5TH WEEK OF EASTER
I have called you friends.
Have you ever thought about what it means to be a “friend of God”? Moses, who received the Ten Commandments, spoke to God “as a person speaks to a friend” (Exodus 33:11). Abraham was called a “friend of God” (James 2:23) because he believed God’s promises about becoming the “father of a multitude of nations” (Genesis 17:5). We might think that if all of God’s friends are like these two, we’ll never make it into such an elite group!
But take a look at the disciples. Jesus called them his friends, but most of them had serious flaws and moments of weakness. Peter denied Jesus (John 18:17, 25, 27); Thomas doubted (20:25); James and John were ambitious (Mark 10:37). And the list goes on. Not only that, but Moses and Abraham, as holy as they were, were far from perfect. It seems that our accomplishments might not be what make us friends of God after all.
The truth is, you don’t have to do something special or be perfect to be Jesus’ friend. You are his friend simply because he has chosen you. Jesus knows everything about you, and still he calls you his friend. He actually enjoys being with you!
Think about the relationship you have with your friends. You want to spend time with them, to hear what they have to say and know what’s going on in their lives. Jesus wants that type of closeness with you.
The more you get to know Jesus as a friend, the more you will value that relationship. You will appreciate the great gift of being chosen by Jesus. You’ll be all the more eager to please him and to become like him. That’s why Jesus says that his friends do what he commands (John 15:14)—not because they are slaves forced to obey, but because they are friends who love and want to be like the one who loves them.
Yes, Jesus chose you first, but you can choose him every day. You can choose every day to respond to the gift of his friendship by loving him and trying to follow in his footsteps.
“Lord, thank you for choosing me to be your friend. Help me to respond to this gift today with my own choices to follow you!”
Psalm 57:8-10, 12
WORD AMONG US