Greetings! In today’s class, we shall conclude our segment on Abraham – God’s Friend.
Abraham – God’s Friend
Notice, please, Romans 8:15-17. “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear” Romans 8:15. Oh, it makes God feel sorry when we are afraid of Him.
“Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” Romans 8:17.
What is a joint heir? One who gets a share just like the other heirs. You see, friends, here in this world we are so inoculated, so saturated with the devil’s idea that the only way I can get more is for somebody else to get less. God never devised any such plan. That was Lucifer’s idea. He thought the only way he could get more was to downgrade Christ. He wanted to take something so he could have more. Finally he even got the idea of getting above God. This is the spirit of the world.
This is what is fundamentally pitiful about this idea of prizes. One of the first prizes I ever won was when I was a little boy, eight years old. I was attending a picnic, little barefoot boy. Among the other events of the day, they said there was going to be a race for eight-year-old boys, and the prize was a dish of ice cream. It was a hot summer day near Phoenix, Arizona, and it can get hot there.
Well, I lined up with the other little fellows, you know. And the leader held up his cap and said, “Now, boys, I am going to drop my cap. And when it hits the dirt, you are off. You run up there to a certain mark and run back. The one who gets back first gets the prize.” Say, we all ran. And I ran with all my heart and strength, and I got it. I got the prize. Of course, the other little fellows, what did they get?
My friends, I thank the Lord I found long ago that that is not real satisfaction. No. I am not interested in that at all – not a bit of it. And I am so glad God didn’t wait until I was older to teach me something better. When I was in my teens, God began to teach me that there was something better than grabbing something from somebody else, in order for me to get it, that God wasn’t that poor, and I didn’t need to be. My Father is rich, and I am an heir. He has promised me just as much as Jesus has. What more could you want? Why go around trying to grab somebody else’s position, or money, or property, or friendship? Why do it?
That is why He says there in the 10th commandment: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s” Exodus 20:17.
It is not only bad, wicked, but it’s foolish. It doesn’t make sense, friends. Why on earth covet something that belongs to somebody else; when you have more than you can ever get around, in all eternity, that is already yours – bought and paid for with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Why not start in to enjoy that?
You may have heard the story of the little dog that was trotting along home, very contented and happy, anticipating what he was going to enjoy as soon as he got home; for he was carrying a bone in his mouth. As he was trotting along, he came to a little footbridge across a stream. As he passed over, he chanced to look in the water; and there he saw another dog with another bone – reflection, of course. And he grabbed for it. But, of course, in the process you know what happened, don’t you? He lost his own bone. And, of course, he didn’t get the other one, either.
Ah, friends, think of it! Have you ever tried to grab what somebody else has? Why not enter into the glorious heritage that belongs to us by the purchase of the blood of Jesus Christ? Why try to edge in and get somebody else’s love, somebody else’s friendship, worry whether we have as much honor as somebody else, or the position that somebody else has, or the money that somebody else has?
Friends, there is something sweeter, better, higher, deeper, broader, grander, than anything of that kind. It is to be the friend of God – for God to invite you into His inner counsel, and talk with you and let you talk with Him. I know this is so, friends. And I can say honestly from my heart, this satisfies the longing of the soul. I covet no man’s position. I covet no man’s property or wealth. I have a gold mine, infinite in value. God, the God of the universe, has called me His friend. He loves me. He loves to have me with Him. He loves to talk to me and let me talk to Him.
Oh, I feel so little at it, and probably I always will. He is infinite. I am finite. But do you know, even a little bucket can hold the same kind of water that a great big lake does?
You don’t have to grab somebody else’s bucket, turn their bucket over and spill half of it trying to get their bucket in yours. No, no. There is plenty in the lake. God wants you to be filled with all the fullness of God. Yes, there is quite a difference between being a servant and being a friend.
Let’s turn now to John 8, and we will notice another wonderful thing about this relationship: “And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever” John 8:35.
The life and the service of the servant may be transient, uncertain. If you go over to a big factory and I say to a man, “How long have you been working here?”
“Well, I have been working here 10 years.”
“Are you sure you are going to work here the rest of your life?” “Oh, no.”
“Could they fire you?”
“Oh, yes. They could fire me.”
“Your tenure is uncertain.”
And I want to tell you, friends, there are a lot of people who are with God on that sort of a basis. They feel insecure. Even if they think they are in today, they wonder whether they might get kicked out tomorrow. God longs to have you be a friend, a son, instead of just a servant. “The Son abideth ever” Ibid.
You know, many of us are interested in certain branches of the Lord’s work. We call those branches “self-supporting work.” I would like to have you think of it this way, friends. Whether we are working in what is called the conference work or self-supporting work, we need to know why we are working. If we are working as servants, we can draw our pay whether it comes in dollars or tens or hundreds or thousands, but we will never know this other relationship.
Just get this picture, and you will see what I mean. Suppose there is a farm near by you and there is a man who has a number of hired hands. He has a great big ranch. But he has a son, also. That son has been on that farm ever since he was born. He knows all the broad acres. He knows the cattle. He knows the horses. He knows the tractors. And one day, a neighbor sees this son as he is handling some of the farm machinery. He sees him on the tractor. He stops him as he makes a round, and he talks to him over the fence. He says, “Boy, what are you making here on this farm with your father? How much is he paying you? Come and work for me, and I will pay you twice as much.”
Will he go? Well, that depends on whether he is a servant or a son. Am I right? That is right. That is what it depends on. I want to tell you something, friends. If there is any amount of money that would get you to move from the job you have, to some other job, then you are missing half your life. In fact, you are missing more than that. Well, I won’t try to express it mathematically, how much of your life you are missing. Oh, listen. There is something more wonderful to work for than a servant’s wage. It is the fellowship of a son with his father, a friend with a friend.
But you know, the son has to take the consequence of that, because come a bad year, the crops aren’t quite so plentiful, the servants have to be paid just as much as if there was a good crop, don’t they? But the son and the father have to tighten the belt a bit, right? And does the son go to bed and think, “I don’t know. I think I’ll get moving. I know where I can get a lot more money than I am getting here. Why, sure that’s no problem.”
Oh, I repeat, it is a wonderful thing to be a son, to be a friend. Is that your experience? If you have it, there is nothing that can bribe you, nothing that can entice you, nothing that can allure you. And when I say that, I do not mean, and of course, you know I don’t mean that a man is to stay in one bit of geography all his life. That is not the point. Wherever God sends me, that is where I want to go. Wherever God places me, that is where I want to be. My point is, money has nothing to do with it. Remuneration has nothing to do with it, if I am a son. If I am a servant, yes, I will sell my talents, my time, to the highest bidder. Why shouldn’t I? If what I want is $10,000 a year, and if somebody will pay it to me, why not go there? And when I have been there a little while, if somebody else offers me $20,000, why not go on where the pastures are greener? Doesn’t that add up? Doesn’t that make sense? Sure. But if that isn’t what I am interested in, if I have a father that loves me and that I love, and I am filling a place on his team that nobody else can fill, and shall I put it very simply, he just can’t get along without me, I am not going to let him down. Would you? Oh, no, I am not going to let Him down. He wants me. He needs me. He needs my counsel. That is what He says. He needs my love, that is what He needs. It isn’t my wisdom. Oh, no. But He needs my love, my understanding, my appreciation.
Abraham believed God. Do you believe God? When God tells you that He loves you, do you say, “Oh, Lord, I believe You, I know You love me,” or do you say, “Oh, I wish I could feel it”? Feel it? What does feeling have to do with it, friends? It is a fact, bless the Lord, Jesus is your elder Brother. His Father is your Father. He is your Friend. You can be His friend. Will you do it? Will you enter into that fellowship with Jesus?
How is it done? Well, the first thing is to make the contact. The second thing is to keep it. That is all there is to it. Make the contact and keep it. In the language of our lesson, it is this: acknowledge the relationship that God has made possible through the gift and sacrifice of Jesus, and keep acknowledging it. Keep believing what God says, that He is your Friend, and that you are His. Talk to Him as a friend.
I’ve found a Friend; oh, such a Friend! He loved me ere I knew Him:
He drew me with the cords of love, And thus He bound me to Him.
And ’round my heart still closely twine Those ties which naught can sever, For I am His, and He is mine, Forever and forever
Note that second stanza:
I’ve found a Friend; oh, such a Friend! He bled, He died to save me.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for His friends. Ye are my friends. … Henceforth I call you not servants [but friends]” John 15:13-15. Oh, what a friend He is, to lay down His life for us! Oh, let’s sing it with new meaning and new appreciation.
I’ve found a Friend; oh, such a Friend! He bled, He died to save me; And not alone the gift of life,
But His own self He gave me.
Naught that I have my own I call, I hold it for the Giver;
My heart, my strength, my life, my all Are His, and His forever.
What Stands Out To You?
What stands out to you from today’s lesson, that can help you in entering into a C.I.P. with Jesus? Please let us know, in the comment section, below! God bless!
* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.
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