iPRAY #3: WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS
(May 2013 – Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)
- To download a printable version of these notes, click HERE.
- To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.
“8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s judgment. 10 For since we were restored to friendship with God by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be delivered from eternal punishment by his life. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God — all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God.” (Romans 5:8-11, NLT).
- This is one of the most amazing things that Jesus’ death on the Cross accomplished!
- “So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” (Ex. 33:11).
- “Abraham was called a friend of God.” (James 2:23).
- Jesus said to His disciples: “I have called you friends.” (John 15:15).
- In Luke 7:34, Jesus is called the friend of sinners!
- “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:3-4).
QUOTE: “I cannot imagine a greater motivation to pray than that God enjoys having me in His presence. He enjoys my company. He delights in listening to me… It is such a dazzling thought, that the same God who has countless billions of angels worshiping Him sixty seconds a minute, day and night, to whom the nations are but a drop in the bucket, and who knows all about every leaf on every tree in the world, also welcomes my company – because I am very important to Him.” (R. T. Kendall, Did You Think To Pray?).
THE BIG IDEA: The whole story of the Bible is about God longing to have a personal friendship with human beings. We develop our friendship with God by spending time abiding in Jesus in prayer, abiding in the Word, and abiding in His love.
HOW TO DEVELOP A FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD:
1. ABIDE IN JESUS IN PRAYER:
“1 I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:1-6, NKJV).
- Abiding in Jesus in prayer is like a branch remaining vitally connected to a vine or a tree.
- When we don’t abide in Jesus, we become peanut brittle Christians – dry & crunchy!
- If we want to be juicy fruit Christians (fruit of the Spirit), we need to abide in Jesus.
- Jesus said if we don’t abide in Him, we can do NOTHING.
- How do you know when you’ve neglected personal prayer? Weary & easily frustrated.
- “But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31).
2. ABIDE IN THE WORD = BIBLE STUDY:
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (John 15:7-8, NKJV).
- If we want to see the power of prayer, we need to abide in God’s Word!
REASONS OUR PRAYERS DON’T GET ANSWERS: Five Main Reasons: (there are more)
a) We’re asking for something God hasn’t promised.
- “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15).
- The more we know His promises, the more confidence we will have in prayer.
b) We don’t ask.
- “You do not have because you do not ask.” (James 4:2).
- ILLUSTRATE: Many Christians pray, but don’t ask for anything.
- Example of praying for Aunt Gertrude. ASK!
c) We ask selfishly.
- “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:2b-3).
- EXAMPLE: BMW Z4 CONVERTIBLE
d) We don’t ask in Jesus’ name.
- “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:13-14).
e) We are walking in disobedience to God’s Word.
- “(If you obey), The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. (But if you don’t obey)… your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron.” (Deut. 28:12,23).
3. ABIDE IN HIS LOVE:
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:9-11, NKJV).
- What an amazing thought: Jesus loves us as much as God the Father loves Jesus!
- Prayer is developing our friendship with Jesus – walking with Him daily.
- Why don’t Christians pray more than they do? They don’t know God loves them.
- “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works.” (Revelation 2:4-5).
- It’s good to take some time to abide in and meditate on the love of God:
- “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1).
FRIENDS OF JESUS:
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:12-15).
- Loving friends are willing to lay down their lives for one another.
- We are His friends it we do what He commands us.
- If we are His friends, He reveals His secrets to us – the will of God!
SONG: WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS:
What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.
Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca
Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: http://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/