We live and a cruel and unfriendly world. If you live in this world long enough you will experience its harshness and pain. People will take advantage of you and hurt you in the process. Yet through all the cruelness and evil in the world there is someone who dearly loves you. This someone is passionate about you and desires the best for you. Even when others turn their back on you he will be there for you. This special someone sacrificed all to meet your needs and to see you free. As you know we are talking about Jesus.
I believe the most important passages in the Bible are found in John 14-16. These three chapters were spoken just before Jesus died. He was pouring out his heart to his disciples about loving the Father, unity, loving others, fruitfulness, friendship and the Holy Spirit. But the most important was what he said in John 15 about abiding with him. Look at what he said, “Abide in Me, and I in you…I am the vine you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in Him, bears much fruit…” (v. 4a-5) “If you abide in Me, and My works abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (v.7) “…I have loved you; abide in My love.” (v.9) “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love…” (v.10) Abiding is to remain, make a home, and live with. Jesus wants to live with us. It is His passion to dwell with us daily. That is the sacrifice he made—to be with us and live in us.
When you and I learn to abide by obeying God’s commands and desiring his presence then something special happen, a friendship is created. If I ask you what is takes to have a friendship that last and endures you would say words like trust and love. But what about time and effort, friendships take time and effort to last. My wife is my best friend. We have been married now for tweenty years and we have built a friendship of trust and love. By us spending time of sharing our hearts and dreams and enduring hardship together we have built a friendship that is strong. Jesus wants a friendship that is strong. He tells us to abide and when we remain in him he will build that friendship with the help of the Holy Spirit. Even though my wife Tiffani is my best friend she can’t meet all my needs of love, acceptance and belonging. Only Jesus can meet those needs and when I abide and build a friendship with him those deep personal needs that we all have will be met.
Jesus is the best friend anyone can have because he proved it by giving his life for us on the cross. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us” (I John 3:16) I know Jesus is my friend because He chose you and me.
It is hard at times to make friends in the world. People are mean and cruel and you may have been hurt in the past. Your heart may have been broken by someone special and close to you, but let me encourage what you have today—a God who loves you passionately and has called you his friend. This is the most important relationship you can ever have by abiding in him and developing a friendship with him. Jesus is our forever friend even when we are at our worst and our lowest he will still love us dearly. And that is a strong love that will endure to the end.