John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.

Introductory Thoughts

Even since the Garden in Eden, God never intended for man to consider Him to be distant or unapproachable. In fact, the Bible repeatedly points out the opposite scenario. God’s word proclaims that the Lord did not merely claim His followers as servants, but referred to them as His friends! He specifically referred to Abraham as the “friend of God(2 Chronicles 20:7; James 2:23). He spoke to Moses “face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend” (Exodus 33:11). These are not the actions of a God who desires separation from His creation. Though this intimate association with God seems remote and only expressed on a few occasions, John points out that we too can be God’s friends (if we obey Him). This friendship must be based on mutual grounds because those who love the Lord are never lovers of the world. James 4:4 points out that “friendship of the world is enmity with God.” Though it appears that few people were called the friend of God, John chapter 15 suggests that this honour is much more prevalent than would appear. Christ told His followers, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (John 15:14). Furthermore, Christ laid down His life for His friends (John 15:13).

Devotional Thoughts

· (For children): Do you like to play with those who are mean or those who are nice, those who disobey or those who follow the rules? God says we can be His friend by doing what the Bible says. It’s exciting to know that the Creator of the universe who simply spoke the world into existence wants to be friends with us.
· (For everyone): Being called a friend of God remains one of the highest honours God conveys upon His creation. Can you honestly say that you are a friend of God?
· You cannot serve two masters. You cannot simultaneously be a friend of God and a friend of the world. Who do you want to claim as your friend? God? or the world?

Prayer Thoughts

· Ask God to give you a desire to walk with Him like never before.
· Thank the Lord for the opportunity to be called His friend.
SONG: Friendship With Jesus