Abiding in God’s Friendship
The absolute, most important single act of the children of God is making space to encounter our heavenly Father in the secret place. Abiding in God is the foundation on which every other aspect of the Christian life finds success. It establishes roots that enable us to receive all that we need to bear the fruit of the Spirit. It guides us to constant refreshment and revival in God’s presence, thereby supplying and sustaining the abundant life God intends for us. My prayer is that you would be marked by wonderful, satisfying, and fulfilling encounters with the presence of God as we look at John 15:1-17 this week. Make room in your heart and mind to rest in the love of your heavenly Father as we look at the different ways we are to abide in true vine of God.
Scripture:“You are my friends if you do what I command you. 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.” John 15:14-15
Do you know that God calls you his friend? John 15:14-15 says, “You are my friends if you do what I command you. 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.” As a believer you have gained friendship with a God who exemplifies perfect, unconditional love. You have gained relationship with your Creator whose greatest desire is simply to spend time with you. Allow the love of your heavenly Father to sink in for a minute. Allow the Spirit to reveal to you God’s motives today as we look at what it means for us to abide in the friendship of God.
John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus committed the greatest act of love this world has ever known in laying down his life. And he did so willingly out of his desire for relationship with us. God desired friendship with you to the level that he would send his only Son to die in order to restore what sin had destroyed.
The questions before you today are: are you experiencing the fruits of friendship with Jesus? Are you receiving the satisfaction that comes from abiding in relationship with God? The Holy Spirit’s desire today is to lead you into a greater depth of friendship with your Creator, the one who laid down his own life for your sake. What he asks of you today is to make time to invest in your friendship with him as you would any other relationship. He asks that you would value relationship with him to the level that you would commit time and energy to it. Just as marriage cannot be fruitful or enjoyable without investment from both parties, we must invest in our friendship with God to receive all that relationship with him is designed to bring us.
John 15:14 makes it clear that true friendship with God is following his commands. Jesus has revealed the pathway to abundant life. And he’s led us to that path by laying down his own life that we might have the Holy Spirit working within us. To be friends with Jesus is to choose to lay down our own lives in response to his loving sacrifice. To walk in friendship with God is to choose humility over pride and follow the path set before us in Jesus. We are no longer servants unaware of the plans and will of our master, but friends who have heard, seen, and experienced the truth.
Will you choose friendship with God over the world today? Will you choose to follow the will of the God who laid down his life for yours? Will you walk down the pathway of life today, or will you choose to go your own way? True friendship with God is fully available to you today if you will follow the life-giving commandments of Jesus and make space and time to invest in your relationship with him. Nothing will bring you greater satisfaction than living out of the abundance of friendship with Jesus. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Open the door of your heart to the God of love today and spend time fellowshipping with him.
1. Meditate on your status as a friend of God. Allow Scripture to change your perspective on how God views you and how you should view God.
“You are my friends if you do what I command you. 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.” John 15:14-15
2. Reflect on your own life. What relationships do you invest in over your relationship with God? Who have you made the highest priority? In what ways are you not following the commands of Jesus?
“If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23
3. Repent of any way in which you have valued other relationships over God. Confess any ways in which you have not been following the commands of Jesus and receive the forgiveness of God. Spend time investing in your friendship now. Open the door of your heart and let God come in. Talk with him. Listen to him. Tell him how you feel. Spend time with him as you would another friend. Nothing could be more important than experiencing the abundance of friendship with God available to you in Christ.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20
“God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:9
“I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them.” Hosea 11:4
The only day we are promised is today. Don’t wait to invest in your relationship with God. Don’t set it aside while you take care of what seems to be more pressing. Loving God is always first priority. Spending time with him is always the most important thing. Choose to be a follower of Jesus who values his commands over any other. Choose his way over your own or the world’s. Walk today with the fruit of friendship with God as your source and guide. If you do, you will experience favor and grace on even the most mundane tasks set before you. You will experience a foundation of love on which you have the grace to follow God wholeheartedly and love others purely and fully. Value friendship with God above all else and experience the abundant life available to you.
Extended Reading: 1 John 1-2
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