Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Who I Am In Christ: Friend of God

Some new, and very dear friends...
My name, Ruth Ann, means beautiful friend.  Sometimes I have been that, other times I have not.  What does the word friendship conjure up in you?  Do you have someone that has been an incredible, long-suffering and patient friend?  Have you struggled to find a soul-connection with anyone who will even try to understand you?  Have you had plenty of friendships, but they have been all about fun and surface-y conversation?  Friends come in all shapes and sizes.  But we have a friend who sticks closer than a brother, our Savior, Jesus Christ.  "One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24. 
Read with me our next passage in the series, 

John 15:15 (NIV)

15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

I teared up when I started meditating on this passage last week.  It is such a gift and privilege to be called a friend of the Most High God.  You see, this Friend cannot be compared to the dearest friend in your address book.  This Eternal Friend made the ultimate sacrifice, and continues to intercede for us daily, at the Throne of Grace.  That's a pretty serious commitment!  Read some of the benefits of this friendship in Psalm 103:

Psalm 103 (NIV)

Of David. 1 Praise the LORD, my soul;
   all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, my soul,
   and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
   and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit 
   and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
   so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
 6 The LORD works righteousness
   and justice for all the oppressed.

 7 He made known his ways to Moses,
   his deeds to the people of Israel
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
   slow to anger, abounding in love
9 He will not always accuse,
   nor will he harbor his anger forever
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
   or repay us according to our iniquities
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
   so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
   so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
 13 As a father has compassion on his children,
   so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
   he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
   they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
   and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
   the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
   and his righteousness with their children’s children
18 with those who keep his covenant
   and remember to obey his precepts.
 19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
   and his kingdom rules over all

The only appropriate response is PRAISE, see below....
 20 Praise the LORD, you his angels,
   you mighty ones who do his bidding,
   who obey his word.
21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
   you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the LORD, all his works
   everywhere in his dominion.
   Praise the LORD, my soul.

May we all turn our eyes to this great Friend and Redeemer, who does not treat us as servants...so that we, in turn, may choose to serve Him with deep gratitude!  Amen and amen.

Blessings to you,

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