Acquaintances come and go, but friends stay close … when they can. I had a close friend in junior high school, that’s middle school today. My family moved away, but she came to stay with me during the summer. We graduated from high school and went to different colleges. I got married. After Keith graduated, we took off for adventures around the world by way of the Air Force.
Sadly, I lost track of Emily. Until she found me via Facebook.
Before we talked on the phone, Emily emailed me something like this, “You may find this strange, Karen, I had this dream that you were very sick and could die. I’ve been praying for you all this time.” The dream was accurate. My dear friend prayed for me for 40 years! That’s a true friend.
God loved the world so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, into the world as the only perfect Man, so that we could have eternal life, John 3:16. This eternal life gives us unity with God and Jesus Christ. Eternal life is knowing God and Jesus, John 17:3.
Because you and I are sinners, we cannot approach a holy God with our sin. The price for sin must be paid, and that price is death and separation from God. Jesus paid the price for us, and if we have accepted Him as Lord and Savior, we can approach God, for we are one with God and Jesus.
Friend of Jesus: 4 Signs
Jesus said to His disciples, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 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. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” John 15:13-16
- Friends return the friendship. Jesus’ followers deny themselves, take up their crosses, and follow Him, Luke 9:23. Friendship means living for Jesus and not ourselves. Living to glorify and honor God.
- Friends do what Jesus commands. His friends love God with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength. Friends love their neighbors as themselves, Mark 12:29-31. We are selfish beings. We are focused on ourselves. However, when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we become new creations, and the Holy Spirit lives in us, changes us, and guides us, 2 Corinthians 5:17 and 1 Corinthians 3:16.
- Friends are chosen. God chose us before He made the world. He chose us to become Christ’s friends, and followers of Almighty God, Ephesians 1:4. We need to choose Jesus as a friend.
- Friends go where we are directed and bear fruit that lasts. The only way that we can bear fruit is to dwell in Jesus, to stay close to Him, John 15:4. That takes reading and meditating on the Bible, talking with God (prayer), and walking with others who are His friends. It means allowing the Holy Spirit to transform us, so that our thoughts, words, and actions honor God, Romans 12:2.
Want to Be Jesus’ Friend?
Don’t know if you’re a friend of Jesus? You can know today. Ask Jesus to reveal Himself to you. Tell Him that you have sinned but that you want to stop sinning. Ask Him to forgive you and become Lord of your life. Start reading your Bible. You might begin in the New Testament with the book of John. Start attending a Bible-teaching church. Allow God to change you.
You might talk to God like this.
God in heaven, Thank You for sending Jesus into the world. I want to know Jesus as my friend, and I want to be a friend to Jesus. I’m not worthy to approach You because I’m a sinner. I’ve disobeyed Your commandments. I’m sorry. I want to stop sinning. Please forgive me. I want You as Lord of my life. I give You my life. Change me. Make me bear fruit that lasts and honors You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Friend, if you prayed that prayer just now or in the past, you have an amazing adventure ahead of you.
My friend, Emily, prayed for me for 40 years. Jesus has prayed for you and continues to pray for you. He is in heaven right now, talking to God on your behalf.
By the way, I’ll also be praying for you, if you let me know your prayer request in the comments section.