Christian Devotionals

Become God's Friend (1)
'...I have called you friends...' John 15:15 NKJV

Friendship with God is maintained and strengthened through continual meditation. It's impossible to be God's friend apart from knowing what He says. You can't love God unless you know Him, and that's only possible through the Bible. '...He revealed Himself to Samuel through His Word.' (1 Samuel 3:21 NIV) Now you can't spend all day studying the Bible, but you can think about it throughout the day, recalling verses you've read, mulling over them in your mind. Meditation isn't some mysterious ritual, it's simply focused thinking-a skill anybody can learn. When you think about a problem over and over, that's called worry. When you think about God's Word over and over, that's called meditation. If you know how to worry, you know how to meditate. Just switch your attention from the problem to the solution! The more you meditate on God's Word the less you'll have to worry about. The more time you spend meditating on the Scriptures the more you'll understand their secrets. The Psalmist said, 'The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear Him, and He makes known to them His covenant.' (Psalm 25:14 ESV) After Jesus told His disciples, '...I have called you friends...', He went on to say, '...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.' (John 15:16 NKJV) The benefits of friendship with God include abundant living and answered prayer. So if you want to become God's friend, read, digest and meditate in His Word.

Become God's Friend (2)
'...I have called you friends...' John 15:15 NKJV

Another step in developing your friendship with God is choosing to be honest with Him! God doesn't expect you to be perfect, but He does expect you to be honest. If perfection was a requirement not one of us would qualify. In the Bible, God's friends were honest about their feelings-sometimes even complaining and arguing with Him-yet He didn't seem to mind. In fact, He encouraged it. God listened patiently to David's accusations of unfairness, betrayal and abandonment. He didn't zap Jeremiah for claiming God had tricked him. Job was allowed to vent his bitterness and God actually defended him for being honest. On the other hand, He rebuked Job's friends for faking it: '...I am angry with you... because you did not speak the truth about Me, the way...Job did. Job will pray for you, and I will answer his prayer...' (Job 42:7-8 GNT) To be God's friend you must share your true feelings with Him, not what you think you ought to feel or say. Until you understand that God uses everything for good in our lives, you'll harbor resentment towards Him over your looks, your nationality, your economic background, your unanswered prayers, your past hurts, and the things you'd change if you were God. Actually, revealing your feelings and releasing your resentments to Him are the first steps to becoming spiritually whole. Isn't it encouraging to know that God's closest friends felt just like we do but, instead of masking their feelings in pious clichés, they voiced them openly? Why? Because expressing them leads to healing and a deeper level of intimacy with Him.

Become God's Friend (3)
'...I have called you friends...' John 15:15 NKJV

If you're serious about becoming God's friend you must choose to obey Him! Jesus said, 'If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love...' (John 15:10 NKJV) You say, 'But if I fail, does that mean God won't love me?' No, it means you won't feel His love, or have confidence when you approach Him in prayer. We normally think of obedience as a characteristic of our relationship to a parent, a boss or a superior officer, not a friend. But Jesus said, 'You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.' (John 15:14 NKJV) True friendship isn't passive, it acts. When Jesus asks us to love people, help the needy, give our finances, live clean lives, extend forgiveness and bring others to Him-our love should motivate us to obey immediately! Great opportunities usually come once or twice in a lifetime, but small ones come every day. Through simple acts of obedience we bring a smile to God's face. '...What pleases the Lord more... sacrifices or obedience...? It is better to obey...' (1 Samuel 15:22 NCV) At the beginning of Jesus' public ministry, God announced, '...This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.' (Matthew 3:17 NKJV) So, what had Jesus been doing for 30 years that pleased God? The Bible says nothing except that He lived at home with His parents and '...was obedient to them.' (Luke 2:51 NLT). Thirty years of pleasing God were summed up in two words: 'lived obediently'! And the relationship Jesus had with His Father is an example of the one He wants you to have with Him.

Become God's Friend (4)
'...I have called you friends...' John 15:15 NKJV

David desired to know God above all else. He used words like longing, yearning, thirsting and hungering. 'I ask only one thing of the Lord. This is what I want: Let me live in the Lord's house all my life.' (Psalm 27:4 NCV) Again he said, 'Your love means more than life to me...' (Psalm 63:3 CEV) Jacob's desire was so intense that he wrestled with God all night, saying, '...I will not let You go unless You bless me.' (Genesis 32:26 NIV) And the amazing thing is, God, who is all powerful, let Jacob win. Why? Because wrestling requires personal contact; it brings us close to Him. Paul was another man who was passionate about his friendship with God. '...[My determined purpose is]...that I may...become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him...' (Philippians 3:10 AMP) You say, 'I'd like to have a closer relationship with God, but I'm so busy.' The truth is, you are as close to God as you desire and discipline yourself to be! Friendship with God must become your passion. You must intentionally seek it. That means answering questions like, 'Do I value it more than anything else? Is it worth giving up other things for? Is it worth developing the habits and skills required? Am I willing to say, 'Lord, more than anything else, I want to know You'? God's answer to that prayer has always been: ' will...find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.' (Jeremiah 29:13 NKJV)

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