Friendship

September 3, 2019

“We are to make friends with God….Remain constantly before His face, think of Him, remember Him in your heart. Otherwise, if you only meet Him from time to time, you risk losing your close friendship with Him.” (St. John Chrysostom, St. Isaac the Syrian)

 

“We need to feel Christ as our friend. He is our friend. He confirms this Himself when He says: “You are my friends…” (John 15:14). We need to look at Him and approach Him as a friend. Do we fall? Do we sin? We should run to Him with feelings of familiarity, in love and trust; not in fear of punishment but in courage granted by the sense of friendship. And say to Him: “Lord, I did it, I fell, forgive me.” (St. Porphyrios the Kapsokalivite)

 

“Friendship with God is possible. It is actually something God desires for us and Himself. Christ made a point to tell His Disciples that they ceased being His servants and had now become His friends (John 15:15). Furthermore, He told them that He had chosen them (John 15:16). In other words, He initiated the relationship and that their friendship was expressed, was proven, by them doing what He commanded (John 15:14), which was to love one another (John 15:17) as He had loved them (John 15:12). Loving others in relationships, especially our friends because we choose friendship like God chooses us, is to be friends with God.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

 

“Warm friends represent the incarnational love of God in our lives.” (Robert J. Wicks) “A true friend prays to God for his friend. A true friend cares about the salvation of a friend’s soul. To draw a friend back from false ways and set him on the true path—that is a precious friendship.” (St. Nikolai Velimirovich)

 

“Friendship is higher than servanthood. Servants obey their masters out of fear or a sense of duty; friends obey out of love and an internal desire to do what is good and right. Abraham was called a"friend of God” (Jam 2:23) because he obeyed God out of the belief of his heart. The disciples, and indeed all the saints, are honored as friends of Christ because they freely obey His commandments out of love. Those who have this spirit of loving obedience are open to receive and understand the revelations of the Father.” (Orthodox Study Bible, John 15:14-15)

 

“The very idea that we humans can have intimate friendship with God seems questionable for several reasons. There is God’s"otherness” and His incalculable power to create and sustain the universe, which dwarfs even the greatest of man’s collective powers. God’s knowledge overshadows all that our race has learned, for there are infinite questions that none of us can answer. Above all, our sinful lives are a scandal before the absolute purity and holiness of God. And yet, in order to have fellowship with us, the Lord of creation allowed Himself to be judged by a Roman procurator. He was delivered up to crucifixion of His own free will, saying to His heavenly Father,"Forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Lk 23:34).” (OCPM 12/22/2015)

 

“C. S. Lewis argues that it takes a community of people to get to know an individual person. Reflecting on his own friendships, he observed that some aspects of one of his friend’s personality were brought out only through interaction with a second friend. That meant if he lost the second friend, he lost the part of his first friend that was otherwise invisible....If it takes a community to know an ordinary human being, how much more necessary would it be to get to know Jesus alongside others? By praying with friends, you will be able to hear and see facets of Jesus that you have not yet perceived.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

 

"What draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth. They share it." (C. S. Lewis)

 

“When God gives a friend, he is entrusting us with the care of another’s heart…Our friendships flow in the deep waters of the heart where God dwells and transformation takes place.”  (John and Stasi Eldredge)