Isaiah 41:8

 “But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend..."

 James 2:21-23 

[21] Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? [22] You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. [23] And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness ,” e and he was called God’s friend. 

John 15:5 & 15 NIV

[5] “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing....[15] I 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.  


Did you read those verses? God refers to "Abraham my friend." (Is 41: 8)  James says of him: "He was called God's Friend." (2: 23)  I can't imagine anything better I would want said of me after I die.  God called me His friend.  Not servant, not pastor, not volunteer, not even Christian or disciple.  But simply - friend.

If I'm completely honest, often I feel more like God's employee than His friend.  I have sermons and devotionals (like this one!!) to write, people to pastor, meetings to attend, services to lead. I can end up feeling like the older brother in the parable of the Lost Son who says to his father: "All these years I've been slaving for you....." (Luke 15: 29)

There is nothing wrong with work and activity for God's Kingdom, but it must flow out of our relationship with Him. Real and lasting fruitfulness is always the overflow of abiding in the vine.  Otherwise it just becomes exhausting and unsustainable.

Remember the story of Mary and Martha.  Mary is hard at work in the kitchen making sandwiches Jesus never ordered while Martha simply sits at His feet and enjoys His company. When Martha complains about her sister's laziness, Jesus says: "Mary has chosen what is better...."  Sitting in Jesus' presence was better than serving.  Not because serving isn't important - but because serving without sitting first leads to a feeling of slavery.  Mike Bickle puts it so well:  "There are lovers and there are workers. And lovers will always get more work done than workers!"

As we finish this series on the life of Abraham, we have met a man called by God who stepped out in faith, experienced great failures and encountered God's lavish goodness.  Every promise God made came to pass.  Every word was fulfilled. But above all, we have met a man who understood that friendship with God is two-way.  He talked to God and God spoke to him.  At times we see him challenging God and persuading God round to his way of thinking.  He built altars of worship and was even willing to give up his son in obedience.  God saw that and I think it made Him feel affection for Abraham all the more.

How would you honestly describe your relationship with God today?

Is God your friend?  Or does He feel remote, distant, uncaring?  Is He a boss and you're a servant?  Or do you know the joy He feels when you just want to sit with Him for a while?

God deeply desires friendship with you.  Jesus died to make it possible.  Why settle for anything less? Imagine after you die, it was said of you: " ______ was a friend of God."