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Sermon #96: Being A Friend of God

There is this thought that keeps coming to my mind.

The thought is provoked whenever I read the following verse: “And the scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,’ and he was called God's friend” (James 2:23, NIV).

Abraham was called God’s friend; what closeness! How was this possible? It was because Abraham believed God. Marvelous!

Abraham believed whatever God told him; he also acted on God's instructions according to the exact will of Him who instructed him. Now that's a real friend, if you ask me. Are you willing and ready to conduct your life likewise?

When God said “Leave this place,” Abraham left the place. When God said, “Give Me your son,” Abraham 'gave' Him his son. Abraham believed everything God told Him; hence he was called God’s friend.

God told His plans about Sodom and Gomorrah to Abraham. I believe that God told Abraham because the two were close, way too close.

God didn’t want Abraham to feel let down. If God had not told Abraham about it, Abraham could probably have subsequently queried, “But my Friend, why didn’t you give me just a hint of what You were planning to do?”

In the process of considering the punishment that He was going to unleash on Sodom and Gomorrah, God remembered His friend. Listen to this: “Then the LORD said, ‘Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?’”(Gen 18:17, NIV). How beautiful! I imagine God saying the same thing about me - “Shall I hide from Phanuel what I am about to do?” Glory to God!

So when I look at this I conclude that God told Abraham about His plans because Abraham was His close friend. He could tell him His secrets and plans. God could confide in Abraham. Can He safely confide in you?

After God told Abraham about His plans, Abraham actually bargained with Him; and God never took offence at Abraham for asking almost the same question several times. Imagine somebody asking, “What if they are fifty?” then “What if they are forty-five?” then “What if they are forty?” then “What if they are thirty?” then “What if they are twenty?” then “What if they are ten?”

Our God is a patient God. He answered all these questions without any hint of impatience; after all, it was a close friend who was asking!

This is my view: Although every Christian is loved by God, not all really get into the closeness that God had with Abraham.

Some Christians have dedicated their lives to walking the tight rope. If certain things are not of God, this kind of Christians will never associate with such things. I believe that these people are first Christians and they have gone a step further to become God’s friends.

On the other hand are Christians, really born again and heaven-bound, but they appear and live like they are not. They choose what to believe and what not to believe. If God says, “This color is red,” they believe. When God takes another color and says, “This is blue,” they say, “But it looks greyish; it can’t be blue.” God cannot get into deeper closeness with such Christians because of their unreliability.

I say this not to offend, but to encourage. You need to examine yourself and to change whatever needs to be changed, all the time guided by the will of God. If you chose the Christian life, then you need to be on the move, always. There is no room for monuments in Christ; there is room only for divine movements, Christians on the go!

Christians build their lives on the foundation called Christ. But what does the Bible say about this building exercise? Listen to this: “If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward” 1 Cor. 3:12-15, NIV.

Are you building with gold? Or are you building with straw? The Bible says whatever you are building will undergo the test of fire. Can straw withstand fire? These are questions that every Christian needs to be always seized with. We should not walk aimlessly in this faith; rather, we exist to aim for the prize!

“Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil,” (Eph. 5:15-16, NIV).

God bless!

P. S. - Some people believe that every Christian is a friend of God. I believe that a friend is a confidant, somebody you try to please at all cost, somebody you walk very close to in all respects. That's the way a friend relates to God. I do not believe that every Christian, although born again, is such.