Most of you have sung "I'll Be A Friend to Jesus." Imagine being a friend to the one who spoke into existence everything. (Genesis 1) Who am I to have such a friend as this? The Psalmist said in Psalms 8:4 "What is man that thou art mindful of him ..."
In high school I was not the handsome athlete. Nor was I class president or anything that resembled a "social climber." It was me, Tom, acne face, black rim glasses, and uncoordinated in gym class. (I even wore white socks.) Now, all of you are saying, "Oh, that Tom Derby." Did I have a desire to be numbered among the popular, you bet I did, but it never happened. Obviously, I had friends who accepted me for who I was and now for who I am.
The Bible says in Proverbs 18:24 "...but, there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother." I'm sure we all have friends like this. So often we fail to see Jesus as this type of friend. We acknowledge Him as Wonderful, Counselor, Savior, King and the list goes on. What good are these names if "Friend" isn't among them? Jesus said "no longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing, but I have called you friends, for all things heard from my Father I have made known to you." John 15:15
Friends share so much with each other. For example: If something funny happens to you, who do you tell? If something good happens, who do you go to? Suppose a tragedy strikes in your life. Who comes to your rescue? That's right, a friend.
Jesus had friends also. Consider Mary, Martha and Lazarus in John 11. Especially verse 35, "Jesus wept." Why? His one friend had died and other friends were sad. Friends like Peter and Andrew plus others we could mention. Did you know Jesus even called Judas, the betrayer, friend? Matthew 26:50, "Friend, why have you come?"
So, what does this mean to me since I have read this far? God doesn't care whether or not we are the handsome athlete or even class president. He doesn't care about what our faces look like or the color of the socks we wear. God is interested in our relationship with His Son. This is only possible in obedience to what Jesus said in John 15:14 "you are my friends, if you do whatever I have commanded you." A relationship or covenant is only possibly by being in Christ. So let's listen to God's Word and believe it with all our hearts. We also need to turn away from things that will interfere with this relationship. So why not confess to others your belief in Jesus? Paul tells us in Galatians 3:26 and 27 how to put on Christ.
The next time you hear or sing "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" stop and consider your relationship with Him and all your friends
("From the Pulpit" is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)