Monday, December 11, 2023
A Friend in High Places
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8 NLT)
Christmas is the time when we celebrate Jesus’ arrival on Earth. The angels announced to the shepherds, “The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” (Luke 2:11 NLT).
He is that and much more. Not only is Jesus the Savior, not only is He the Lord, not only is He God who came to dwell with us, but He is also a friend. He’s the best friend humanity ever had. And He is the best friend that you ever will have.
It’s amazing to think that the almighty God would offer us His friendship. It’s amazing that He effectively says, “I don’t want to be a casual acquaintance or someone you check in with periodically. I want to be your friend. And I want to be involved in your life. I want to guide and direct you and listen to you and speak to you. I want you to bare your heart to Me, and I want to bare Mine to you.”
God demonstrated His willingness to have friendship with us in a tangible way. Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (NLT).
Jesus was called the friend of sinners. (And that wasn’t a compliment.) He was—and still is—the friend of sinners. He demonstrated His desire to have friendship with us when He went to the cross and died in our place while we were still His enemies.
That is why Jesus said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13 NLT). He showed us that love.
How many people would die for a friend? Some would. How many would die for a husband or wife or children? Most probably would. How many would die for a casual acquaintance? Maybe a handful of people would. But would any of us die for our worst enemy? Probably not.
Yet while we were still sinners, while we were still the enemies of God, Jesus Christ died for us, showing us His friendship. Talk about having a friend in high places. Yet Christians can legitimately say, “God is a close friend of mine.”
However, if we want to be the friends of God, we must meet certain requirements. We find them in John’s Gospel, where Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do what I command” (15:14 NLT).
So, how are we to demonstrate our friendship with Jesus? Quite simply, it’s by doing what He says. And if we do not, then we really have no right to call ourselves His friends.
Not all our friends will always stand by us. But God, who wants to be your friend, always will keep your confidence. You can reveal your heart to Him. You can share your secrets with Him. You can share anything with Him. He understands you. He loves you and cares about you. And He always will be there for you.
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