Friends

This week in #thedifference series we are talking about how we are more than followers, more than family… Jesus regards us as his friends. Towards the end of his time on Earth, Jesus talked about this, and about how the #greatestlove love anyone could show was to die for his friends – as Jesus himself was preparing to do. How fitting then, that today pause to remember to who have exhibited that same great, deep love; who’ve fought and died protecting their family, friends and #freedom .

This #memorialday I just wanted to say thank you to our #armedservices men and women, and their families for all they have done for our country. And for those who have #giventheirlives – May we always remember them and be so willing to selflessly love others.

More than just followers, even more than children, Jesus calls us friends. Yet, our relationship contains aspects of all three. A friend listens and moves forward in tandem. Jesus shared the thoughts and love and the plans and strategies of his Father with us, so we can trust in confusing times. Trust is a key component of friendship. And love. Love and loyalty, even if it means risking your very life. God offers us all of this and more in Jesus. Friendship with God empowers us in #growingfierce and makes #thedifference .

Join the Journey

God calls you his friend. This is an invitation to a level of relationship with our #maker that few – before Jesus – had an opportunity to have. Jesus spent time with all sorts while on earth. And his closest companions – the 12 disciples – were a motley mix of all classes, jobs, and parts of society. Yet, he called them friends. And with his #rescue , his death and resurrection, that’s an invitation that’s open to us as well. Come deeper. Use these #journalprompts to explore this concept and take a step towards Jesus.

  1. Write out some of the attributes of a good friend that you’ve experienced. Or maybe, #friendship has been harder or it’s hurt? Write out the attributes of an ideal friendship?
  2. In a #bible or app, open to 1 Corinthians chapter 13: 1-8. This is a list of how God defines love. Now, remember that God IS LOVE. So, substitute the word “God” or “Jesus” for “love” in these sentences. What does this tell you about his character? What sort of friend is he?
  3. Make a list comparing the differences between these types of relationships we’ve been discussing: follower, family, friend. How are they alike? how are they different?
  4. Relationships are hard and people are complex. Throughout our lives, we have all experienced pain from someone we trusted; friends or family. In your journal, write a note to God about the first such pain that comes to mind. How does that impact your relationship with God? What fears do you have? Write that too. Then ask God how you can begin to heal and take a step towards him, despite these fears. Remember: relationship building takes time.

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