I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends. (John 15:15)
Today’s word of encouragement has nothing to do with the television sitcom that aired for ten seasons from 1994-2004. Rather, “Friends” is about you and how your relationship with God rises to the level of friendship. If have, by grace through faith, placed your trust in Jesus Christ for your eternal salvation, I want you to stop and think about that for just a minute; the sovereign Lord of all the universe—He who simply said “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky” and the blazing furnace that is the sun was instantly formed (Genesis 3:15), the God who commands lightning where and where not to strike (Job 36:32) and commands the seas just how far they may encroach on the land (Job 38:11)—that awesome, infinite, majestic God calls you His friend!
We can classify friendship under two biblical headings: friendship with God or friendship with the unbelieving world. Scripture tells us plainly that we cannot be friends with both. “If anyone loves the world,” John warned, “the love of the father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). Our God is a jealous God and He will tolerate no rival . . . nor should He! If we are friends with the world, we simply cannot be friends with God. This is because –
- The world does not acknowledge His authority.
- The world does not seek after His will.
- The world does not worship His perfections.
- The world does not bow to His Lordship.
- The world does not love His Word.
- The world does not confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Jesus described His relationship with the world this way: “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Luke 9:58). The unbelieving world gave Him no shelter, they gave Him no support, and they gave Him no submission. In the end, they cursed Him, condemned Him, and ultimately crucified Him. They mocked him as He was dying.
But for those whom Jesus calls friends, even in all their imperfections, Jesus loves and protects them, and not one of them is lost, for no one and nothing can snatch His sheep out of His sovereign hand (John 10:28-29). Scripture says of both Abraham and Moses, two men whose flaws are writ large in Scripture, that they were friends of God. The same is said of Jesus’ disciples . . . and Christian, it is also said about you today.
Friendship with God is not a privilege extended only to a select few on the pages of sacred Scripture. No, that friendship belongs to everyone who calls on the name of Jesus and follows Him wherever He leads. You are a friend of Jesus by grace and grace alone. You remain a friend of Jesus by grace and grace alone. And yet, at the same time, the clear and present sign of that friendship is our devotion and dedication to the One who calls us His friend.
What does it mean to you today to know Jesus calls you His friend? What does the confession of your life say? Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). He did just that for you to make you His friend. May that truth both encourage and equip you to live out your friendship with God while forsaking friendship with the world. This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!