Abraham was! David was! Abel, Enoch, Noah, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jepthah, Samuel, the Prophets and many others were! You can be, too!
These were all mentioned in Hebrews 11, the faith chapter, verse 39 as having gained approval through their faith. But, they also were friends of God. Are you?
Think this through logically. If all these people died in the faith, and they did. And, if all these people gained approval through their faith, and they did, then God certainly considered them His friends. How, then, can we be friends of God?
John 15:14 (NASB) "You are my friends, if you do what I command you". Notice this closely. Christ is saying He's our friend if we do what he commands. He has proved that He's our friend. Both Christ and the Father love us unconditionally and sacrificially.
Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us". Verse ten shows that we were reconciled to God through Christ's death. And, He did this for us while we were His enemies.
So, His friendship is not in question. He has proven to be a faithful friend. It is our friendship that is in question and it takes more than words and promises to prove our friendship to Him.
Notice: John 15:12-13 "This is my commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.
Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends". Then notice verse 15 "---I have called you friends----"
John 13:34"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another". How may we show that we are His friends? By loving one another as He has loved us. And how has He loved us? By giving his life completely. Jesus has held back nothing. He has sacrificed everything for you and for me. That's how He loved us and that is what sacrificial love is all about. Verse 35 "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another".
What are God's plans for His friends? Luke 12:32 "The Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom." But, why?
Finally notice in Matthew 25:31-40": But when the son of man comes in his glory, and all the Angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before him; and he will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and he will put the sheep on his right, and the goats on the left. Then the king will say to those on his right, come, you who are blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited me in; naked, and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me. Then the righteous will answer him, saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you, or thirsty, and give you a drink? And when did we see you a stranger, and invite you in, or naked, and clothe you? And when did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you? And the king will answer and say to them, truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of mine, even the least of them, you did it to me. "
As we read this scripture, we should understand that, this is not limited to physical food, water and visitations, etc.. No! This also means spiritual food, water, visitations and all the blessings that we may be able to share with one another.
Remember, all those people listed in Hebrews 11: were loyal (faithful) friends of God. Because of their faith in God and Christ they displayed and proved, through their sacrificial love for God's people, that they were friends of God. Are you?
Written by Ray Wooten,
Evangelist, United Christian Ministries
P.O. Box 1505
Pelham, Alabama 35124-5505
Web page: United Christian Minsitries