I want to you to think about a friend you have had in the past, any one friend you have had. Now, I want you to think of a best friend you have had in the past. Now, I want you to compare the two. If they are the same person, try to find a new one to compare the two. I’ll give you a second.
Ok, now that you are comparing them, I don’t want you to compare them in a competitive way. It’s not about who is better, that is a waste of time. I want you to compare their behavior, their mannerisms, and their character. Take your time. If you are reading this right now, give it a shot, you have at least a minute to try it…
Ok, so you have these two people nice and dialed in. Now comes the real test. Compare the way that they make you feel. Really think about how a friend you have makes you feel compared to your best friend. There is a difference isn’t there? There is an transparency there, an intimacy there, a comfort there, and a safety there. Those feelings of transparency, comfort, and safety are what separate all relationships you have and encounter. I have known many people, acquaintances, friends, and best friends and the ones that stick out are the ones that are able to check all three of those boxes, transparency, comfort, and safety.
Christian circles talk often about fellowship but rarely scratch the surface on friendship. The word fellowship is mentioned 24 times in the Bible. While friend and friendship is mentioned 226 times. Even the Bible is telling us something about the difference between the two. King Solomon says it like this in Proverbs 18:24 “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” The goal of a church is to not just to have fellowship but to have friendship.
God not only fellowships with us on a daily basis.
God also befriends us.
He becomes our friend.
Think about that.
The creator of the universe is our friend.
Notice what Jesus says, (John 15:15) "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 that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
By means of transparency between the Father and us, Jesus befriends us. How beautiful is that? So how do we replicate this friendship, not only with God but with others as well.
This Sabbath I will be unpacking this word called friendship. What does it mean? What does it look like? How do we achieve real, lasting friendship in our lives?
I look forward to seeing you there.
Connected to the Vine,
Pastor Victor Reina