FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD
James 2:19-23 NKJV
“You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.”
-Friend in Hebrew is written as chaver or chaber and in Greek filia or philoi which means companion, ally, confidant and associate. Abraham the father of faith was a friend of God. He believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness. It is by faith that we please God, and He rewards those who earnestly seek Him (Hebrew 11:6). When Abraham was instructed to go and sacrifice his son, he did not hesitate nor delay but trusted in the Lord, the giver of all things and all life. It is by faith that we are justified and have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). Since faith without work is dead, we are called to apply faith and obedience to God, and He will perfect us in every good work. We find from the life of Abraham that it is by faith and obedience to God’s word that we become His friends.
Almighty God our heavenly Father, You declare Your glory and show forth Your handiwork in the heavens and on earth. You are the great I AM, the great Priest and our Sure Foundation. You declare the beginning from the end and the end from the beginning, You are the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. We thank You for making us Your children and Your friends. We thank You for dying on the cross for our sins and redeeming us with Your precious blood. May You forgive us all our trespasses and wash us with Your precious blood. Thank You for Your most precious gift of salvation, may Your revival come to our family members and all the nations of the world. Thank You for the rains that You have have brought us. We pray for continued rain and healing of our land. We pray for fruitfulness and productivity of our land. Thank You Jesus for Your love and mercy upon us. We pray for peace and prosperity in all parts of our nation and the world. We pray for wisdom in our hearts, families, churches, judiciary, executive and legislative arms of our government. We ask for Your direction as we begin this week, that You may guide us with Your righteous right hand. We thank You for You are good and Your mercies endures forever. We pray this believing and trusting in Jesus mighty name. Amen
Further reading: Romans 4:5-8, Isaiah 41:8
James 4:4-8 NKJV
“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
-Friendship with God, requires one to submit his/her heart to God. Duality of thoughts contradicts the will of God in our lives. In Revelation 3:16 the Lord reminds us that those who are lukewarm will be spit out of His mouth, and He calls us to be either hot or cold. Love for the world opposed the love of God. Those who love the world create an enmity with God. Romans 12:2 reminds us that we should not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. When we submit our hearts to God, we drawn near to Him and He draws near to us. When our hearts and cleansed our minds give Him undivided attention by the grace of God, we are able to walk in His divine purposes for our lives. We are reminded to flee from the devil and his evil schemes, and he will flee from us. To keep our hearts with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23). We are called love purity of heart and graceful lips, and the king will be ourfriend (Proverbs 22:11).
Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. May You cleanse our hearts with Your precious blood dear Jesus. May You transform us and mould our hearts Lord so that we may be more like You. May You train our hearts to follow after Your own heart Abba Father. May we decrease as You increase dear Jesus. May Your peace that transcends all understanding, guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen
Further reading: Proverbs 23:26, 1 Samuel 13:14
Exodus 33:11-15 NKJV
“So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle. Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.” And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.”
-Moses was also a friend of God. He was given the privilege of talking to God face to face as a man talks to his friend. Moses desired the presence of God to go before him and the people, and knew that they would find peace. As we seek the presence of God, we are drawn nearer to Him in communion and friendship. Moses was regarded as a friend of God and therefore God showed him His glory. We should value and nature our relationship with God by the power of His Holy Spirit and by following the agenda of God in our lives as Moses did. Moses was used by God to deliver the Israelites from their captivity in Egypt, presented to the people the Ten Commandments and acted as their priest and leader. The Lord went before the people by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. (Exodus 13:21). God is calling us to seek His presence in everything that we do, and follow His divine purpose, and we will find favor in His sight and before men.
Dear Almighty Father, we come before You today, with humble adoration and worship. You are great and greatly to be praised. We exalt You and enthrone You above all. Father we thank You for all You have done for us. For all You have given us, for Your faithfulness that goes up to all our generations. Dear Lord, we thank You for You first loved us and chose us for Yourself. Truly God You have called us Your own. May You forgive us from everywhere we have not pleased You and where we have not brought glory and honor to Your name. May You heal us Jesus and we shall be healed, may You save us and we shall be saved, for You are the One we praise. No evil plan fashioned against us will prevail in Your mighty name Jesus. Oh God, You are our God, our Father and our Friend, may our friendship be strengthened in Jesus Mighty Name. May Your presence go with us and before us at every moment and in every sphere of our lives. May You give us peace and rest in You oh Lord. We trust in You and we surrender to Your will and Your ways. We thank You and love You Lord Jesus. We pray this trusting and believing in Jesus mighty name, Amen.
Further reading: James 4:10, Psalm 51:11
Luke 11:5-8 NKJV
“And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.”
-Jesus often prayed and sometimes separated Himself and went to an isolated place for prayer. He never taught His disciples how to preach well, but only how to pray. To know how to speak to God is more valuable than knowing how to speak to man. Jesus reveals the importance of persist prayer through the parable of the friend who comes at midnight to ask for bread. Through persistent prayer his needs are responded to and he receives his request. Therefore we realize that friendship with God requires consistent prayer without ceasing, even though the help of the Holy Spirit. Hannah prayed consistently and she received her request of a son, Samuel (1 Samuel 1:9-28). Let us therefore not grow weary of praying to God or get discouraged but when we are persistent in prayer God will surely grant our requests.
Father You are Good and Your mercies endures forever. We thank You for Your goodness and mercies upon our lives. We appreciate You for You are our God, and Savior and our lives belong to You. Everything belongs to You. You have said in Your word that when Your children ask for bread You cannot give them a stone. Oh Lord may You grant us our prayer requests and hearts desires. May You open the flood gates of heaven and shower us with Your blessings. May You heal all the sick and suffering among us. May You open business and work opportunities for us and those who are waiting on You. May You prosper all our school going children and our educational needs. May You release us and our loved ones from every chain of the enemy. May You deliver us from every delayed prayer requests and answer us merciful Savior. May You draw us closer to You dear Jesus and teach us how to pray. May You bless our nation and guide our leaders with Your wisdom. Our Father who art in heaven; hallowed be Your name; Your Kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptations but deliver us from evil; for thine is the Kingdom the power and the glory; forever and ever. Amen
Further reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Ephesians 2:11-17 NKJV
“Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.”
-We have friendship with God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. Once we were far off, Christ Jesus brought near by His blood. We are called to have faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and King and the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts and guides us in our friendship with Him.
Abraham was called a friend of God. He walked with God closely and believed in Him and it was accounted to him for righteousness (James 2:19-23). Our merciful God spoke to Abraham even before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham negotiated for the deliverance of Lot his nephew, and his family. Moses was also a friend of God. Moses is said to the meekest man. God spoke to him as a man speaks to his friend (Exodus 33:11-15). The Lord used him greatly to accomplish His purpose even when he expressed his speech disability. David was a friend of God. His heart was after God’s own heart. When he errored after killing Uriah and took his wife Bathsheba, he humbled himself and sort for forgiveness. As we read from the election of king David, God is not interested in your physical appearance, fame and popularity but your heart. When we become friends with God we do not become equal to Him but enjoy certain privileges. God requires that we become friends with Him and not the world, for friendship with the world is enmity with Him. God gives us the gift of salvation as the initial step to gaining friendship with Him. As we draw close to God, our hearts are purified and we focus more on Him (James 4:4-8). We are called to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), as the Holy Spirit groans in us and with us, and helps us to resist temptation’s and resist the devil. We know that God resists the proud and gives more grace to the humble (James 4:4-8). Jesus drew us close to Him and when we were far off He died for our sins. Christ broke down barriers that separated men from God and brought us together as well as reconciling us with God. Let us then believe in our Lord Jesus Christ as we build a deeper friendship with Him.
Dear Almighty Father, we worship You and praise Your Holy and Mighty Name, for You are great and greatly to be praised. Thank You God for Your unending love and mercies upon us, that You chose to send Your Son the Lord Jesus Christ to come and redeem us back to You from where we fell at the garden of Eden. Oh Heavenly Father thank You that You made us Your children and this Your friends. Thank You for Your precious blood that washed all our sins away and drew us to You. Lord may You continue sanctifying us and purifying us by Your blood. May You work on our hearts and mould us to have hearts that are after Your own heart. Oh Lord draw us closer to You and take us deeper in Your Holy Spirit who will teach all things as You have promised us. Oh Lord we thank You for You know our form and truly You will never leave us nor forsake us. May You teach us Your ways and guide us. May You bless us as we seek more of Your kingdom Your and Your righteousness, and Your deep close friendship. We love You oh God and we honor You. Thank You Lord for hearing us and may Your will be done upon us. May You bless us and keep us Lord, may You shine Your face towards us and be gracious to us. May You show us Your countenance and give us peace. We pray this in Jesus Mighty Name, Amen.
Further reading: John 3:16–18, John 15:14–17