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Summary: Here is a Friend indeed!

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John 15:9-17

“Friends of God”

By: Rev. Kenneth Emerson Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church

To what great lengths would many of us go to be friends with…say…our favorite celebrity…

…or some wealthy dignitary…

…or our boss…

…or just someone that we admire?

Many of us would go to great lengths.

Some of us may even be willing to sacrifice our moral standards…or what we know to be right…just to be accepted by a certain person.

Think of all the games that many of us played in high school…

…think of all the things some of us did in order to be friends with the so-called ‘in-crowd’.

Think of the lengths we go to in order to be friends with people…who…probably don’t make very good friends anyway!

Now, think about how much effort…comparatively speaking…we put into being friends with God.

In our Gospel lesson for this morning Jesus tells His disciples… “You did not choose me, but I chose you.”

This is a bewildering fact!

This is how great God is, and how blind and finite we are…

It’s not like we stumbled upon Jesus, and in seeing Him, we fell head-over-heals in love with our Creator…

…and ran straight for Him…

…and held onto Him for dear life…

…and begged Him to be our friend!

It’s not like that at all.

Instead, Christ sought us out…like a person searching for a lost coin…like a shepherd searching for His lost sheep…

Christ has come to us.

It is the One through Whom and for Whom this entire universe was created Who says to us: “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.”

Christ knocks on our door.

Christ wants to have entry into our lives.

It’s Christ Who has made the journey from Heaven to earth, from earth to the Cross, from the Cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky in order to be our friends!!!

And why?…And why?

In verse 9 Jesus says: “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you."

Wow!

That’s some powerful love!!!

But how can Christ love us like that—us?

We may be able to understand how Christ could have pity on us…

…or even how He could dislike us…

But, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.”

Christ loves us despite everything we do which is contrary to His purpose for us!

Christ loves us despite the fact that we ignore Him…

…despite the fact that we curse Him…

…use His name in vain…

…laugh at Him…

…mock Him…

…crucify Him!!!

And He loves us in the very same way…with the same degree of intensity that God the Father loves God the Son!!!

A small boy defined a friend as “Someone who knows all about you and likes you just the same.”

And this is how it is with Jesus.

Many of us feel as if we must measure up to some kind of incredible standard before God will love us…

…therefore, many of us don’t even try.

We tend to measure God’s way of loving by the way we tend to love others or ourselves…

…and often we don’t love others unless they meet our standards…

…and often we don’t love ourselves…

…for many different reasons.

But God loves us…despite ourselves!

God loves us just the way we are!


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