Below are some additional interactions on the article: Friends of God. Read it first.
Locate the story of Moses in Exodus 33 to see where God would meet with him and talk as friends.
Luke, the writer of the third book in the New Testament, had a friend. He begins his Gospel by addressing it to this friend named Theophilus. He does this so that Theophilus will understand the truth about how to become a friend of God through Jesus Christ. In fact that is the meaning of his name, Theophilus, means “friend of God.”
A Personal Warrior’s Code of Honor
As a combat veteran wounded in one of America’s wars, I offer to speak for those who cannot. Were the mouths of my fallen front-line friends not stopped with dust, they would testify that life revolves around honor. In war, it is understood that you give your word of honor to do your duty—that is—stand and fight instead of running away and deserting your friends. When you keep your word despite desperately desiring to flee the screaming hell all around, you earn honor. Earning honor under fire changes who you are. The blast furnace of battle burns away impurities encrusting your soul. The white-hot forge of combat hammers you into a hardened, purified warrior willing to die rather than break your word to friends—your honor.
What this person sees as honor, Jesus seems to call ‘love.’ In John 15:13 he says that the greatest love you can have for your friends is to give your life for them. Try writing a story or poem or song of a person who gives their life for another motivated by love that comes from having a friendship with Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:17–19—a new relationship with God
John 15: 9–17—Jesus calls us his friends
Psalm 25:12–14—a prayer for guidance & protection
Romans 5:10—A pathway for friendship with God
Small group guide:
Large group guide:
- How can you actively treasure your friendship with God? What could you do to enjoy your friendship with God more? When are you willing to try it?
- What seems to be the connection between your friendship with Jesus and your friendships with other people? Consider how you could interact differently with a friend of yours as a result of being a friend with Jesus. Write down their name(s) and what you’ve decided to do.
- Our own experience seems to tell us that the more quality time we spend with friends, the better and deeper our relationship usually gets. Texting, Twitter or Facebook work best with friendships sustained by extended conversations and face-to-face time. As you estimate how much time you spend with your friend Jesus, what changes are you ready to make to go deeper—face-to-face—with him?
Look at this quote from Christine Pohl and Chris Heuertz:
Most of us understand friendship with God in a very individualistic way—a close, loving relationship between Jesus and me. Such a relationship is a priceless treasure of the Christian life. Yet there is more; friendship with Jesus is also bigger and more spacious. In drawing closer to Jesus, we discover that we cannot love him without loving others. Our friendship with Jesus does not become diluted as more people are included in God’s heart of love. The relationships are mutually reinforcing. Love is not a scarce commodity we need to ration in case we run out. God’s friendship is a gift available to anyone who is open to receiving it.
- Has this been true in your experience?
- Do you think of your friendship with Jesus more individually or communally (as a group of people being friends with Jesus)?
- What might be the advantages to both?