Summary: Jesus said that we’re His friends... but what do friends of God do???
OPEN: Friendship is an elusive commodity. I have sought quotes and illustrations on this topic and found only a few observations I found to be enlightening… but the few that I did find were enlightening:
One Native American Indian Tribe described a friend as: “someone who carries my sorrows on his back.”
Someone else has observed: A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out
One little boy gave this definition: “A person who knows us – and still likes us.”
But my favorite definition of friendship is one given by famous philosopher - Winnie the Pooh:
If you live to be a hundred,
I want to live to be a hundred minus one day,
so I never have to live without you.
True friends are as precious as jewels because they are the ones that stay close beside you, when you need them the most.
Jesus said – that when you and I became Christians… we became His friends. And that got me to thinking… What exactly is a friend of God? What do friends of God do? What do you DO as a friend of God?
I. Then I remembered some other friends of God…
Exodus 33:11 tells us that when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, “The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend…”
God spent time with His friends and He talked with them – people like Moses and Abraham and others. And that’s what He did with Adam and Eve. Before they sinned, God walked in the Garden with them – and He talked with them
And I believe that’s part of the reasoning behind one of the great songs of our faith. Sing it with me:
“And He walks with me, and He talks with. And He tells me I am His own. And the joy we share, as we tarry there none other has ever known.”
Remember that? It’s a beautiful song. And it tells of one of the greatest privileges we have God’s friends:
– The privilege to talk with God and know that He listens
– The privilege to have the same relationship with Him that Adam & Eve had in Garden
Other people might pray to God… but we TALK with Him –as His friends
Then there was the comment of Job made. Job was suffering… he was in torment. And then along come his “friends. They accuse him of having sinned. They said that his afflictions were the result of some evil that he had done.
But in Job 16:19-21 Job cries out:
“Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. MY INTERCESSOR IS MY FRIEND as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a man he pleads with God AS A MAN PLEADS FOR HIS FRIEND.”
Job’s earthly friends were not really friends at all… But Job knew that there was somebody in heaven interceding for him. Pleading for him. And he knew that – whoever it was – this someone WAS his friend.
In Romans 8:34 Paul argued that no one could succeed in truly condemning we who were Christians because: “Christ Jesus, who died— more than that, who was raised to life— is at the right hand of God and is also INTERCEDING for us.”
Earthly friends might hurt us, betray us, belittle us or walk away from us. But not Jesus. Jesus will never leave us. He’ll never forsake us. And Jesus intercedes for us. He pleads for us.
NOW… this all goes to show that Jesus places a high priority on our friendship. He WANTS us to spend time with Him. He wants us to discuss our hopes and dreams and our problems and difficulties in life.
He wants us to do that – because that’s what friends should do. And He - as our friend - responds by interceding/ pleading for us… as a friend would intercede for a friend.
II. Now… let’s get back to my original question
What do we, as Jesus’ friends, DO?
• We know that Jesus listens to us
• We know that He wants to have us talk with Him
• We know that He intercedes for us…
o BUT WHAT DO WE DO for Him as His friends?
Jesus gives us 2 answers in our text this morning:
1st – He wants us to bear fruit (John 15:16)
TURN WITH ME TO John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you (to be my friends) and appointed you to go and bear fruit— fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”
So Jesus chose you as His friend… and He chose you to do something.