The God Without...A Thanksgiving Message A Thanksgiving Message by Jack Kelley Shout for joy to…
By Hal Lindsey
“You are My friends,” Jesus said in John 15:14-15, “if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
In the history of the world and back, there’s no other statement quite like that. The Creator of everything chooses to call a group of human beings “friends.” It staggers my mind to know that His proclamation of friendship includes me. I hope it includes you, too. If not, it can.
John 1:3 tells us something about the One who calls us “friends.” It says, “All things were made by Him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Think of the universe — what we can see and what we cannot see. He made every galaxy and every atom in the whole thing. And He calls us “friends.”
The word for friend used here is the Greek word, “philos.” “Friend” is a good, but slightly inadequate word for it. It carries a connotation of “dear friend.” “Philos” is related to the Greek word for brotherly love — “phileo.” It’s that kind of strong and personal friendship.
Jesus spoke of bringing His friends into His confidence. Through Himself, He reveals everything we need to know about God. He shares with us the high counsels of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He brings us into the loop. We don’t know everything that the Triune God knows. But we can know true and crucial things about Him because Jesus revealed Him to us.
He invites us to join in a conversation with Him through prayer and Bible study. He has made us His confidants. What greater privilege can there be than to know Him in this close, personal, and loving way — to be His friend.
Peter, Paul, James, and Jude begin New Testament letters by calling themselves bondservants of Christ. We, too, should see ourselves in that way. We don’t have to understand God’s actions in order to obey His commands. We will not always understand, and He never owes us an explanation. However, despite the fact that we don’t know everything, Jesus brings us into the loop on the most important things.
Not only does He share His thoughts with us, He invites us to share our thoughts with Him. We call it prayer.
Biblical friendship includes the idea of being at peace with someone. You can be at peace with God through His grace. And there’s something else you should know about biblical friendship. It stands strong no matter what. Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times.”
If you want to have that kind of closeness with God, then receive Jesus Christ into your life. Receive His gift of pardon. He will clean the ledger of all your sins. You will be at peace with Him. And, in that moment, your eternal destiny will change.