made known unto you." Why? Why does this statement explain or make friendship with Him any clearer. Easy, You can't miss it. You don't share hopes, dreams, plans, or intimate details with a servant. But a friend? Yes! A friend gets to hear it all. Every detail. Every hope. Every dream. Every intimate detail gets dumped into their listening ears. Why? Because they are friends and friends listen! Friends care about the things that matter to you because they care about you!
Next, He says, "You did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another." He picked you to be His friend. He picked you to share His heart with. He chose you to share in His life's purpose. He picked you and I to be His friend. He chose you and I to be the ones He could share all the intimate details about His plans and purposes with. He chose you and I to lay down our lives and to be called His Friends! So, how cool is that? To be honest, I personally think it is way, way, way beyond cool to know that He said, and I quote... "I have called you friends."