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Friendship with Jesus

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
May 1, 2024 4:00 am

Friendship with Jesus

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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May 1, 2024 4:00 am

It is a privilege to call Jesus our friend—to know Him intimately as a close companion. In this message, Adrian Rogers highlights five things about our friendship with Jesus: what it means, and what it makes of us.

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Pastor, teacher, and author Adrian Rogers has introduced people all over the world to the love of Jesus Christ and has impacted untold numbers of lives by presenting profound truth simply stated. Thanks for joining us for this message.

Here's Adrian Rogers. Some years ago when Joyce and I were quite young, we had a little baby boy to die. And Joyce and I had never faced death before. That afternoon, as we drove to our hometown to make preparation for the funeral, we had to drive about 65 miles. And as we drove that 65 miles, we sang and prayed. One of the songs that we sang over and over again that 65 miles from Fort Pierce to West Palm Beach was, what a friend we have in Jesus. All our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to Him in prayer.

It was true then, it is true now, it was true for me, it'll be true for you. The best friend anyone ever had and ever has is the Lord Jesus Christ. I want to talk to you today about friendship with Jesus.

Begin reading with me here in John chapter 15 verse 12. Jesus says, this is my commandment, that you love one another. But now wait a moment, not just love one another, there's a special kind of love, that you love one another as I have loved you. That is, you love one another with the same love that I have given to you.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth, I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth. But I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard of my Father, I have made known unto you. You've not chosen me, but I have chosen you and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.

And whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father, in my name he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own. But because you're not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you? The servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.

If they've kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me." Again, what a privilege to have the Lord Jesus Christ as our friend. Does Jesus have favorites?

No. With him, there's no respecter of persons, but he does have intimates. You can become a friend of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, there's several things I want you to think about today as we think about friendship with Jesus. And I pray, God, the Holy Spirit will write these upon your heart. I pray that you will learn what a privilege, yes, a privilege to be able to say that I am a friend of Jesus, and Jesus is a friend of mine.

There are basically five things that I see as I look in this passage of Scripture, and I pray God will write them upon your heart. And the first is the elevating, the elevating consequence of friendship with Jesus. Friendship with Jesus lifts you to a level that you could not be lifted to without that. It ennobles you. It elevates you. It lifts you up to be called a friend of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, folks, all of us, if we could just simply be called a servant of the Lord Jesus, now that would be an honor.

I mean, if Jesus just simply said, you're my servants, what an honor that would be, how that would lift us just to serve him. But to think that he wants us as his friend, how that lifts us, that doesn't bring him down. That brings us up because, you see, we didn't choose him. He chose us. He said, I want you to be my friend.

That is an elevating, enobling thing that we're lifted. To be called a friend of Jesus. You know, a man is known by his friends.

If you're a friend of Jesus, you're somebody. I remember years and years ago when I was in seminary, Dr. Robert G. Lee, a great man, a dear man, one of the greatest men in my estimation who has ever walked planet earth, came to speak to us at the seminary. I wanted to be there. I wanted to be near the front to hear the great Dr. Robert G. Lee preach the Word of God.

I was all ears. I listened to him. He said many wonderful things. I remember one of the things that Dr. Lee said when he preached to us there at New Orleans Seminary. He said, young men, when you preach, preach to men's hearts, not to their heads. He said, everybody has a heart, not everybody has a head. I thought that was pretty good.

Preach to their hearts, not to their heads. And then they needed somebody to take Dr. Lee to the train station. And I got chosen. I was going to drive Dr. Lee to the train station.

I had a raggedy old car. I hoped he wouldn't mind. But what a privilege it was for me to be a servant to that man, to drive Dr. Robert G. Lee to the train station.

Oh, I look forward to it. I treated him with such a deference, got him in the car, tried to mind my Ps and Qs, to ask just the right questions, to bring this man to the train station. God gave me the privilege to serve him. That was a great privilege. But later on, I became the pastor of this church.

Dr. Lee was a member of this church. And he and I got to be friends. One day he called me up and he said, Pastor, would you be my guest at dinner?

I'd love to have some fellowship with you and some friendship with you. Now, folks, I want to tell you, it was one thing for somebody else to appoint me as his servant, but it was quite another thing for him to invite me as his friend. Now, if all we could be is just servants of Jesus, that would be wonderful. What a privilege. What a privilege just to serve the Lord Jesus Christ if that were all.

But can you imagine? Jesus said, I'm not calling you servants. I'm not calling you slaves. I'm calling you friends. You didn't choose me.

I chose you. Folks, we're somebody if we're a friend of Jesus. A man is known by his friends. In the Old Testament, Abraham was called what? The friend of God.

Remember that? He was known as the friend of God. All of the disciples to whom Jesus was speaking right now, they knew that Abraham was a friend of God. Can you imagine what it must have gone through their heart when Jesus said, now you are my friend. Can you imagine the honor that was theirs and the honor, my friend, the elevating honor to be a friend of the Lord Jesus Christ? And he sought us out.

He took the initiative. We sing it. I 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. Now that's the first thing, the elevating consequence of this love, of this friendship.

But here's the second thing I want you to notice. Not only does it elevate us or does it lift us, but I want you to see the enlarging company of this friendship because we are lifted by friendship with the Lord Jesus and we gain so many other friends when Jesus becomes our friend, the enlarging company of this friendship. You see, listen, when you make a new friend, do you know what you do? You get to meet his friends or her friends. And the strange thing is that when you make a new friend, then your friend's friends become your friends. And there's an ever enlarging circle of friends when you receive a new friend. Any friend of your friend becomes your friend. Now that's what Jesus is talking about here.

That's the theme of all of this. He is saying, you're my friends and therefore my other friends must be your friends. Go back and look at it again in verse 12. This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you.

If I love you, then you have to love one another. My friends are your friends. And because you have me as a friend, think of all of the other friends you're going to get to have. You see, friendship with Jesus lifts us and then friendship with Jesus gives us so many other friends. Very frankly, most of us in this building would not have known one another apart from Jesus.

Now we might have known our mates, surely we would have known our children, but think of the friend. You see, his friends become our friends. Isn't that a wonderful thing? The ever enlarging circle, there's one name that has brought us all together. And because we love him, we love one another and we know so many people, the enlarging circle of our friends. That's why I love the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Why do I love the church?

I love it because Jesus loves it. I told you a long time ago a story that has stuck in my heart since I've heard it over 40 years ago, I believe. A pastor in Georgia went to visit a couple and they were new in the church and he was visiting in the home, the very fine home, a lovely home. And he noticed that they had a little dog and they just made over the little dog almost as if the dog were a member of the family, almost a child.

Nothing seemed to be too good for that little dog. And the pastor, it was a young couple, they looked like they had so much. The pastor said in the conversation, pardon me, but do you have any children? They dropped their head and said, no, pastor, we don't have any children. He said, well, he said, I see you, you treat this little dog with such love and fondness.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if you had a child that you could pour that love out on? When the pastor said that, he knew he'd made a big mistake because the woman began to cry and walked out of the room. He said to the husband who was there, I'm sorry, I don't know what I said, but surely I said something, it was a social error, I am so sorry, what did I say? He said, pastor, it wasn't your fault, but you don't understand, we did have a son.

It was the only son that we could have and the doctor said we could never have any more children. And our son has died and is in heaven. And this little dog that you think we make too much of, that was his dog. He loved this dog so much. And pastor, very frankly, we can't have any more children and the love that we're pouring on this little animal is really just our way of saying we love our son. You may think we love this dog too much, but I tell you, we love him so much because our son loved him so much.

Now, friend, when I heard that story, I said, you know, that's so like the church of the Lord Jesus. You know, we're not much folks, look around, we're not much, but I tell you, there's somebody who loves us. There's somebody who loves us and his name is Jesus. He loves us. Why do I love the church? Because Jesus loves the church. And don't you ever criticize the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ loves the church. And he said, this is my commandment, that you love one another even as I have loved you. What a circle of friends we have because we have the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord. We are to love others as Jesus loved us. That's what friendship means.

Now, here's the third thing I want you to see. I want you to see not only the elevating consequences of friendship with Jesus, and I want you to see not only the enlarging company of friendship with Jesus, but thirdly, I want you to see as we look at this, the enduring cost of friendship with Jesus. Did you know that it costs to be a friend of Jesus?

Look, if you will, in verses 13 and 14, greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. There are no cheap friendships, not real friendships. True friendship costs, but it's worth it.

You are my friends if you do whatsoever I command you. No bargain friendships. Now, friendship with Jesus is not earned by obedience, but it is shown by obedience. Now, we're to love one another because we love the Lord Jesus Christ and sometimes it costs to love one another. There's no cheap way, again, there's no easy way to be a good friend to anyone.

Friendships are expensive, but they're well worth it. Now, Jesus said, I don't call you servants, and the word there is literally slaves, but he said, I call you friends. You know, there are three reasons why someone might serve one another. If you're a slave, you serve another because he's your master and you have to. Or if you are employed, you serve your employer because you need to. I mean, you need the pay. But if the person is a friend, you serve him not because you have to or you need to, but because you want to.

Now, that's the highest kind of service where we serve because we want to. Do you know why I love to come to church on Sunday morning? That people say, well, you don't have to go to church to love God. You don't have to go to church to be a good Christian. Well, there's one thing wrong with that.

It's just not so, just not so. Now, obviously, there are people who are sick and cannot come. God knows their heart. But any man who willfully, deliberately stays away from the worship service, that man is most likely not a Christian. Now, he's not saved because he comes to church. Anybody who's saved is saved by the grace of God. But you listen to me, friend.

If you have no desire to be with the saints down here, you have little hope of being with the saints up there. Do you know what you say when you come to church on Sunday morning? When you get up and other people are out doing other things and you come here to worship in the assembly on Sunday morning, you're saying two things. You're saying, number one, God is important to me, and number two, these other people are important to me. I mean, my brothers and sisters are important. Not only is God important to me, but we are important one to another.

That's what the scripture says. This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you. There's the enduring cost of this friendship. I've talked to you about the fact that friendship lifts us. He chose us to be called a friend of Jesus.

What an ennobling thing that is. And then we've talked about the fact that friendship with Jesus enlarges us. We meet so many other friends, and there's the ever-increasing circle of friends that we meet.

And I have friends around the world because of that one friend whose name is the Lord Jesus Christ. And then we've talked about the enduring cost that you can't have any bargain friendships. But now let me talk to you about the compensation. If you think that the cost is bad, think, if you will, about the enriching compensation of friendship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Look, if you will, in verse 15.

What are some of the compensations? Verse 15. Hid's forth, I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth. But I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Now, folks, that is a great verse that you might want to underline in your Bible. What is the first compensation of being a friend of the Lord Jesus Christ?

Well, that we've not already mentioned. Well, it'll make you spiritually perceptive. It'll make you spiritually perceptive when you become a friend of the Lord Jesus. To be a friend of the Lord Jesus is to be brought into the inner circle. To be a friend of the Lord Jesus is to be given insights that other people don't know. Have you ever wondered why some people seem to know so much more about the Word of God than others? Have you ever wondered why some seem to be able to pray and get their prayers answered?

It's right here. They have learned the secret of fellowship and friendship with the Lord Jesus. Now, Jesus said, I haven't called you slaves. That's what the word servant means.

But I've called you friends. Now, in this day, there were many slaves and they were rarely friends. The slave was told what to do. He wasn't told why to do it. It was none of his business. He didn't know his master's plans necessarily. He didn't know his master's heart. He didn't know his master's feelings. He just said, do this. And he was told to do this and he would do it.

Go here or come or do whatever. But Jesus said, I'm not calling you slaves. I am calling you friends because the servant doesn't know what his master is doing. But he said, I've made known unto you everything that the Father has made known unto me. Now, put these verses in your margin because they're wonderful verses that impinge upon this verse. In John chapter 17, just a few verses later, verses six and seven, he says to his disciples, I have manifested my name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world. Thine they were, thou gavest them me, and they have kept thy word. Now they have known all things whatsoever thou has given me are of thee.

What is that saying? Jesus is saying in these verses in John 17 verses six and seven, Father, I am revealing sacred secrets to my friends. Or again in Matthew chapter 13, when Jesus began to speak in parables, his disciples couldn't understand why Jesus was speaking in parables. And Matthew chapter 13 verses 10 and 11, this is what it says. And the disciples came and said unto him, why speakest thou unto them in parables? Now listen to the answer as Jesus talked to his friends.

And he answered and said unto them, because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but unto them it is not given. Folks, it's good to be on the inside. It's good to be an insider. It's good to be in the inner circle. It's good to be a friend of the Lord Jesus.

Friendship has its privileges. There are some sacred secrets. There are some things that the child of God knows and the friend of Jesus knows that other people don't know. This scripture, when I looked at it, preparing this message deeply moved my heart. Luke chapter 10 verses 23 and 24, and he turned him unto his disciples and said privately, blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see these things which ye see and have not seen them, and to hear those things which ye hear and have not heard them. Did you know that if you're a friend of Jesus, you know things that prophets and kings didn't know? That's what this verse says. You know things that prophets and kings did not know. You have an insight that Isaiah did not have. You have an insight that Solomon didn't have.

You know things that scientists and philosophers cannot know. Jesus whispers into your ear sacred secrets because you're his confidant. You are the friend of the Lord Jesus Christ.

That's an amazing thing. He says, now, I don't call you servants. I call you friends. The slave doesn't know. But he said, I've made all these things known unto you. I think Bill Gothard tells a story of a student who was in a university class, and it was a class on philosophy or something like that, and the professor was an agnostic or an infidel, and he did not believe the Bible to be the Word of God, and he thought he would take these young students who claim to be Christians and intimidate them. And so he said, how many of you believe that the Bible is the Word of God?

Would you lift your hand? All of the students, even those who were professing Christians, were so intimidated they kept their hand down except for one courageous student, and he lifted his hand. The professor looked at that student and said, young man, you believe that the Bible is the Word of God? He said, let me tell you, I have read the Bible, and he said the Bible is full of contradictions. The Bible is full of misstatements, inaccuracies. The Bible is a nonsensical book.

How can you say that you believe the Bible is the Word of God? You know what this student said to that professor? He said, Professor, the Bible is God's love letter to his friends.

If you read it and didn't understand it, it's because you've been reading somebody else's mail, amen? What Jesus is saying is that I make known to you certain sacred secrets because you are mine. There are the privileges of friendship with the Lord Jesus. It makes you spiritually perceptive, and it makes you spiritually productive.

Continue to read. Look, if you will, in this passage of Scripture. Verse 15, it makes you spiritually perceptive. Verse 16, it makes you spiritually productive. You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and ordained you that ye should go and bring forth fruit and that your fruit should remain.

And whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. Now did you know that many of us who have friends in high places, and we have friends in high places, folks, I'm talking about heaven, those who have friends in high places, they just get a head start. One man was very successful and he was giving a lecture and somebody asked him, what is the secret of your success? He said, I had a friend.

Now he was talking about an earthly plane. I had a friend. You see, our Lord, our Lord is the one who makes us not only spiritually perceptive, but he makes us spiritually productive and the productivity comes along with being perceptive because when we are perceptive, then we become productive and we become fruitful. Real friendship with anybody who is a good person will make you a better person. You will become enriched. You will become enlarged by that friendship.

That's true in an earthly plane. The Bible says in Proverbs chapter 27 and verse 17, iron sharpeneth iron. So a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Now what does that mean? It means friendship with a good person will put a keen edge on your life. As iron sharpens iron, a man's countenance will sharpen the countenance of his friend. Conversely, if you have friends that are unworthy friends, they will blunt your influence. They will dull you.

They will drag you down. Now in an earthly plane, the best friend I have is my wife. That's a good arrangement. If you can arrange that, to have your best friend as your wife. My best friend is my wife, Joyce. And I say this without stutter, stammer, equivocation.

I don't have to think about it. Joyce has had an ennobling, elevating, enriching, enlarging influence on my life. I am a better person because of my association with her because friends lift you. Friends enrich you. Friends cause your life to be productive. If you want to be successful, get successful friends. If you want to be godly, get godly friends.

If you want to be wise, get wise friends. Now that's just true, folks, in the normal plane, how much more true it is when you become a friend of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have earthly friends on this plane who are friends of Jesus, very dear friends, very close to me. And I can tell you when I get with those friends, we're not together three or four minutes before they begin to talk about the things of God.

New things they've learned, new insights into the Word of God, and we can be in a car or we can be in a hotel room, we can be in a restaurant, we can be in the living room, but just to be in their presence lifts you. Do you have friends like that? You ought to have friends like that. These friends, you just take up where you left off the last time because a friend who is a true friend will enrich you, enable you, enlarge you, lift you up. As one person wrote to his friend, I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.

I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you're making of me. If there's anything good about the man who's talking, it's because he's got a friend. His name is Jesus. Think of it.

Think of the perceptivity and the productivity that comes when Jesus says, I'm going to let you in on these things. I'm going to speak to you as a friend to a friend. And then he says, you didn't choose me.

I chose you. I ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruit. And then he makes this wonderful statement. And he says, and whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, I'll do it.

Do you see it there? Whatever you ask the Father in my name, I will do it. Who is he talking to? He's not talking to the hoi polloi, to everybody in general. He's talking to friends.

He's talking to intimates. He's talking to those into whose ears he has whispered sacred secrets. Now, because these people know the mind and the will of God, they can pray in Jesus' name. They can sign Jesus' name to their prayers. To pray in the name of Jesus doesn't mean to ask for a pink Cadillac and then say in Jesus' name, amen.

To pray in Jesus' name means with his authority, with his approval, for his glory in his name. Well, how are you going to know his will unless he's been whispering into your ear those sacred secrets? So, folks, there is the enriching compensation of friendship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now, let me just bring the last thing here as we look at these five things. There is the inevitable conflicts of his friendship. The inevitable conflicts is not all honey and no bees. Did you know that when you become a friend of Jesus, you enter into conflict with this world?

Did you know that? Verse 17, these things I command you that you love one another because if the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. You see, the world is not a friend of Jesus. If you were of the world, the world would love his own, but because you're not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.

If they've kept my saying, they will keep yours also, but all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake because they know not him that sent me. Why do we know one another? Because his friends become our friends. I'm going to tell you something else. It is just as true that his enemies become our enemies.

That coin has two sides to it. He said, we're to love one another, and he says, if the world hates you, you know that the world will hate you because it hates me. The servant is not better than his master. Now, you cannot be a friend of Jesus without having enemies. If you tell me today, Pastor Rogers, I don't have any enemies, I'll tell you, well then I know one friend you don't have and his name is Jesus. There's no way that you can say I have no enemies and have Jesus for a friend.

The Bible says that all who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. It is very clear, it is very plain, you're not better than the Lord Jesus Christ and his enemies will be your enemies. And that's the reason why Josh Billings said, a man is poor indeed who doesn't have any enemies. A poor man that doesn't have any enemies. A man who's known by his friends, he's also known by his enemies. When you stand up for the Lord Jesus Christ, it's going to cost you, but don't worry about it.

Don't worry about it. You would just simply be closer to Jesus because you've suffered with the Lord Jesus Christ. I found a friend, oh such a friend. He loved me, ere I knew him. He drew me with the bonds of love, the cords of love and thus he bound me to him.

And around my heart still closely twine those ties which naught can sever. For I am his and he is mine forever and forever. Do you know why they crucified the Lord Jesus?

Do you know why? They said, this man is a friend of sinners. That's why they crucified him. They said, he is a friend of sinners. Do you know why I'm so glad he is? Because where would I be if he were not? Where would you be if Jesus were not a friend of sinners?

Jesus did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. He doesn't love us because we're good. He loves us by his grace. He doesn't make us good so he can love us. He loves us so he can make us good. Isn't that wonderful?

God commended his love toward us and that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Have you received that love today? Do you know the deepest need of every heart is intimacy?

Did you know that? The deepest need is not for physical intimacy, but for emotional and spiritual intimacy. The deepest need is to have somebody who understands us, who understands our fears, our hurts, our aspirations, our disappointments.

The human heart yearns for such a friend. Folks, his name is Jesus. It's Jesus you need. What a friend we have in Jesus. Would you like to receive the Lord Jesus as your Savior and Lord so he can also be your friend?

Would you pray a prayer like this? Pray it from your heart. Lord Jesus, I need you in my life. I need my sins cleansed and forgiven. I need fellowship with you.

I need to have that fruitfulness and that fellowship, that insight and that productivity in my life. Come into my life, Lord Jesus. Come into my heart. Forgive my sin. Save me, Lord Jesus. Would you pray that? Save me, Lord Jesus. Pray it and mean it. And I promise you on the authority of the word of God, he'll save you. Save me, Lord Jesus. Save me, Lord Jesus. Pray it and mean it. Lord, I pray that many today will say yes to Christ in his wonderful name, Amen. If you would like to learn more about how you can know Jesus and deepen your relationship with him, simply click the Discover Jesus link on our website, lwf.org. For a copy of this message or additional resources, visit our online store at lwf.org or call 1-800-274-5683. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-01 06:58:14 / 2024-05-01 07:12:08 / 14

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