July 3

John 15:15-17 15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17This is my command: Love each other.

Throughout the Old Testament the prophets were called God's servants. In Jesus' day, the disciples that followed a teacher served their leader like a servant. Jesus made it possible for many to enter a relationship that few under the old covenant had experienced. God called Abraham His friend and spoke to him in a very personal way. He entered a covenant with him personally.

There are many parallels between God's friendship with Abraham and Jesus' friendship with us. He calls us before we have done anything deserving of His call. He makes a blood covenant with us. He speaks intimately with us. He does not hide from us what He is about to do. He allows us to intercede for others. He calls for an expression of faith. He makes our life fruitful. In the life of Abraham, the friend of God, we can see the new covenant relationship with God. Abraham's children are even a picture of the two kinds of fruit we produce as Christians. We need to get hold of the superabundant grace expressed in the fact that God would call us friends. Do we honor Him as our closest and most highly esteemed friend?

God desires fruit that will last in our lives. Our friendship should cause us to act at His instruction. His instruction is to love each other. If we will obey, we will see lasting results from our relationship in Him. So much of the business of Christians does not produce lasting fruit because it is not based on obedience to Jesus' great command. Loving each other as He loves us will produce fruit naturally. It isn't forced. It is a product of allowing His life to flow through us.

Consider the wonderful reality that you are the friend of God.