Since Iím on the topic of friends it would be wise to include the teaching of becoming Godís friend. Hereís why, if we learn the principles of becoming Godís friend then we will build a powerful relationship with almighty God and Jesus Christ where we can become sensitive to build relationships with other people.
Itís hard to develop a relationship with other people who may be difficult to embrace as an acquaintance or even be friendly toward them. We need training with God to build our tolerance levels and every other loving characteristic that God would have us demonstrate toward the unlovable person.
Four Main Principles of Being Classified as Godís Friend
Jesus said, greater love has no one than this, than to lay down oneís life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you (John 15:13-15)
Jesus spoke these words to His disciples several weeks before His arrest, trial and being crucified. Itís important to note that Jesus has been training them for more than 2 Ĺ years before He made this statement. We need to know this because proper setting allows us to see that it took time for Jesus to evaluate the disciples and then say they are His friends. So a development of certain qualities gave the Lord the opportunity to share with His disciples the level of relationship they were in. Jesus said, I have called you friends.
1. Laying down our lives (John 15:13)
We lay down our lives when we lose it. Jesus meant that if we love him more than our own relatives, mom, pop, son or daughter. Then we can be found worthy to being friends with Him (Matt.10:37-39)
We lay down our lives when we discipline ourselves to follow Jesus. Jesus gave us another teaching in regards to laying down our lives by taking considerable thought to being His disciple (Luke 14:25-33)
Greater love has no one than this to lay down his live (John 15:13) We need to sit down and consider if we got what it takes to discipline ourselves to follow after Jesus. Can we put up with ridicule, can we go to church or carry a bible and not be ashamed, can we help the poor, the sick, the hungry, the handicap and do it with love. The sacrifice is your time, money and energy.
This may sound like youíre constantly giving and getting nothing in return. Well if we read what Mark 10:28-30 says, itís not all give with no blessings in return. Jesus said if we lay down our lives by loving him more than relatives and we will eventually gain more relatives, material things and in the next world eternal life. So lay your life down and pick up Jesusí lifestyle and you will receive more in this life and the next.
2. Doing whatever God tells us to do (John 15:14)
Abraham earned the title of being Godís friend because he did whatever God told him to do. God told Abraham to leave his country, his relatives and his fatherís house to a land that God wanted for him (Gen.12:1/ 21:8-21)
By being circumcised- a symbolic sign that God established with Abraham which Paul clearly refer to as circumcision of the heart Romans 2:29, which means cutting away fleshly dependency and learning to be interdependent with God whoíll make us prosper (Gen.17:10-11)
By giving up our most precious gift for Abraham it was his love for Issac more than God so God had Abraham sacrifice Issac. God stopped Abraham before he stabbed the boy, and God said now I know you love me more than Issac (Gen.22:1-19)
What do you hold precious your job, jewelry, money, property more than God? Well get ready to love it less than God so you wonít be hindered from doing whatever God wants you to do.
God doesnít mind you having possessions just donít allow the possessions to have you wrapped up and immovable, because God will tell to move by faith on certain things at certain times. And preoccupation will have you miss the opportunity to do something when God tells you to.
3. By recognizing your position not as a servant but a friend (John 15:15)
We need to understand that God called us as He did with Abraham (Gen.12:1-3/ 15:7)
And God chose us picked us out to do His will (John 15:16/ 1 Cor.1:26-31)
That itís not just a Master Ėservant or Father- son relationship. Itís also a friendship by intimate communication (Exodus 33:11) And by faith and obedience to what God had given us to do (James 2:20-23)
4. By receiving revelation from the Father through the Son (John 15:15/ Matt.11:25-27)
Jesus taught how we will receive revelation through the Holy Spirit (John 16:13-15)
Revelation also comes through prayer (Eph.1:16-23/ Col. 1:9-17) Paul wrote the these churches explaining how he prayed for them we can used them to pray for our churches we attend or other churches and personify the prayers for ourselves.
By obedience more revelation will come only after we obey the first thing God showed or told us to do. For example, Abraham was called by God at the city of Ur (Gen.15:7) Terah Abrahamís father left with Abraham and the rest of the family. Remember God told Abraham to leave his country and fatherís house. But Abraham settled at the city of Haran. Then Terah died (Gen.11:31-32) It was when Terah died and Abraham left to Canaan that God appeared to Abraham as he passed through that land and seen it that God promised it to him (Gen.12:4-7)
Itís important that we consider these principles if we desire to develop our relationship to God as a friend.
May God bless you to capture this insight and move you to develop such a unique relationship with Him.