You can’t be friends with someone you don’t have a relationship with. Friendship involves giving and taking. It includes offering something to someone who then reciprocates.
In the same way, we can’t say we’re friends of God unless we meet the criterion He has laid out to us through Jesus: “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:14 NKJV).
True friends of Jesus will obey Him. Imagine someone claiming to be your close friend but always talking about you behind your back, cutting you down, and telling lies about you. You go to that person and say, “Excuse me, are you my friend?”
The person says, “Yes, I’m your friend.”
You then say, “If you’re really my friend, why do you spread lies about me? Someone just told me you said this about me. Is it true?”
“I’m sorry,” your friend says. “It’s true, but I really do love you. Can you forgive me?” Then your friend shows up the next day with a nice gift for you and says, “I still want to be your friend.” So, you forgive them.
But the next day, you hear that your friend’s talking about you again behind your back. So once again, you confront them. They apologize again and give you a more expensive gift than the last one.
A few days later, the same thing happens. Finally, you say, “I don’t want your gifts. I just want your honest friendship and loyalty.”
We can be like the disloyal friend with God. We may claim that we’re His friends, but we don’t obey Him. We break His commandments repeatedly and then try to make up for doing so. But there are no substitutes for obedience to God.
We can show our love for God quite simply, by doing what He says. If we don’t, then we really have no right to call ourselves His friends.
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