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John 15:12-17

JESUS: THE BEST FRIEND WE'VE EVER HAD

Intro: Mr. Sam Rayburn was Speaker of the United States House of Representatives longer than any other man in our history. There is a story about him that reveals the kind of man he really was.

The teenage daughter of a friend of his died suddenly one night. Early the next morning the man heard a knock on his door, and, when he opened it, there was Mr. Rayburn standing outside.

The Speaker said, "I just came by to see what I could do to help."

The father replied in his deep grief, "I don't think there is anything you can do, Mr. Speaker. We are making all the arrangements."

"Well," Mr. Rayburn said, "have you had your coffee this morning?"

The man replied that they had not taken time for breakfast. So Mr. Rayburn said that he could at least make coffee for them. While he was working in the kitchen, the man came in and said, "Mr. Speaker, I thought you were supposed to be having breakfast at the White House this morning."

"Well, I was," Mr. Rayburn said, "but I called the President and told him I had a friend who was in trouble, and I couldn't come."

True friendship is a valuable and rare commodity! It is a true statement that you and I make many acquaintances as we pass through this life, but only very few true and genuine friends. I am thankful that I can tell you about One Who wants to be your Friend this evening. In this passage, Jesus reveals something about the nature of His friendship with His people. When you have Him for your Friend, you have discovered a friendship that knows no limits. He is, by definition, the ultimate Friend, Pro. 18:24.

These verses give us some insights into His friendship with us that are important for us to understand. Let me share a few of those insights with you as we think together about JESUS: THE BEST FRIEND WE'VE EVER HAD.

I. V. 13 HIS INVESTMENT IN OUR RELATIONSHIP

Note: Our relationship is only possible because He died for us while we were still trapped in our sins, Rom. 5:8. There has never been a greater, nobler or more costly display of love than that selfless moment when Jesus died for us on the cross.

Note: He died for those He referred to as His "friends" while they were still His enemies, Rom. 8:7. Ill. In truth, there is no one else Who would willingly die for His enemies. No one else would give his life for those whom he knew would dishonor him and neglect him. Thank God His love for us runs far deeper than we can comprehend!

II. V. 15 HIS INTIMACY IN OUR RELATIONSHIP

Note: Jesus refers to His disciples as His "friends". This is a term used to refer to a king's inner circle. Those who are still his servants, but who are privy to his innermost secrets. This inner circle was not to promote itself, but it existed only to carry out the will of the monarch. Ill. This must have been a rebuke to the disciples who, even that night, were spending their time seeking first place, Luke 22:24.

Note: His love for His people moves Him to lead us into the green pasture and beside the still waters of His Father's will for our lives. Because He loves us, He will not keep us in the dark concerning the Lord's will for our lives. Ill. Abraham - Gen 18.

III. V. 12, 14, 16-17 HIS INVOLVEMENT IN OUR DISCIPLESHIP

Note: His desire is for more than our salvation. His desire is to remake us in His image, Rom. 8:29.

Note: He does this by becoming intimately involved in our lives.

    • He chose us, we did not choose Him, v. 16 Ill. In that culture, disciples picked their own rabbi. We did not get in this thing by choice!
    • He ordained us, v. 16. We have been appointed to the task! What task? That of doing, without question the perfect will of the Lord. We are told here to "go and bring forth fruit."
    • His promise is that our "fruit will remain", v. 16. Neither Satan, the world or time can erode the impact of the ministry we perform for Him here. Why? Fruit has within itself the seeds for more fruit. Man-made results will certainly fade, but that which is done for Him will continue to bear fruit long after we are gone!
    • He also promises to answer our prayers so that we might get the job done for Him, v. 16. The kind of prayers that work are those prayed in accord with God's will and kingdom work, Matt. 6:9-13.

Note: As we come to the place of unquestioning obedience, we enter the realm of friendship with Jesus, v. 14. Our relationship with God becomes a reality at the moment when saving faith is exercised. However, our friendship is not automatic, but it is conditioned upon our obedience to His commands!

Note: We are to "do whatsoever" He commands us. That verb refers to continuous, consistent service not the hit and miss service rendered by so many in our day. His saving grace and work in our lives transforms us from rebels into obedient, humble servants for His glory.

Note: Our motivation for this service is our love for Him in us reaching out in love to those around us, v. 12, 17. As we love like Jesus, we will respond to His commands with obedience vertically and outreach horizontally. Ill. Love is the supreme fruit of our lives. All that we do must be filtered through our love for Him and for others. We would be far better off to lose anything we have, even our lives, than to lose our love for Him and for our brethren! Why is this so important? John 13:35; 1 John 4:19-21; 1 John 3:6-19.Conc: I think churches and church people are missing the boat in this generation. Churches are restructuring everything they do so that they be more "seeker friendly". I am not so sure that people are looking for "friendly churches" as much as they are looking for "friends". The world is waiting for those who know The Best Friend We've Ever Had to pattern their lives after Him and do life like He did it.

Let me close with just a couple of questions.

1. Are you the friend of Jesus?

2. Are you a friend like Jesus?

3. Are you willing to become His friend and a friend like Him?

Tonight would be a great night for the Lord's people to begin the process of becoming more like Jesus.




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