Sunday, June 12, 2011

Is there a greater friend to abide with? I don't think so

Last night as I opened a study bible of mine I was instantly drawn to John 15:9-16 "As the Father loved Me, I also  have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's 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. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you."

First I looked up the definition of abide.
1: to wait for : await

2a : to endure without yielding : withstand b : to bear patiently : tolerate
3: to accept without objection
1: to remain stable or fixed in a state
2: to continue in a place : sojourn


Now listen to the definition of friend.
1a : one attached to another by affection or esteem b : acquaintance

2a : one that is not hostile b : one that is of the same nation, party, or group
3: one that favors or promotes something (as a charity)
4: a favored companion

God doesn't just want us to abide in Him, He calls us His friend. To me that is a gift of all gifts. He wants to walk with me. After all, He chose me. I don't have to try to fit in. I don't have to be someone I am not. He knows me better than any other. Me of all people. He favors me. He is my companion. He favors in love. He accepts me and endures all we me. As we sojourn together He is never leaving my side. We are forever in a fixed state. Think upon that for a minute. Even though we are on a journey, our feet are always moving, but our hearts remain steady and fixed in Him and He in us. Nothing can separate us.
 
He waits for me. He is forever patient with me. Isn't He the greatest example of friendship that we have? He gave all. We are His children, but we too are called His friends. Isn't it wonderful to be called a friend of Jesus? There is nothing like having Him on our side. At our side is where He will remain as long as we remain in Him.
 
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me." John 15:4
 
"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." John 15:5
 
"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you." John 15:7
 
"He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked." 1 John 2:6
 
"And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming." 1 John 2:28
 
"Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. 1 John 3:6
 
"Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son." 2 John 1:9
 
I think the word, abide, has serious meaning. Don't you?  A word we need to be fixed upon and strive to gain a meaning of. How can follow Christ and abide with Him if we are lacking of meaning? It's so important to dive into God's Word and seek out all He has for us. We must not just take one's word for it. We must not sit in our pew at church with our bibles closed. We must open them to find out all He is. If He indeed calls us friend, this is our love letter, describing who He is and how we can walk with Him.
 
We spend time with a friend. We call upon them. We let them know we love them. There is trust and honesty. There is honor and acceptance. When you look to a friend, what is it that you find in them bringing you together? There is a bond and something so indescribable that makes you just want to be close to that person. If something good happens, you pick up the phone and they are first one you call. When you find yourself in need, you reach out to them, knowing they will be there for you. Friends, Jesus is that Friend of all friends. He stands out among all others. He is waiting to spend time with you. He knew us before any other person. He created us. Meaning He knows all those intricate parts of us. There are no secrets. He knows our fears and those very things that challenge us. Our thoughts and prayers are known by Him before we ever speak them.
 
"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, it not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
 
"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." Proverbs 17:17
 
"A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24
 
Jesus is that Friend. His friendship is unchanging and forever true. He is always thinking good for us. He is there to be honest when we falter. He gives us those words to encourage us and inspires us through His life. He is our Teacher and our Comfort all in the same. We can find conviction in Him along with contentment. We spend our lives searching for the perfect friend. We spend our lives feeling alone when we don't find them. Look no farther. He is right here, waiting for you. He is the only One who can complete us and bring out the best in us. Because He does nothing but the best.
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