John 15:13-15 KJV
“[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. [15] Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. …”

Our three-year-old Soren has been recently introducing me to people he meets as his “friend” Dad. That age child is discovering more and more of the world each day and learning about relationships and the importance of friends. Pretty soon every kid they meet instantly becomes their best friend. It is only later when one of these newfound companion’s trespasses against them that they began to be more guarded with their hearts. They become slightly more reluctant to put themselves in a position to be let down, and by the time they become adults, friendship is something that is earned through longstanding relationships built on trust.

Everyone that hears our son, grins at his cute proclamation of me as his friend. My first instinct was to correct him that I was just Dad to him, but he is not wrong. While not my only role, I am indeed his friend. Webster’s dictionary defines friend as “one attached to another by affection or esteem. It also defines it as a “favored companion”. These things define a part of our relationship for sure. He loves to be anywhere that his dad is and there is a great deal of affection between us. I pray that we could always remain friends even as he comes to realize the other roles I play in his life.

More importantly I pray that he and all of our children would come to know and introduce their truest friend to others. Jesus Christ is our friend most precious. He is a friend that as the Proverbs writer say sticks closer than a brother. He is the friend that laid down his life for us all and as the verses in John indicate he holds no secrets from us. He tells us of all the things that he has heard of his Father. What he tells us is all good. He isn’t that friend that is gossiping or talking about someone else. Instead, He is proclaiming to us the fact that his Father is the very definition of love. He is also that friend that continually maintains his side of the friendship, even when we fail on our side.

The origin of the word “Friend” is from ancient language that means to love. It is from the same root word that meant free. How fitting for our Savior to call us his friends. His love is free. Offered up to all. It also sets us free from the bondage of sin and death. I encourage all to read his Word. To commune with him, and to listen to his voice. He is calling us and inviting us to his banquet table. He is advocating even now for us in the presence of his Father, and he is stretching forth his hand and telling us “ Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:”

Let us thank and praise him for his friendship and his unspeakable mercies to us!
Hans Lampinen

Submitted by Pastor Stan


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