This one is especially for those who don’t think God wants a personal relationship with is.
In fact, not only personal, but special. Very special.
Jn 15:12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
OK – this one’s probably familiar.
But then there’s this –
God’s Love and Ours
1Jn 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
1Jn 4:13 We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17 In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1Jn 4:19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
Where, among other places, we learn that God’s love is different from ours.
So maybe the friend thing is made up?
Wishful thinking by some people – putting intentions where they don’t belong?
But then, how do the “God doesn’t want us to be friends” people respond to this verse, from Jesus (God) Himself?
Jn 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
Greater love – and whose love is greater than God’s? Already stated – no one.
And then add to that the part about that he lay down his life for his friends.
Jesus died for us. Jesus has the greatest love.
Obviously, Jesus had Himself in mind when making this statement.
Yes, it’s an example for us.
But the example is based on Himself.
And part of that is that Jesus died for His friends.
Friends is a two way thing.
True – the friendship will be kind of one-sided.
Jesus certainly brings more to the table, so to speak, than we ever could.
But still – He wants that friendship.
Need one more point to convince you?
As part of the Letter to the church in Laodicea, Jesus says –
Rev 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 him, and he with me.
There are times when the word used for “eat” is translated as an idiom meaning “to break bread”.
That’s most interesting.
To us, someone knocking at the door and then coming in to eat implies at least some level of friendship.
But, when we take it to the level of “breaking bread”, it adds an extra requirement – someone with whom we’re comfortable enough to share part of our religion.
However – think about the One who actually started the tradition of “breaking bread” because of His own death – that’s a whole new level that nothing else could eve come close to.
That’s a very special friend.
A friend, even for those who don’t think enough of themselves to believe that God wants them as a friend.