Jesus Is My Friend
Jesus is my friend. To me, this statement seemed exaggerated in my youth. Friends were people with whom you spent time, shared your dreams, listened to you in bad times, and spent time having fun together. Why would I think that Jesus is my friend? We didn’t spend any time together! John 15:13, “No one has greater love than to lay down his life for his friends,” was hollow in my heart.
Years later, that Scripture came to my heart like thunder, transforming my mind, life, and the way I saw the great sacrifice Jesus made for me. I understood that He gave His life for me, demonstrating His great love and mercy, allowing me to be free from any sin.
Jesus is my faithful friend. In my moments of solitude, He understands because He was alone in prison. In my moments of pain, He comforts me because He was whipped and beaten; on Him, all the punishment of humanity fell.
Jesus is my friend as He teaches, corrects, and guides me. Just as He did with His friends, His disciples, teaching them God’s words of truth. In John 15:15, Jesus says,
“I no longer call them servants, because the servant is not aware of what his master does; I have called you friends, because whatever I heard my Father say I have made known to you.”
There is nothing that goes unnoticed by Jesus. In intimacy with Him, I can entrust my dreams, longings, doubts, failures, burdens, joys, and triumphs to Him. He listens to me, and I listen to Him. As I read the Bible and pray, I can hear His voice, feel His love, and above all, hear the advice of a friend who cares about my life.
Do you want to meet a faithful friend? A friend who will never abandon you? A friend who understands and supports you? Do you want to meet a friend who still seeks you and wants to show you His love despite your mistakes and faults?
Look for that friend called Jesus, and He will hear your prayer and know your affliction. He will receive you with open arms, for He is merciful, and His love for you is great.
The believer’s challenge
By: Charles Spurgeon
“Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Romans 8:34
Suggested Further Reading: Romans 6:1-11
Christ was in his death the hostage of the people of God. He was the representative of all the elect. When Christ was bound to the tree, I see my own sin bound there; when he died every believer virtually died in him; when he was buried we were buried in him, and when he was in the tomb, he was, as it were, God’s hostage for all his church, for all that ever should believe on him. Now, as long as he was in prison, although there might be ground of hope, it was but as light sown for the righteous; but when the hostage came out, behold the first fruit of the harvest! When God said, “Let my Anointed go free, I am satisfied and content in him,” then every elect vessel went free in him; then every child of God was released from imprisonment no more to die, not to know bondage or fetter for ever. I do see ground for hope when Christ is bound, for he is bound for me; I do see reason for rejoicing when he dies, for he dies for me, and in my room and stead; I do see a theme for solid satisfaction in his burial, for he is buried for me; but when he comes out of the grave, having swallowed up death in victory, my hope bursts into joyous song. He lives , and because he lives I shall live also. He is delivered and I am delivered too. Death has no more dominion over him and no more dominion over me; his deliverance is mine, his freedom mine for ever. Again, I repeat it, the believer should take strong draughts of consolation here. Christ is risen from the dead, how can we be condemned?
For meditation: The reality of having been united with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection should be acted out in believer’s baptism; but it should also be acted out in believer’s daily living (1 Peter 3:21-4: 2)
Beauty beyond Understanding
From: Today Devotional
SCRIPTURE READING — JOB 38:4-11
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!”
In a poem, the Dutch writer Corrie Ten Boom compares her life to a tapestry woven by God. She says that God weaves both joy and sorrow into her life, and it is as though she sees only the back of the tapestry. She says she cannot understand how the strands could ever make something beautiful. But God understands and has a plan for how everything in her life will come together for his beautiful purpose.
Job, to whom God is speaking in our reading today, is a bit like that—seeing only the back of the tapestry of his life. Job has had to deal with terrible suffering and tragedy, and he does not understand why it all happened. God responds with a poetic speech about the creation of the world. God is the one who created everything, including things that are so mysterious that we don’t even know how to speak about them. God reminds Job of this in order to both challenge and assure him. God challenges Job to be humble about his own knowledge. And God assures Job that he has a plan, even though it may be hard to understand.
We are like Job in this way too. There are many things about God’s purposes that we do not understand. But God promises to provide for us and for the world he has beautifully made.