Year of Calling: Friend

 

Week 23 Word: Friend

Week 23 Text: I John 15:15

Written by: Whitney Putnam

“I do not call you servants anymore, because a servant doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends because I have made known to you everything I have heard from my Father.” (John 15:15 CSB)

As of late, I have been dwelling on the idea of proximity and nearness. What truths could be told about us and what we keep close?

We keep our cell phones close because they are useful to us. We keep our children close because they bring us joy. We buy items at stores we think are beautiful because we enjoy filling our spaces with lovely things. We decide to spend forever with one person because hopefully they make us laugh more than any other human.

Here is the truth about proximity: we have the freedom to decide what we allow close to us.

Prior to this bold declaration made by the Son of God, we read a familiar passage, “I am the vine, you are the branches.”

Proximity.

Nearness.

A branch that is drawing from the vine is the closest connection possible, deriving its very nutrients for survival. A branch is nothing without the vine. It’s either dead on the ground or flourishing attached to it.

And yet, it didn’t have to be like this. God was complete, in and of Himself. But He chose to keep creation close to Him. And then (on top of His proximity), He decided to call His sons and daughters “friends.” And like a good friend, He lets us know all His secrets and whispers them to us through Scripture. God knew we would have seasons of doubt, wondering if the Bible is true. He knew our identity would feel shaky at times. So in true, good friend form, He wrote us a letter and slipped it under our doors.

Truth for His friends. And He didn’t leave anything out.

Because He wants to continue in nearness with us, and has our best interest in mind, He tells us “you are my friends if you do what I command.” And know what His command remains throughout all scripture? How our friendship is summed up?

“Believe in me with great faith.” (Romans 10:9 CSB)

Believe our Vine is enough. And then, like a good friend, He will bring out the best in us.

 

Application questions:

1. What do you choose to keep close to you? Why? Reflect on how God has chosen you to keep close to Him. How does this make you feel?

2. God has your best interest in mind so He has given you His notes for a fruitful life. Schedule time this week to spend time in His Word. Give it a time slot in your calendar like you would anything else.

3. Take five minutes to walk outside. Pick up a dead twig on the ground and feel it, reflect on it. Then find a branch firmly rooted from the vine. What are their differences? Which do you want your life to represent?