Summary: The friend of God lives to please God, hears His voice, responds positively and becomes a blessing.
The Friend of God
For the last two and a half years, NMBC has been the most blessed church in SW MS—we’ve had Philip Alford as our Minister of Music. During this time, Philip has become very special to all of us there as he has been to so many of you for so long. He as been the object of many a joke, and he has tried to tell a few of his own. But as we all know, sometimes Philip has a little trouble with the punch lines of those he tries to tell. In fact, Philip when to Angola with me one day and he heard the inmates shout out a number and all of them would laugh. This went on for some time and Philip asked one of them what they were doing. He told him that they had heard all the jokes so often that they had numbered all the jokes and when they wished to tell one they just called out the number and everyone would have a good laugh. He encouraged Philip to just call out a number and he did-15. No one laughed. The inmate said that that one wasn’t very funny and told him to call out a higher number—a newer joke, so to speak. Philip called out 76, still no one laughed. Philip tried several others, but he kept getting the same response. Finally, one of the inmates stood up and said, “Some can tell them and some can’t.”
We haven’t come here tonight to roast Philip, so let’s move on. In our text tonight we have the story of Abram, more readily known as Abraham, the friend of God. In Isaiah 41:8, God refers to him as such. Jesus called His disciples “friends” and we can also we Friends of God if we follow the example of Abraham.
First, the friend of God lives his life in such a way that he is pleasing to God.
A. Hebrews 11:6—without faith it is impossible to please God.
B. Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness—Genesis 15:6
C. Abraham was not always a God follower—at one time he was an idol worshipper—Joshua 24:2
D. But, when God spoke to him, he had a change, and though he was not perfect—he lied at least twice about Sarah being his sister to save his own neck—Abraham lived his life by faith.
E. That’s why he is known as the father of the faithful and three religions consider him as their spiritual patriarch.
F. But how about us? Is your number one goal in life to please God or self? Two weeks ago I challenged the members of NMBC to start each day by praying, not the prayer of Jabez or anything like it, but to simply say to God, “I want to be pleasing to you today with my life.”
G. I believe that if we determine that our number one goal is to please God with lives, then every other aspect of our walk will fall into place.
H. Will we fail, occasionally. But do we stop trying, no. Abraham was called the friend of God because he lived a life of faith which was pleasing to God.
I. Will that be your number one goal in life? I’m sure that it is Philip’s.
Second, the friend of God hears God’s voice.
A. It is unfortunate that two many of God’s people are like old Boudreaux who went to the doctor complaining about his wife’s hearing. Marie said, “Boudreaux, for the third time we having chicken and dirty rice.”
B. To hear properly, our spiritual hears, first must be turned on by faith and then tuned into the proper frequency.
C. There are many sound waves bouncing all around us here tonight, and if you can hear me, then your physical ears are tuned into the proper frequency so to speak. It’s like your car radio, you’ve tuned into your favorite station and your listening to your favorite song, and then it starts to fade and become distorted. Why? It’s because you gotten out of range.
D. The friend of God, not only has his spiritual ears tuned into the proper frequency, but he doesn’t let temptation and sin lead him out of range.
E. The friend of God is tuned into God all the time. God’s voice only gets distorted when we are in sin.
F. Now there are two kinds of calls on a person’s life—the universal call to salvation and ministry and then the special call to a special ministry, and we’ll see in a moment that there are two options that we have in responding to these calls. We can hear, heed and heel or we can hear, reject and run.—Dog training illus.