“No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.

“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. John 15:15-16 (NASB)

When God made the first man and woman, He made them in His own image.  Doing so meant that men and women would be elevated from and very distinct from the rest of His creation.  They would, of all His creation, be able to relate to God very differently from the rest of His creation.  To be made in His image would include the ability to think, experience emotion, and exercise one’s will.  To be made in His image meant that every man and woman could experience God relationally and intimately.

However, this kind of relationship was ruined by sin.  When Adam and Eve sinned against God their intimacy with God was stripped away.  Nothing would change until Jesus came.  His miraculous entrance, and ultimate death and resurrection, would redemptively restore this relationship… for all who would come to Him on His terms – receive Him by faith and follow Him.

Jesus clarifies this when He called His followers, “friends.”  Did you hear that?  “FRIENDS!”   The God of this universe elevated the status of His followers from “slaves” to “friends!”

As friends, we have been invited to the inner circle.  This privilege includes knowledge about the plans of God.  We are not simply pawns on a chessboard that are placed on whatever squares the Chess Master desires.  God has chosen to reveal His plans and His desires to His followers.  We have been included in His strategy session and invited to join Him in the implementation of His plans.

What, exactly, is His plan?  Redeem man from his sin and reconnect sinful man to His God.  Jesus was sent to sacrificially die and serve the sentence of each man and women.  He did just that.  Three days later He was resurrected from the dead.  Now He offers eternal life and forgiveness to every man and woman who receives Him by faith.

Once you receive Jesus and begin to follow Him, he commissions you as a “fisher of men.”  (Matt 4:19) That’s what Jesus is referring to when he says in John 15:16, “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain.”  He initiated the steps that brought about redemption and now wants His redeemed followers to be successful in leading people to Christ.

As His friend, you know His heart.  You know how much He loves men and women.  You know how important it is to Him that every person has the opportunity to receive Him.   “Fishers of men” have been commissioned to go and do everything in their power to present the Gospel to everyone.

So what are you waiting for?  You’re His friend, aren’t you?

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