Sunday, 27 June 2010


I often think that to be a friend of God is a greater honour than to be a child of God. At a natural level, though a child is bound to their father by blood, a friend is bound together only by love. Many children can not be regarded as friends of their parents, many rebel or fall out,perhaps never speaking to those who have given them birth for many years! But a true friend will stay close through thick and thin -in sickness and in health.Having said that the blessings and privileges attached to knowing God as Father are immense and our goal should be to become both a good son or daughter and at the same time a good friend!
One of my favourite periods of Church history was the time of the Pre-Reformation mystics, some of whom were known as 'the friends of God', two of which included the Johan Tauler and Henry Suso.To me there is no greater honour than to be a friend of God and in the verse that Andrew Murray comments on we see that Christ himself calls us to be that friend but what is more, He becomes a friend to us.For this I would say to you-give up all you have this friendship, for he who has Christ as his friend, though he is poor as regards earthly wealth, they will at once have everything they need in Him. As the Great hymn writer Charles Wesley wrote: Thou O Christ art all I want, More than all in Thee I find! Today draw near to him and speak to him as a friend speaks to his friend. AK

No Longer Do I Call You Servants; for the Servant does not know what His Lord Does: but I have called you friends; for all things that I heard from my Father, I have made known to You—John 15.15

The highest proof of true friendship, and one great source of its blessedness, is the intimacy that holds nothing back, and admits the friend to share our inmost secrets. It is a blessed thing to be Christ’s servant; His redeemed ones delight to call themselves His slaves. Christ had often spoken of the disciples as His servants. In His great love our Lord now says: “No longer do I call you servants”; with the coming of the Holy Spirit a new era was to be inaugurated. “The servant does not know what his Lord does”—he has to obey without being consulted or admitted into the secret of all his master’s plans. “But, I have called you friends, for all things I heard from my Father I have made known to you.” Christ’s friends share with Him in all the secrets the Father has entrusted to Him.
Let us think what this means. When Christ spoke of keeping His Father’s commandments, He did not mean merely what was written in Holy Scripture, but those special commandments which were communicated to Him day by day, and from hour to hour. It was of these He said: “The Father loves the Son, and shows him all the things that he does, and he will show him greater things.” All that Christ did was God’s working. God showed it to Christ, so that He carried out the Father’s will and purpose, not, as man often does, blindly and unintelligently, but with full understanding and approval. As one who stood in God’s counsel, He knew God’s plan.
And this now is the blessedness of being Christ’s friends, that we do not, as servants, do His will without much spiritual insight into its meaning and aim, but are admitted, as an inner circle, into some knowledge of God’s more secret thoughts. From the Day of Pentecost on, by the Holy Spirit, Christ was to lead His disciples into the spiritual apprehension of the mysteries of the kingdom, of which He had hitherto spoken only by parables.
Friendship delights in fellowship. Friends hold council. Friends dare trust to each other what they would not for anything have others know. What is it that gives a Christian access to this holy intimacy with Jesus? That gives him the spiritual capacity for receiving the communications Christ has to make of what the Father has shown Him? “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” It is loving obedience that purifies the soul. That refers not only to the commandments of the Word, but to that blessed application of the Word to our daily life, which none but our Lord Himself can give. But as these are waited for in dependence and humility, and faithfully obeyed, the soul becomes fitted for ever closer fellowship, and the daily life may become a continual experience: “I have called you friends; for all things I have heard from my Father, I have made known unto you.”
I have called you friends. What an unspeakable honour! What a heavenly privilege! O Saviour, speak the word with power into my soul: “I have called you My friend, whom I love, whom I trust, to whom I make known all that passes between my Father and Me.


Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

Ameyn! Ameen! Amen!

Excellent words of your own, brother, and thanks for glimpses of your soul therein, and also for the words of Andrew Murray. It is always so good for me to read the things you select from the church fathers. They are always so edifying. Glory to God!

God grant that I may someday be able to come to Ireland and visit you, as you are a brother to me after the Spirit, for sure!

Andrew Kenny said...

Thanks Romanos I alway appreciate your encouragement.I also hope one day we will meet face to face. I feel however that I already know so much about you from that faith that is communicated to the world through your blog.I also have a great fondness for your personal stories which you share -revealing something of your own personal pilgrimage.The wise man in Ecclesiastes speaks of two being better than one so that if one falls the other can then lift him up. Well as I said previously I appreciate your friendship as a brother and wise man.