LoveWorks, Part One - Jesus, Our Example of Friendship

John 15:9 As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 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.

It is amazing to realize that we have the opportunity not only to worship God, not only to reverence him, and stand in awe of him, but we were invited to be friends with God. I don’t believe that any religion of this world offers such an idea, that one might be friends with the deity, with the God who is reverenced, feared, and worshiped.

What we learn from this text is that Jesus wants a relationship with his followers. Not just a religious devotion, but a loving, sincere, committed relationship. In verse nine Jesus said that as the Father has loved him he also loved us. This makes the relationship between Jesus and father God the example and the pattern of the kind of relationship we should have with Jesus and with one another.

There are four levels of relationship: 

1. There are acquaintances

2. There are colleagues/co-workers/partners

3. There is Christian/Kingdom Covenant with fellow believers in Christ

4. And there are true friends (Including spouse)

KEY POINT #1 - True friends experience a high level of agreement

Matthew 19:19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed? (KJV)

The sense of the Hebrew text here is interesting. The word agreed from the Hebrew means to fix, appoint, assemble, meet, set, betroth; to meet, to meet by appointment, etc. The sense is two walking in a common direction because they agree to do so. It means agreeing to make an appointment to come together, and from there set out on a journey to a destination together. It is like saying to someone, I’ll meet you at Starbucks and we can go to the restaurant from there. 

KEY POINT #2 - True friends are mutually loyal and dependable

True friends are mutually loyal and dependable. Again, friendship is a two-way relationship where both parties give and receive, not only in fair-weather, when everything is great.  A fair-weather friend is someone who remains a friend only when things are going well but abandons others during times of trouble or difficulty.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.

KEY POINT #3 - True friends confide in one another and that confidence is never betrayed. 

1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. 8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

KEY POINT #4 - True friends speak highly of one another and empower one another, especially in times of uncertainty.

John 15: 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.15 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. 

Proverbs 27:17 NKJ As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

 

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