Perhaps one of the most scandalous truths in the Bible is that God desires relationship with us. We struggle to comprehend it. That an all powerful Creator would care about us as anything more than subservient subjects.

Yet Jesus told his disciples that he considered them friends! Not servants of some distant, all-powerful Deity, demanding obedience and reverence. Or even employees working for a benevolent Boss. But friends. Confidants. Partners. Maybe even co-conspirators.

God delights in us so much that God desires our companionship. So lean in close and contemplate the wondrous and beautiful truth that you are a friend of Jesus.

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"As the Father loved me, I too have loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy will be in you and your joy will be complete. This is my commandment: love each other just as I have loved you. No one has greater love than to give up one’s life for one’s friends."

John 15:9-13

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Friendship involves sacrifice, but the great thing is that it doesn’t often feel like it. For our close friends we often don’t even mind going out of the way for them. We mostly just enjoy the opportunity to show them how much we care and how much we love them.

We’re not burdened when the phone rings late at night because their car has broken down. We don’t mind setting aside what we’re doing to listen when they’re having a problem. We will gladly give up our own free time to help them paint a room, move furniture, or do yard work.

We just like being with our friends, and we are not “put out” when it comes time to drop everything and be there for them. If we are like this with our own friendships, how much more is God a friend to us? What does it mean to be a friend of Jesus?

Chad Senuta

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Jesus, you are the friend of my soul. Thank you for teaching me to love by laying down your life for me. Help me to do the same for you and others I encounter today. Amen.

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May relationship with God fill you with the delight of the One who delights in you.

May friendship with Jesus teach you to love, as you have been loved.

And may the companionship of the Holy Spirit free you to live and to share that which has been freely given.

Chad Senuta

Chad Senuta serves as the Associate for Youth and Campus Ministry for the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. He is passionate about helping young people develop a lifelong friendship with God. He lives in Northfield, IL with his wife Lisa and two daughters.

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

Ken Medema

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