What a Friend We Have In Jesus

By John Thiel

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

These precious words carry a vast field of relationship understanding.  The love of our friend Jesus Christ was of such a dimension that when our great need was recognised, he responded to it and did what we craved for.  The fulfillment that I yearn for, he responded to just like a friend would. The price that he paid for that was the whole part of self sacrifice just for me.  He then says – ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you. Jesus jumped at our command when he saw us lost.  Our need was his command and he says I have responded to you as a friend so will you respond to me as a friend?  When we take that kind of approach to the path that God calls upon us to live, the path of obedience it is different to what we think it is.  You never regard doing what your friend wants you to do as something hard.

A Postman was walking his pushbike home as he was so weary from working all day.  He got a message from his girlfriend asking him to spend time with her.  He jumped on his bike and road all the way to the other side of the town ship because he was animated by his love.  Jesus is a friend who has demonstrated a friendship to us that is beyond all measure.  When my heart is captivated by his wonderful love there is nothing to hard for me to do.  There won’t be anybody who steps in the way we will run to fulfill what he wants me to do.

If we are Christ’s, our thoughts are with Him, and our sweetest thoughts are of Him. All we have and are is consecrated to Him. We long to bear His image, breathe His spirit, do His will, and please Him in all things.  {SC 58.2}

We long for it and the moment he crooks his finger we jump.  We long to do his will to please him in all things.  Here lies the motive that God wanted to arouse in the human race. The whole human race that had been caught by Satan who usurped the position of God who showed himself friendly to Adam and Eve. He still shows himself friendly today. He says God is trying to keep something away from you but I am your real friend. Still today human beings are infatuated by that friend who is destroying this planet but we are looking at the real friend who was prepared to die for us and he did.

Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Everything that is written in God’s word whether it be the Ten Commandments, whether it be the way we dress or eat, whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.  When we understand what we are here thinking about we understand what is meant to do to the glory of God. It means to make him happy and to demonstrate my love to him.

John 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

The glory that we have I want them to have, that love.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Love is the motivating force.

Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Through the everlasting covenant the great shepherd would make you perfect in every good work to do his good will. Working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight.  Can you see the friendship concept that is going to make? Make me zealous to do just that which my friend wants me to do, that which is well pleasing in his sight.  Working in you and creating inside of you such a response that the most tedious thing that is expected of me.  It’s very tedious if it wouldn’t be for my great love for the Lord.

If my great love for the Lord is there when that concept comes in between we say – do I have to? You have lost the deep love, the deep friendship.  The most difficult things that we have to do can become a breeze when my mind is fastened upon that beautiful relationship with Jesus.  Faith that works by love .

Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

2:6 And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:

2:7 That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:

2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

If it is of works of me trying to get myself right under my own sense of duty – that kind of works is a drag.  You have to do it because it is duty.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Through this amazing love form the father demonstrated through Jesus Christ through that he works inside of me.  As I was sharing this with someone this week I could see he was struggling to even continue studying.  I explained the purpose of studying is to do God’s will. I could see him thinking “I want to do God’s will but I can’t”. Then I explained the beautiful scenario in the Old Testament that whenever the people sinned they had to kill animals.  I said if you had to kill an animal every time you sinned, before you even sinned, you would think twice about it.  Now it’s not by the blood of bulls and goats but by the blood of Jesus Christ. He said what? As I began to unveil him that every time I sin another stripe of suffering is laid upon Jesus, he began to lighten up and gasped “ah – that is how God does it”

This is what we need to be continually considering.  As I consider the expectations of God upon me and as I fail, my best friend is suffering and so it says by this manner the law is written in your hearts by Jesus being placed in front of my face in the sufferings that we have had. Therefore do I ever want to sin again?  Do I ever want to fail again? How careful I am going to be that as I go out from meditations of this nature I am going to watch so carefully and so astutely – I will be so zealous to watch and pray to resist the natural impulses in me to go and do the wrong again.  I am going to be under Christ’s motivation.  His workman ship created in Christ Jesus unto good works.  To be made perfect in every good work is a consequences of the illumination of Jesus my best friend.

Christ gave His disciples a correct idea of what He was to be in humanity. Their expectation of a Messiah who was to take His throne and kingly power in accordance with the desires of men had been misleading. It would interfere with a correct apprehension of His descent from the highest to the lowest position that could be occupied. Christ desired that the ideas of His disciples might be pure and true in every specification. They must understand as far as possible in regard to the cup of suffering that had been apportioned to Him. He showed them that the awful conflict which they could not yet comprehend was the fulfillment of the covenant made before the foundation of the world was laid. Christ must die, as every transgressor of the law must die if he continues in sin. All this was to be, but it was not to end in defeat, but in glorious, eternal victory. Jesus told them that every effort must be made to save the world from sin. His followers must live as He lived, and work as He worked, with intense, persevering effort.  {DA 799.3}

How many people have had a wrong concept and a misleading understanding. This will interfere with a correct appreciation of his descent. The very continuation of my sin that I have been engaged in the past, for that death Jesus had to die.  Christ must die as every transgressor of the law must die if he continues in sin.  All this must be but it was not to end in defeat.  Jesus told them that every effort must be made to save the world from sin.  His followers must live and work as he did with intense preserving effort. Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden.  I can’t do any more I am too week.  Learn of me your best friend and you will find rest unto your soul.  Again and again we hear this is what God’s word is saying and we are called upon to do what it says.  However, there is something lacking when we try.  We get easily distracted again.

Christ’s humanity was united with divinity; He was fitted for the conflict by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And He came to make us partakers of the divine nature. So long as we are united to Him by faith, sin has no more dominion over us. God reaches for the hand of faith in us to direct it to lay fast hold upon the divinity of Christ, that we may attain to perfection of character.  {DA 123.3}

As I was reading to a person today, I saw that people are weak, they falter, they can’t manage and it takes someone to take their hand and place it into the hand of Jesus Christ and then they are holding onto the hand and now things are different.  The hand of faith.  That is the hand that has to take hold of Jesus hand. The faith of Jesus.  Lay hold on the divinity of Christ that we may attain to the divinity of character.

How is this accomplished?  Here is the answer.  Christ has won us and by what means did he overcome in the conflict with Satan?  By the word of God.  Only by the word could he resist temptation.  It is written he said and unto us are given exceeding great and precious promises that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

As you come to any situation in your life, the how to is to engage in the word that is relevant.  That is how Jesus did it.  Every promise in God’s word is ours.  By ever word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God are we to live.  When assailed by temptation look not to circumstances.  Tell me is that what you do?  Do you look at your circumstances? When you look at them how do you feel?  Weak?  That’s how we fail.  Look not to circumstances or to the weakness of self but to the power of the word.  All its strength is yours.  Thy word says the psalmist have a hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.  By the word of thy lips I have kept me from the path of the destroyers. We are to live by every word that proceeds out of God’s mouth what should we do therefore.  Don’t move, don’t do anything unless you are motivated by the word.  If there is a circumstance what does the word say?  Ask the Lord and find a statement that pertains to a given situation.

As I have to do certain things – the bible texts come to me and it strikes.  You become so animated because there is an answer in God’s word to any given situation.  The Holy Spirit in the vessel is in tune with the Holy Spirit in the lamp and when the lamp goes out there is enough oil in the vessel to keep the lamp going to make the word of god beautiful in the darkness. Oh that we would take that help and walk victoriously.  This is the work of the latter rain.  It is time to shake ourselves form the dust and engage in this relationship of friendship with Jesus Christ and conquer every temptation how Christ has shown us – as he did. As it says, just as it is written, for every situation – let us do it.

Amen.

Posted on October 11, 2009, in Prayer Meeting Sermonettes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. It is so motivating, have been wanting to go out there and represent Jesus fully in the light of the three Angels Message, but always find excuses not to do so.THANK YOU!

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