Friend of God

I have had this song in my head the past couple of days. What a wonder it is that God calls ME his friend! Me…..fragile, doubtful, fearful, self-righteous, self-pitying, crazy, unstable me….God is perfect in his being, in all his ways and he chooses to call me his friend. Just like he did with Abraham who believed God and God credited it to him as righteousness and called him his FRIEND (James 2:23). I have my righteousness in God. Christ is my righteousness, and I’m God’s friend. Jesus put it this way to all his disciples: “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. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last” (John 15:15-16).

Christ wants to change this world through his disciples, through his friends, and it all happens because of him not because of us and what we can pull together in ourselves. Jesus calling his disciples friends comes in the same passage in John 15 where Jesus explains how life, growth, and everything else in the kingdom of God takes place. He does it all. He does it through his children, through his friends. And all we are called to do is to REMAIN IN HIM and bear fruit – fruit that will last! He is the vine, he is the power, he is the the source of life in us, he brings forth life in us and through us. We are his broken cups, but we are his friends!

I love the story of Peter meeting Jesus after Jesus’ resurrection (John, chapter 21). Peter had deserted Jesus and had denied that he ever knew him. Jesus is on the beach, and calls out to Peter and the other disciples who are out in their boats fishing (they probably figured that they had to get started with their normal pre-encountering-Jesus-jobs). Peter immediately jumps in the water and swims to the shore. And Jesus doesn’t meet him with a “what have you done, Peter….I’m so disappointed with you”, instead he meets Peter with a “let’s have breakfast”. He is being Peter’s friend and after their beach breakfast he reinstates Peter as the disciple he had chosen as the leader of the first church. No condemnation. No “now I know that I can’t ever trust you”. Jesus and Peter both know that Peter is broken. That he will be known as one of the disciples who deserted Jesus. And that’s one of the good reasons for appointing Peter to be the leader of the church. Because he is broken. Peter doesn’t have the same faith in himself and in his strengths and abilities anymore, and others won’t look to him as being perfect in all his ways. But Peter is Jesus’ friend, and Jesus knows that Peter will remain in Jesus and get all his strength from him and Jesus can start building his Church through his broken and humble friend. 

Torben – who wants to learn much more about what it means for me to be God’s friend. It’s a mind blowing mystery, but I trust that God will continue to reveal and unpack it for me

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