Do you call Jesus your friend? Count me in!

friend-template-960x250Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have a friend in Jesus.  I love the old hymn, “What a friend I have in Jesus”.  The lyrics speak of our friend Jesus bearing all our sins and griefs and our privileged of taking our problems to Him in prayer.   Jesus called us His friends in John 15:14-15 “ You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”   Being called a friend of Jesus means we follow His Word and walk beside Him in our daily life.  He is right there to help us when we stumble, give a word of comfort or be our companion.  By following His pathway we are no longer just like a hired servant or one who receives orders but a friend to be confided in, helped and taught.   He also promises to reveal what He knows about God the Father to us.  A few verses later in John 15:18 Jesus warns us that being called His friend will put us in a position to be hated by others.  “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.”   He also speaks of this in Matthew 10:22 “and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”   I love the promise Jesus gives at the end of the Matthew verse.  Standing with Jesus and enduring the derision and persecution that the unbelieving world places upon us because we proclaim Him, will bring a great reward. 

friend JesusWhere do you need Jesus to be your friend today?  Reach out to Him in prayer and let Him know of your thoughts, hopes and struggles.  Read His Word with confidence and hope as if expecting a word from a friend, the Bible is God’s love letter to us.

Linda

Suggestion:  Spend some time with your friend Jesus today.  Go for a prayer praise walk with Jesus.  Talk with Him as you walk along and praise Him for His provision and the glory you see along the way.  Can’t get out?  Just gaze out a window and spend time journeying with Jesus in prayer.

Here is a country version of the old hymn- What a friend we have in Jesus.

Veteran’s Day- Remembering

I am currently reading All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque with a student.  It graphically describes the horrors of WWI as seen through the eyes of a young German soldier.  Most of us read this in High School and could not relate to what the author was saying.  We were too young and inexperienced to realize the truth of the characters experiences.  Nothing adequately describes the horrors of war and its aftermath in the mind and soul of the individual.  November 11th is set aside for the specific remembrance -the 11th month, 11th day at the 11th hour the armistice was signed ending WWI, named the war to end all wars, and yet it did not.  Scripture tells us there will we wars and rumors of wars until the end of time.  Today we remember those who served and those who died in any war or conflict with grateful hearts.

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Here are some pictures of the beaches and cemetery at Normandy.  This was place of great sacrifice during World War II.  Thank you to each Veteran on this Veteran’s Day for your service and the sacrifice of all those who have died to preserve our freedoms.  I am most grateful.

In John 15:13 Jesus says, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”. (NIV)  These brave men and women paid the ultimate price and they did not even know me.  I am humbled by their patriotism and sacrifice on my behalf.

Gratefully,

Linda

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Friends of the faith- Oh, so precious!

Psalm 119:57-64 is a testimony from the psalmist that God is His true place of fulfillment and contentment.  He can rely upon God to sustain, fill and be his all in all just as He promises in His Word..  The Lord is my portion;   I promise to keep your words.”  Later, in verses 63-64, he concludes that God is his friend and he will be a friend to anyone who trusts in God and lives by His Word.  He realizes that His love can be found everywhere on earth. He asks the Lord to teach him as he knows that God’s Word will sustain and strengthen him.   I am a friend to all who fear you,  to all who follow your precepts.  64 The earth is filled with your love, Lord;  teach me your decrees.”  

How do you chose your close friends?  Do you choose people that align with your beliefs in God?  The psalmist proclaimed that he is a friend to all who know and follow God’s Word.  Paul spoke of this in Romans when he urged all believers to be united in Christ. He prayed for them in Romans 15:5-6.  May the God who gives endurance and romans 15 5 6encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”   Is this a prayer you could pray for your fellow friends in Christ?  To really show the world our Savior, we need to be of one mind and voice as we glorify God.   The psalmist says that his true friends in the faith follow God’s Word and are teachable.  Does that describe you?  Are you open to learning from God’s Word?  

friend pushTake this prayer of Paul’s and claim it for your life.  Pray for your friends of the faith, to come alongside you and join together as one mind and one voice to witness to the dying world around us.

Proclaiming the gospel in love,

Linda

I am a friend of God.

Because I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I am a friend of God.  Being called Jesus’ friend or God’s friend is a privileged position.   John 15:15  No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”    Jesus makes the distinction between a servant and a friend.  A servant is one who does the bidding of his master, one who works without knowing the plans, motives and purposes behind what he is doing and receives little to no reward for his service.   Whereas a friend is someone who is brought into close confidence with Him and with whom Jesus shares His knowledge of the Father.  In scripture Abraham was referred to as a friend of God.  James 2:23 ” and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.”  Through his faith and faithfulness towards God, Abraham was recognized by God as His friend and he was rewarded with righteousness.

Friendship with Jesus brings us an even greater closeness as we know who He is and what He desires for mankind.  We share in His vision and purpose when we are His friends.  Unlike a servant, as friends of Jesus we have multiple rewards now and in the future because of this relationship.  I have a really close friend that now lives near Los Angeles.   For years we lived close enough to see each other each week and share our hopes, dreams, struggles and worries.  We supported one another in prayer, gave encouragement and listened with a heart of love.   Proverbs 17:17a “A friend loves at all times,”  describes friend lovesmy friend.  She has been there for me and stood by me in some really difficult times.   My friend is still my friend even though I don’t see her every week.  I know I can call her and she will listen, pray and encourage me no matter what.  Jesus is an  even greater friend as He goes beyond all earthly friendships.  He intercedes for me with the Father (Romans 8:26), and He listens and encourages me through prayer (Hebrews 4:15).  He has good planned for me (Jeremiah 29:11), and He loves me (John 3:16).   Just like Abraham, I need to be faithful and full of faith in Jesus, then His righteousness will be credited to me.  Knowing and trusting Jesus as my Savior will wash and cleanse me and will result in His righteousness being imputed to me.  Proverbs 22:11 “He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.

As a follower of Christ, You can call Jesus your friend.  What a blessed friendship it is!

Linda

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