What A Friend We Have In Jesus

As we turn the corner into 2024, which is wild to even think about if I’m honest, I’ve found myself focusing on how grateful I am for God and His sovereignty, for Jesus and the sacrificial compassion shown toward me as a believer, and for the provision and assurance of the Holy Spirit in my life.

At the end of each year, I try to read through one of the gospels so that I can study the life of Jesus and what it means to be a daughter of the King of Kings. This year, I decided to start reading through the book of John. A few verses found in John 15 say, “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.”

As I read that, it really struck me in a very simple but very deep way. Jesus, God in flesh, who came to Earth as a tiny little baby, who grew up to be a man who performed miraculous signs and wonders, who died on a cross for the sake of the entire world, past, present, and future, who rose again on the third day and then later ascended into Heaven, and who is currently seated at the right hand of the father, is my friend. The thing I love about these verses is that they solidify the Kingship of Jesus by saying, “You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.”  There's a beautiful invitation and challenge along with the compassion and friendship given to us. We are invited to obey the commands of God, and in exchange, we are His friends. This does not mean that we have to strive for perfection in order to be in relationship with Him, but it simply means that we have hearts to obey the will of God. We get to fully receive the friendship of Him as well.

How can the Savior of the whole world, the One who is most worthy, also say that He is my friend? It’s hard to believe, but there it is nonetheless, in the very clear red letter writing of John 15. If that’s truly the case (and I wholly believe that it is), then how can I be anything but grateful for this new year that I’m getting to live in. As we know, not every day is promised, but the fact that I was woken up this morning means that I get a few more breaths to be able to thank God for making me His daughter and His friend.

As we head into this new year, I encourage you to focus on the beauty and blessings that we receive as friends of God through Christ Jesus. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be hard and painful times this year. There probably will be, but we do get to have a new perspective when we stop and look through the lens of gratitude in our hearts for the place in God’s family that we get to hold. 

So take heart, our Friend has overcome the whole world.

PRAYER: Take a moment to pray this prayer: 

“Jesus, You are the friend who made Yourself a servant in life that You might make me Your friend for eternity. You are the friend who laid down Your life on the cross that You might lift mine up in glory. There is no more faithful friend than You, Jesus. There is no richer friendship; no deeper intimacy; no greater joy, peace, and comfort than that which comes to me through union with You. And You are so immeasurably generous with me. Everything that You have, You have made mine. Thank You, God, for Your sovereignty; thank You, Jesus, for being my everlasting friend; and thank You, Holy Spirit, for guiding me through this life that I am so grateful to live. Keep me and guide me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
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