Summary: Abraham was the ultimate friend of God. There was no one who was elevated to any higher degree in friendship to God than Abraham. God made sure that this unique label was recorded in script
We learned about our need for understanding our purpose…that a life without purpose is a life without meaning. Perhaps you have struggled with your purpose or the meaning of your life. You can only find your meaning, your destiny for your life through a relationship with God. Any attempts to try to find it apart from God will result in frustration and failure.
2. Week 2:
i. We learned about the eternal perspective that we need in order to make sense of life. Often when our nose is so close to our problem we cannot see anything but our problems. But gaining an eternal perspective allows us to see that this life is a short weigh station in an eternal life…a life that will either be spent with God or away from God.
3. Week 3:
i. We began to uncover the first of the five purposes for which we were created. The first one, is the most important one and must be maintained as a priority. It is “We were planned for God’s pleasure.”
1. That is, we were created by God, planned by Him, to bring Him pleasure. This encompasses the concept of worship. God planted a need in us to worship Him. And we will only find satisfaction when we are worshipping Him. We may try substitutes, but they will fall short of the best God has for us.
2. We even learned last week about the nature of worship, how it is not just a Sunday morning activity, something you turn off when you leave these doors on Sunday afternoon and turn on the following Sunday morning when you come back through them.
3. In fact, we learned that our experience together in corporate worship is dependent upon our walk during the week with God.
1. Comedian Yakov Smirnoff. When he first came to the United States from Russia he was not prepared for the incredible variety of instant products available in American grocery stores. He says, "On my first shopping trip, I saw powdered milk--you just add water, and you get milk. Then I saw powdered orange juice--you just add water, and you get orange juice. And then I saw baby powder, and I thought to my self, "What a country!"
2. Wouldn’t it be nice if we just met Jesus, added water (baptism) and we could instantly have a close, intimate relationship with Him?
i. However, closeness to God takes time and experience.
ii. I also find that I can be close to Him today and distant tomorrow!
3. Friendship with God
1. "And the scripture was fulfilled which says, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God" (Ja. 2:23).
2. In this text, there is something that cannot be found in any other passage in the Bible, and that is the expression: "Friend of God"--friend with a capital F.
3. Abraham was the ultimate friend of God
i. There was no one who was elevated to any higher degree in friendship to God than Abraham.
ii. God made sure that this unique label was recorded in scripture for all of us to read for generations to come.
iii. But when we read this unique label, do we wonder why he was given this title?
4. When we call someone a friend, we are saying something special about that person.
i. We are telling others and that person that they matter, that they are trusted, and that they are important to us.
ii. The term "friend" is somewhat intimate and conveys a sense of closeness, trust, and sharing.
iii. The great, almighty, ever-present and all-powerful, all-knowing God was the one who made this statement.
iv. This was not Abraham’s assessment of his relationship with God, nor how he thought about God.
v. It was a statement that God made about Abraham.
1. James was quoting from Isaiah 41. But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; (RSV)
2. Did you see it. God is the one saying, “Abraham, my friend.”
5. How would it make you feel to hear God say that about you.
i. Larry, my friend. Bill, my friend. George, my friend. Lois, my friend.
ii. Imagine hearing God speak your name and identify you as His friend.
iii. Seems kind of impossible, doesn’t it.
6. Yet the concept of “Friendship with God” is foundational to understanding and fulfilling our first purpose (of the purpose driven life) of “God planned us for His pleasure.”
i. Most of us find it hard to believe that God delights in us.
ii. We have been taught that God is mad at us.
iii. Maybe you feel that way sometimes.
iv. You feel like God is going to smack you upside the head if you disobey one more time.