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Sermon No: 103433-Friendship with God



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SERMON TOPIC: Friendship with God

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 30 May 2021

Topic Groups: FRIEND OF GOD, CHRISTIAN LIVING, PROSPERITY

Sermon synopsis: Genesis 5:21-24 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years.
Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away..
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Friendship with God.

Genesis 5:21-24.

When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah.

After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years.

Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away..

Abraham was God’ Friend.

James 2:23.

And the scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called God’s friend.

Chronicles 20:7.

Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?

Isaiah 41:8.

But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend.

God had a deep friendship with Abraham, which afforded him great privileges.

Genesis 18:1-5.

The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby.

When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground…

God’ Friend.

If I have found favour in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by.

Very well, do as you say.

Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way, now that you have come to your servant.

We prioritize time with friends.

Abraham petitions the Lord to not pass by, but to instead stay a little while at his house. He isn’t distracted or busy when the Lord approaches; he stops everything and begins to petition him. He asks for them to stay in order to have a meal, wash up, and rest before continuing their travels.

We prioritize time with friends.

Here we see the priority of God’s friends: they prioritize time with him.

This is no different than any genuine friendship. Genuine friends continually spend time with one another because they enjoy each other.

Abraham said, “If I have found favour in your eyes” please stay for a little while at my house.

We prioritize time with friends.

The quotes from authors who lived in past centuries cause one to stand in awe of some of these writers. How did they develop such a deep under-standing and appreciation, such an appetite for God and His Word, that most Christians lack today?

We must prioritize time with God.

The quotes from authors who lived in past centuries cause one to stand in awe of some of these writers. How did they develop such a deep under-standing and appreciation, such an appetite for God and His Word, that most Christians lack today?

They invested time, effort, and devotion in communion with God and in meditating deeply upon His Word, time that few are willing to invest today because loving God is not high on their list of priorities.

We confide in friends.

Genesis 18:17-19.

And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;

Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

We confide in friends.

Genesis 18:17-19.

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

We confide in friends.

Amos 3:7.

Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.

Moses and God.

Exodus 33:11.

The Lord would speak to Moses' face to face, as one speaks to a friend.

Friendship with God involves reverence.

While we can enjoy closeness with God, our intimacy with Him is also built on a deep reverence for Him.

Psalms 25:14.

The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.

When we think in terms of a human relationship, this may be difficult to understand. After all, what does it look like to revere a friend? One way that helps to understand this is to think what it’s like to make friends with a king.

Friendship with God involves reverence.

Billy Graham was a close friend of several Presidents of the USA.

Friendship with God does not mean we lose a sense of reverence for Him; after all, He is the Lord of lords and the King of kings.

Proverbs22:11.

One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend.

Friendship with God involves correction.

We have been brainwashed into thinking that friends must always be supportive and turn a blind eye to our faults, however this wishy-washy notion of what love is, that throws out the need for disciplining our children and correcting our friends, is far removed from the counsel of the Word of God.

Proverbs 27:5-6.

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.

Friendship with God involves honouring Him.

As His friends, we will always give Him the glory and place of honour. When John the Baptist was being compared to Jesus, he didn’t claim glory for himself, but exalted Jesus, saying,

John 3:29-30.

The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice.

That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.

Friendship with God involves sacrifice.

John 15:13-15.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.

Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

Knowing God.

David was referred to as a man after the heart of God and as we read the many Psalms he wrote, we see clear evidence of his special relationship with God.

What is it that sets certain people apart to have such a close and intimate relationship

with the Lord?

Known by God.

The most important question is not.

Do you believe in God?

Do you read your Bible?

Do you pray?

Do you fast?

Do you go to Church?

Do you Tithe and serve?

These things all have their place, but you can do all these things and go to hell!

Do you believe in God?

James 2:19.

You believe there is one God, good! Even the demons believe that and tremble.

Do you know your Bible?

Satan can quote the Bible and perhaps he knows it better than you do.

The Pharisees knew the Scriptures.

John 5:37-40.

And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.

You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

Intimacy Is More Than Knowledge

One common mistake is thinking that nearness to God can be achieved through knowledge accumulation.

Now, of course, to intimately know God, we must know crucial things about God. Jesus said, (John 8:32)

“you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”

But never in the history of the Christian church has so much theological knowledge been available to so many people as it is today.

The American church enjoys perhaps the greatest amount of this abundance. We are awash in Bible translations, good books, insightful articles, recorded sermons, interviews, movies, documentaries, music, and more, and much of it very good. It is right for us to be very thankful.

Intimacy Is More Than Knowledge

But America is not abounding in Enoch’s, saints who walk with God in a profoundly intimate way (Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5)

Why? Because knowledge is not synonymous with trust. That’s why Jesus said to the religious leaders of his day, some who possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of Scripture,

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.”

Biblical knowledge is far better than gold when it fuels our trust in God, because it fuels our intimacy with God (Psalm 19:10).

But when biblical knowledge replaces our trust in God, it only fuels our pride (1 Corinthians 8:1).

Do you fast and pray?

The Pharisee who prayed, fasted twice a week and tithed went home condemned with his prayers not even heard.

Luke 18:9-14.

Knowing Jesus isn’t about being religious.

Matthew 7:21-23.

Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and, in your name, perform many miracles?

Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!

Knowing Jesus isn’t about being religious.

Luke 13:23-28.

Someone asked him, Lord, are only a few people going to be saved? He said to them, Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.

Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, Sir, open the door for us. But he will answer, I don’t know you or where you come from.

It isn’t about going to Church?

Luke 13:23-28.

Then you will say, We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets. But he will reply, I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!

There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.

Religion or Relationship?

I believe that this Indictment that Jesus leveled at the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:22.) applies to many professing Christians today.

You Samaritans worship what you do not know…

Knowing God.

The purpose of Salvation is not the forgiveness of your sins. That had to take place to fulfil the purpose of Salvation

The purpose of Salvation is not that you may escape Hell! That is the draw-card for many, but Salvation is more than a fire escape from hell.

The purpose of Salvation is that you may have a relationship with God

Knowing Jesus is about obedience & victory over habitual sin.

1 John 3:5-6.

But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.

No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

Knowing Jesus is about obedience & victory over habitual sin.

1 John 2:3-6

We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, I know him, but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.

But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

Pursuit of God.

It was Canon Holmes, of India, who more than twenty five years ago called attention to the inferential character of the average man's faith in God. To most people God is an inference, not a reality. He is a deduction from evidence which they consider adequate; but He remains personally unknown to the individual.

"He must be," they say, "therefore we believe He is."

Others do not go even so far as this; they know of Him only by hearsay. They have never bothered to think the matter out for themselves, but have heard about Him from others, and have put belief in Him into the back of their minds along with the various odds and ends that make up their total creed.

To many others God is but an ideal, another name for goodness, or beauty, or truth; or He is law, or life, or the creative impulse back of the phenomena of existence.

Pursuit of God.

These notions about God are many and varied, but those who hold them have one thing in common: they do not know God in personal experience. The possibility of intimate acquaintance with Him has not entered their minds. While admitting His existence they do not think of Him as knowable in the sense that we know things or people.

Christians, to be sure, go further than this, at least in theory. Their creed requires them to believe in the personality of God, and they have been taught to pray, "Our Father, which art in heaven." Now personality and fatherhood carry with them the idea of the possibility of personal acquaintance.

This is admitted, I say, in theory, but for millions of Christians, nevertheless, God is no more real than He is to the non-Christian. They go through life trying to love an ideal and be loyal to a mere principle.

Pursuit of God.

Over against all this cloudy vagueness stands the clear scriptural doctrine that God can be known in personal experience. A loving Personality dominates the Bible, walking among the trees of the garden and breathing fragrance over every scene.

Always a living Person is present, speaking, pleading, loving, working, and manifesting Himself whenever and wherever His people have the receptivity necessary to receive the manifestation.

Pursuit of God.

The Bible assumes as a self-evident fact that men can know God with at least the same degree of immediacy as they know any other person or thing that comes within the field of their experience.

The same terms are used to express the knowledge of God as are used to express knowledge of physical things. “O taste and see that the Lord is good.” “All thy garments smell Of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces.” “My sheep hear my voice.” “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

These are but four of countless such passages from the Word of God.

Hearing God.

Revelation 3:20.

Here I am, I stand at the door and knock.

If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person and they with me.

Hearing God.

John 10:3-5.

The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice

Seeing God’s face.

Jeremiah 29:13.

You shall seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

The basis of Faith is believing that

Hebrews 11:6.

He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Have you seen the Lord?

1 John 3:6.

No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him.

Jesus has revealed the character of God to us.

John 14:8-9 & 18-21.

Philip said, Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us. Jesus answered:

Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?

Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, Show us the Father?

God reveals Himself to those who obey Him.

John 14:8-9 & 18-21.

Before long, the world On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.

The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.

Touching God.

Mark 5:21-34. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years…. came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.

Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

David didn’t develop his taste for the Lord in a day. He fed upon the Word of God until to him God’s “judgments” were

Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb Ps:19:10.

A sweet smelling savour to God.

God can be heard, He can be seen, He can be touched, He can be tasted. The end effect of this interaction with the Lord is that our lives become a sweet smelling savour to Him. AW Towzer

It is only when we know the Lord intimately that we will be able to prove His will and know His purposes.

A sweet smelling savour to God.

God graciously saved Noah, one of the men of God who walked with Him, from the devastating floods.

Noah along with his family offered praises to God and we read in the Bible that to God it was like a ‘soothing aroma’. Genesis 8:20,21.

A sweet smelling savour to God.

Ephesians 5:1-2.

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

How do you we smell in God’s nostrils? We put on creams and lotions and perfumes to appeal to our fellow humans, but do we even care what we smell like to God?

Does God not require sacrifices anymore?

When the saints sent a thanksgiving offering from the city of Philippi, Apostle Paul writes:

Philippians 4:18.

I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.

In our relationships as humans our five senses are involved in a progressive way.

Hearing and seeing can be done from a distance. We hear of someone that sounds interesting, but we first must see them to see if we find them attractive. Once we like what we hear and see, a successful relationship will progress to touch.

The tasting in our relationship with the Lord is an invite from him, our part is to smell good.

Knowing Jesus.

1 John 2:6

This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

Philippians 3:10.

I want to know Christ, yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.

The Fellowship of His Sufferings.

We get sentimental about Christ's human pain at Calvary. We are deeply moved by the hurt He suffered from the crown of thorns, the driven nails, the piercing spear, the leering crowds, the mocking soldiers.

But you can never enter into His sufferings if that is as deep as you go. It is so much deeper than that! Paul also knew what it was to be beaten, mocked, and scourged. Paul bled. He too was despised and rejected by men. If you use a human scale, this apostle could have nearly balanced the Savior's physical pain and suffering.

Nor was it cosmic suffering Paul desired to share with Christ. No one can share in Christ's divine, universal suffering. He alone took upon Himself the sins of the whole world. He alone was wounded for our transgressions. The agony of His redemptive act was uniquely His.

The Fellowship of His Sufferings.

The sufferings of Christ that Paul and we can fellowship in have to do with the spiritual sufferings He endured while in human form. He suffered far more in His spirit, before the Cross. It had to do with a backslidden church, unbelieving loved ones, and what it cost Him to move from the earth back to the heavenlies.

I am sure no man can fully understand all His sufferings, and certainly my vision is very limited. But I have been led by the Spirit to fellowship in three special aspects of His sufferings. Most of it can be found in the book of John.

Christ suffered grievously at the sight of His House being turned into a den of Thieves.

Jesus went up to Jerusalem at Passover and entered the temple. What He saw appalled Him. Merchandisers had taken over the house of God! He came seeking a house of prayer; what he found was a total preoccupation with the promotion, display, and sales of religious merchandise. The religious leaders were counting their profits. God's people were not reading or studying or hearing the Word - they were too busy selling religious articles. What busy-ness! How these religious promoters ran about, thinking they were doing the work of God. Men of God had become hucksters of religious merchandise.

Tables had been set up everywhere in God's house, to promote and sell sheep, oxen, doves, candies, incense, and various other merchandise for religious purposes. The cash register made the loudest noise in the house. Money was being made on God and religion.

Talk of suffering? What terrible pain did our Lord suffer at such a sight to cause His compassionate heart to boil with holy anger. His meek spirit raged with righteous indignation.

Talk of suffering? What terrible pain did our Lord suffer at such a sight to cause His compassionate heart to boil with holy anger. His meek spirit raged with righteous indignation.

Can you picture that moment? With whip in hand, our Lord stormed into the temple and began flailing in all directions, overturning the tables piled high with merchandise. He scattered the promoters, the pitch men, the hucksters.

"Out," He thundered, "out of my Father's house! You have desecrated this holy place, turning this house of prayer into a commercial enterprise!"

Not anywhere else in all the Scriptures will you find such outrage in the Master! It was one of the most painful, suffering experiences in all His ministry. He could not stand by and permit His Father's house to become a den for religious thieves.

Are we willing today to fellowship with Christ in this aspect of His sufferings? Do we share His hurt at seeing God's house once again being turned over to merchandisers? Will we be outraged by the horrible commercialism of the gospel? Will we feel His rage against spiritual hucksterism enough to withdraw from all such activities? Do we feel His hurt enough to renounce all ministries that grind out merchandise just for the sake of making money?

Are we willing today to fellowship with Christ in this aspect of His sufferings? Do we share His hurt at seeing God's house once again being turned over to merchandisers? Will we be outraged by the horrible commercialism of the gospel? Will we feel His rage against spiritual hucksterism enough to withdraw from all such activities? Do we feel His hurt enough to renounce all ministries that grind out merchandise just for the sake of making money?

Can we share His suffering at this point enough to stand against those who would turn God's house into a theater or entertainment center for promoters? Can we grieve over all the profiteering on the name of Jesus? Can we get our eyes off the cash and back on the Cross? Peter warns of the coming of false prophets who will steal in among us, and because of covetousness, "they will with phony words make merchandise of you..." (II Peter 2:3).

In other words, these men will come with sales pitches - seeing nothing but dollar signs. They will put the name of Jesus on anything to get your money to enrich themselves. These merchants need to quit preaching and go into business.

In other words, these men will come with sales pitches - seeing nothing but dollar signs. They will put the name of Jesus on anything to get your money to enrich themselves. These merchants need to quit preaching and go into business.

How the heavens must rage against all the buying and selling of modern Jesus' merchandise. How it must hurt our Lord to see evangelists more concerned about record, tape, and book sales, than reaching lost humanity.

What small fortunes are being made through the promotion and sale of religious merchandise in church circles. We have done far more than commercialize Christmas - we have commercialized the very Godhead!

God gives us a message, a talent, a gift - and we package and sell it! We freely receive; we expensively sell. We are afraid to trust God to support our ministries, so we develop a side business out of what God freely gave us. We incorporate our talents to turn a profit. Are there no evangelists or ministries left in the world with nothing to promote but Jesus Christ?

God gives us a message, a talent, a gift - and we package and sell it! We freely receive; we expensively sell. We are afraid to trust God to support our ministries, so we develop a side business out of what God freely gave us. We incorporate our talents to turn a profit. Are there no evangelists or ministries left in the world with nothing to promote but Jesus Christ?

The issue goes beyond selling religious merchandise in God's house. It includes all secular promotion of the things of God. The average Christian would be shocked if he knew how many popular ministries are promoted by secular agencies who "sell" the man and his message. They package and sell the gospel like soap and cereal. The result is cutesy little songs and sermons with much hype and little life.

Just this week I received a formal notice that a certain ministry had hired a Madison Avenue public relations man to promote them. They felt they needed more exposure and a better public image in order to meet their budget. The prophets of God are being replaced by PR men!

Just this week I received a formal notice that a certain ministry had hired a Madison Avenue public relations man to promote them. They felt they needed more exposure and a better public image in order to meet their budget. The prophets of God are being replaced by PR men!

I want nothing to do with the professional hucksters and promoters. They have no right to touch the anointed things of God. They compromise men of God, they rob them of their anointing, and substitute a slick, lifeless professionalism. They take powerful men of God and turn them into proud celebrities who build reputations on the gospel.

They take spiritual, humble singing groups, dress them in sequined jackets, rewrite the songs so no one will be offended, and try to be so professional they can make the secular charts.

They take spiritual, humble singing groups, dress them in sequined jackets, rewrite the songs so no one will be offended, and try to be so professional they can make the secular charts.

I see singing groups everywhere being seduced, losing God's anointing, and ending up just another lifeless group.

Not only will God not bless this modern trend toward secular professionalism, but He will also thunder against it and drive it out of His presence!

Heaven didn't put up with it in the temple at Jerusalem, and it will not put up with it in these last days. The days of the merchandisers in God's house are numbered.

Christ suffers when those He loves most doubt His interest and His power!

I fellowship in Christ's suffering when I grieve over Christians who believe God can get glory only in miracles, signs and wonders.

Jesus Himself said, "This sickness of [Lazarus]... is for the glory of God..." Not just the resurrection from the dead, but the sickness also. Some Christians cringe at the thought that God can get glory out of any illness. But I'll go a step further and say that God can even get glory out of the death of His saints, as He did with the suffering and death of His own Son. I repeat my concept that death in Christ is the ultimate healing. It is not doubt to rest in the wisdom of God to overrule our prayers, even our faith.

Job could say, after seeing no relief -- "Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him" (Job 13:15).

What Mary and Martha should have done was to rest in Christ's love and power - telling Him, "Lord, we know you are well able to raise him up. But, if not, you must have supernatural reasons, backed by holy wisdom - so we accept joyfully your ways."

What Mary and Martha should have done was to rest in Christ's love and power - telling Him, "Lord, we know you are well able to raise him up. But, if not, you must have supernatural reasons, backed by holy wisdom - so we accept joyfully your ways."

I know a dying family in Ohio who is bringing more glory to God than most healthy Christians in that state. The singing Sigrist family suffers a rare form of cancer. Two daughters have gone to be with Christ - another is stricken. The father has a large tumor in his stomach. They live on the brink of death. But, oh, the victory in that household! They rejoice in God's love and faithfulness. Newspapers have carried the story of their faith throughout the state. They have such great faith in Christ's healing power - but also a complete confidence in His wisdom and love. They rest in God, preferring His will to their own.

People who hear their story say, "That's the kind of faith I want! That's the kind of God I want to serve. One who can give such peace and rest in the very face of death itself. A God who keeps you from coming apart in a crisis."

Christ suffered when He gave up that which on earth was most precious to Him!

Could Jesus love Lazarus, Mary and Martha, and not love His own mother dearly? Did He love His disciples more than his mother? I can't believe that.

In His earthly form, He was "The son of Mary." That one line, tells us something of God's loving attitude toward this blessed woman. He was the fruit of her womb. She cuddled Him as a baby. She taught Him. She was like any other loving, caring mother who has a close relationship with her child. How she worried when He was lost in Jerusalem. How she grieved when neighbors and friends spoke against her dear son. She must have wept often to hear the slander, the lies, the accusations. And who can know her pain at the foot of the Cross. She knew He was God in the flesh - but He was also her dearly beloved son.

If Christ was tempted at all points as we are, then certainly He suffered deeply when He gave up His earthly relationship to His beloved mother.

If Christ was tempted at all points as we are, then certainly He suffered deeply when He gave up His earthly relationship to His beloved mother.

What a touching human scene in John 19:

"Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister.. and Mary Magdalene... When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! and from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home..." (John 19:25-27).

In His very last hour, He is thinking of his mother. Evidently Joseph, His father, was dead - and Jesus wanted to leave her in the loving care of one He trusted. John, that very day, took Mary into his own home, to be her provider and protector.

It's so easy to skip over those seven little words and miss their significance: "Woman, behold thy son... behold thy mother." Jesus was at that moment giving her up!

It's so easy to skip over those seven little words and miss their significance: "Woman, behold thy son... behold thy mother." Jesus was at that moment giving her up!

He would now be more than the son of Mary, but her Lord and Savior. He was going back to His heavenly Father with great joy and expectancy, but He had known the glory of human love - of a son for his mother.

It is not that Christ wanted to remain in human form. His work on earth was over. Redemption was about to be completed. But He shared the suffering of giving up something most precious in His life.

We too share in the pain and distress of giving up that which Is most precious to us. Right now, somewhere, godly saints are having to give up to death their most precious loved ones. What sweet suffering to say goodbye! What lingering pain when a loved one passes from the earthly to the eternal. Christ felt that pain, and you can be sure that when you are called upon to make that sacrifice, He will give you all the grace you need to handle it.

We too share in the pain and distress of giving up that which Is most precious to us. Right now, somewhere, godly saints are having to give up to death their most precious loved ones. What sweet suffering to say goodbye! What lingering pain when a loved one passes from the earthly to the eternal. Christ felt that pain, and you can be sure that when you are called upon to make that sacrifice, He will give you all the grace you need to handle it.

I'm so glad He suffered with us in such a personal, intimate way. I may not relate to the pain of the driven nails and the crushing blow of the spear - but I can relate to the pain He felt when He gave His mother over to another. We must all one day go through that particular pain. What a sweet, loving Savior who felt our hurt at this very point.

Knowing God.

“It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction is God.” Aiden Wilson Towzer

Friendship with God.

Proverbs 17:17.

A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Proverbs 18:24.

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http:// www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV: Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.




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