What do we need to know or do to be the friend of God? How should we behave? What customs should we keep? What do we give and put into a friendship with the supreme Creator of man and all that we can see and know in the universe around us? And how wonderful would it be to have God Himself say that you are “The Friend of God?”
Surprisingly it is not that hard a thing to be the friend of God. God created man to be a social being and to want to have friends and be a friend. God is also a God of relationships. He desires to be in relationship with us, and it is His hope and desire that man will choose to be in a relationship with Him.
And friendship is a very special form of relationship, as we will see in this section of scripture. There are many ways we can be in a relationship with God: servant, disciple, follower, convert and even His enemies are in a relationship with Him…but not a good one and not one that will have a positive outcome for them! But to be a friend of God is a wonderful and powerful relationship as we will see.
How many times have you heard these words uttered, “Help me Father God?” Perhaps you have uttered them yourself in a time of darkness or despair when everything seemed hopeless.
Seeking the help of the Father in such situations is normal, for Jesus taught us to pray to the Father and He told us that the Father loves us. However if we are to receive His help we need to understand how to approach Him. We need to gain an insight into the way the Father helps us and how we can come to Him for His help.
Its a bit like at a customer service desk in a shopping centre or airport and even more so in dealing with various government departments. They too have a process that you must understand an follow to get their help. And you can’t be a queue jumper or push in to the front of the line with any of these or with God. You need to follow the rules laid down and understand the process if you want things to proceed smoothly.
So let us take a look at the process in the scriptures today to understand how to get the help of God when we ask, “Help me Father God.”
Does any person seriously believe that they can hide anything from God? I know many think they can but who are they really fooling? Only themselves.
Our God has been described as omniscient and omnipotent, that is, all seeing, all knowing and all powerful. Anybody who thinks they can hide from such a God is a fool. Everything you do and all that you will do in the future is known to him for our lives are in His hands.
Any evidence we need of this can be seen in this scripture where Jesus is advised that Lazarus is ill.
Jesus was in discussion with the leaders of the Jews and teaching the people at the same time. He was showing them there is a distinction between the people of God and others.
One thing we must note that many people in the world ignore, there is no middle ground. This is a matter of life and death and there is no sitting on the sidelines as a spectator. Every person must make a choice and take a stand.
Even making no choice is a choice so it is critical for every person that they make this decision. It is my belief that one of the prime reasons, if not the prime reason for life as we know it on this earth is to make the choice, are you with Jesus or not. So let’s look at the choices.
Throughout the New Testament we see the personages of the Father and the Son discussed. The interplay between these two is crucial to our understanding of our life in Christ and our worship. In this section of scripture Jesus gives us a little information about His relationship with the Father and it helps us to know how we too should relate to both of them.
Light and darkness. Could there be any greater or more compelling a contrast between two things? Opposites and in opposition, and neither can exist in the presence of the other. This is exactly the position we see between those who come to the Lord and those who choose not to, as described in this scripture. Just as light displaces darkness, so too the truth of the light of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, who is the light of this world, displaces the darkness of ignorance and evil.
How many people have quoted this scripture? It is probably the most recognized scripture in the bible and has been immortalized in poetry, song and verse by many writers and musicians. And with good reason for it encapsulates in a few words the awesome purpose of God for man and the Creation. These few words written by a fisherman two thousand years ago have captured the minds, hearts and spirits of so many that I am humbled even considering adding to the liturgy that already exists. So I will be brief and speak about what see in these words.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
One of the most common sayings among Christians today is that you must be born again. And yet I often wonder how many times people using this expression truly understand what it means. The implications of these few words are mind boggling, as Nicodemus discovered when Jesus explained it to him in this section of the scriptures. Look at what he had to say.
This is one of the most amazing and wonderful scriptures in the bible. The promise contained here is so amazing that it seems almost too good to be true. But we know that the bible does not lie and so it is the truth and what a fantastic truth it is.
Last night one of my grandchildren spent the night with my wife and I. He is a little over three years old and a bundle of energy. It is always a joy when my grandchildren come to stay, even when they wear us out with their constant curiosity and questions. But it reminds me of this section of scripture where the Lord says, “To such belongs the kingdom of God. Let us explore some of the reasons why and how we need to apply this teaching in our own lives.