26th December 2013

Friends of God

“The Son of man came, enjoying life, and people say, ‘Look, a drunkard and a glutton—the bosom friend of the tax collector and the sinner.’”
Matthew 11:19 (Phillips) 

Because Jesus ate and fellowshipped with sinners and outcasts, he was accused of being their friend, and he was. But that also means that they, in turn, were “friends of God,” just as Abraham was, but for a totally different reason. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “’Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,’ and he was called the friend of God.” (James 2:23 NRSV) 

It appears that Jesus made friends easily with many people from different social backgrounds. He enjoyed life and he was a ‘people person’. During the night before his crucifixion and death he talked about laying down his life for his friends—he told them, “There is no greater love than this—that a man should lay down his life for his friends”, and very shortly after this statement, he did exactly that. In the very next breath he tells them, “You are my friends!” (John 15:13-15). 

Over the Christmas season, the paper cups in Starbucks changed to bright red and had little characters enjoying the snow printed on them. On one design were the words, “Let’s rediscover why we’re best friends.” That’s a great thought, don’t you think? Sometimes friendship needs to be “rediscovered”. What about our friendship with God?  Have we neglected this very important relationship? Perhaps we have.  But he hasn’t—he is always faithful, always caring, always looking out for us through thick and thin. Jesus isn’t a fair-weather friend. He is always there for us and stays close. 

Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV) tell us that a man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Let’s rediscover why we’re best friends! 

Prayer
Lord Jesus, thank you for your special friendship with us, thank you that you did indeed lay down your life for us a long time ago and that you will never leave us nor forsake us.
Amen
 

Study by Cliff Neill

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cliffneillAbout the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton.

Local  Congregation:
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill
LUTON
LU1 5JE

Meeting time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Harry Sullivan
Phone:  01908-582222
Email: harry_sullivan@wcg.org.uk

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