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What A Friend We Have In Jesus By Liesl Mare

I recently heard a song with those words and I have meditated on it so often since hearing it… What a friend I have in Jesus, what a real, real friend I have in Jesus….

Jesus is not just my Saviour and Redeemer, He is also my Friend. I am betrothed to be married to Him one day – and I am called His bride.

2 Corinthians 11 v 2: For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Revelations 19 v 7: Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.

One of the greatest privileges to be married is to have a full-time friend! When I met my husband, I wanted to spend as much time with this new friend as possible! The hours we had in a day that we could spend together just seemed too short to fit in all the ‘friendship’ time we needed! It was new and wonderful. As time went by though, we became used to each other and took the friendship for granted. We fell into a trap of familiarity and got stuck in a rut of survival, raising kids and life! Through the decades we have been married, we had to consciously remind one another that this friendship is important and that we need to nurture and protect it. This does not happen by itself; it takes hard work – like making a beautiful garden. You cannot just plant and leave a garden – you have to water it and make sure you take out the weeds. It is the same with a friendship – we need to nurture it and get rid of weeds that want to come and choke the beauty of it.

When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, accepting His sacrifice on the cross for our sins, we are ushered into a new friendship with this same Person who saved us from a life of sin and death. He takes friendship to a completely new level by laying down His own, precious, sinless life for us – who are full of sin and definitely not deserving! He then calls us friends the moment we accept His Lordship!

John 15 v 12 – 15: This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 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

Jesus was so bold to declare that we are no longer servants, people who HAVE to

do things for Him, we are His friends – in other words, we are people who WANT to

do things for Him!

Friendship with Jesus has a few characteristics that give us guidelines on how we can remain His friend and also be a friend to others:

  • He laid down His life for us – long before we even knew what He did

  • When we do choose to enter into the friendship with Him, He expects obedience, obedience to living and doing life HIS WAY, no longer our way

  • He is not hidden from us, but He is open with us – not hiding anything from us but revealing what we need, when we need it. He is completely reliable.

Jesus is the Mediator between us and Father God; He is the one who paved the way. That is why He says He reveals to us whatever the Father shows Him. It is no longer a relationship based on commands but a relationship built on living a real life, dependent on a REAL saviour, who becomes our most reliable and steadfast friend.

The design from the beginning, as we read in Genesis, is that God wanted a relationship with us. God walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He walked with them – like a friend. He interacted with them – like a friend. This friendship was completely severed by sin, irreparable until Jesus came and built a bridge back to God the Father. This bridge was the cross. When we want to get back into friendship with God, we need to take the same route – the bridge of the cross of Jesus Christ. That means that we lay down our own lives, willingly; we die to what is important to us and embrace what is important to Him. That is valuing a friendship!

Jesus is the ultimate friend – we know this because He started the friendship with sacrifice! He did not start the friendship weighing up what He would get from it. He started it in obedience to His Father and then the willing sacrifice of His life – the two most powerful ways to display true friendship. Jesus is not a friend that will betray – He remains faithful, even when we are not.

2 Timothy 2 v 13: If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

Even if we may feel alone or deserted, God is faithful – it is His character and He cannot deviate from it. He will be with you, always.

Jesus truly is the friend that sticks closer than a brother:

Provebs 18 v 24: A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Our part is to trust Him, willingly surrendering to His Lordship and walking with Him. He will do us good! He will show us where to go and He will always be there to heal, deliver and redeem. Trust Him to be your friend and entrust Him with everything – nothing hidden.

Then you can sing with me, ‘What a friend I have in Jesus….’

Love, Liesl

Liesl Mare is one of our contributors. Read her full bio here.

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