“Abraham…was called God’s friend.” Jas 2:23 NIV
After losing everything he held dear, Job looked back and longed for the days when God’s friendship “graced [his] home…[his] children were…around…[and] everything was going [his] way” (Job 29:4-6 TM). Maybe you can remember days like that in your own life. We’ve been conditioned to think of friendship in terms of the benefits it confers, but being God’s friend comes at a price. As Rebecca Barlow Jordan points out, it “costs…time, selflessness, thoughtfulness…absolute trust—and very often suffering. Those who are intimately close, feel the hurts and joys of the ones they love more than anyone else…True intimacy means a death to our own selfish desires.” Abraham was called God’s friend, but the friendship came at a price. We read, “[Abraham] believed God” (Ge 15:6 TLB) when He asked him to leave his home, set aside any preconceived notions of how his life would go and move to a strange land. At ninety-three, “[Abraham] believed God” would still make good on His promise of a son and heir. Then Isaac was born and God upped the ante by asking his “friend” to make the supreme sacrifice: to do something He demanded from nobody else in Scripture…except Himself. The Bible says: “By faith Abraham…offered Isaac as a sacrifice…even though God had said…‘through Isaac…your offspring will be reckoned’” (Heb 11:17-18 NIV). Then just as Abraham was preparing to plunge the knife, in an act foreshadowing the death of God’s Son, God honored Abraham’s faith and provided a substitute. When you decide to walk with Jesus, the One Who called us “friends,” the journey is rough at times, but His friendship will never fail you.
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