Sunday 31st January

Good morning and welcome to Lapford Community Church.  Our service is led by Briony this morning.
 

 


Prayer
Almighty God, Creator and Redeemer, we praise You for your work of creation; for the beauty of the world around us and for every gift we enjoy. We bless You and thank You for creating us to know you and love you. 
We thank you for this time when we can come away from the busyness of the week and come into Your presence and spend time with You.
Remind us of how holy and awesome you are, how worthy You are of our praise.
We thank You for this time, may it bless and honour You.
In Jesus name.
Amen.
 

 


1 Samuel 18: 1-4 talks about the friendship between Jonathan and David.
David and Jonathan’s friendship teaches so much about meaningful relationships.
Their story also helps us to understand the friendship Jesus has with us.
Jesus is our friend. He calls us His most intimate friends.
Jonathan was a great friend to David. A fantastic friend really, but even his friendship pales in comparison to Jesus’ perfect friendship. Jesus is the friend who will always  be there, the friend who loves and cares. The perfect friend.
In John 15:15 Jesus states “He has never called us servants, because a master doesn’t confide  in His servants, and servants do not always understand what the master is doing. But I call you My most intimate friends, for I reveal to you everything that I have heard from my Father.”

You do not choose to be a friend of God. That is by invitation only. Only two people in the Old testament were specifically described as “friends of God”. Abraham walked with the Lord so closely that God referred to him as His friend. Moses spoke to God face to face as a man speaks with his friend.
By His very nature God is a friend to us. He loves us with a perfect love and reaches out to us with salvation when we can offer nothing in return. It is quite another thing when someone has a heart so devoted to Him that God initiates a special friendship. David’s heart was totally devoted to God. Although David was not sinless, he loved
God. David hated sin, he loved to worship God, he took genuine delight in God’s presence; he loved to speak about God; he was keenly aware of his transgressions; and he delighted in offering gifts of song, thanksgiving and praise, asking for nothing in return. So closely did David walk with God that his words were on Jesus mind as hung upon the cross.
Jesus called His disciples friends. He said He would disclose to them things that the Father had shared with Him because they were His friends. There developed such an intimate friendship between them that He would share what was on His heart with His friends.
If you cannot describe yourself as a friend of God, commit yourself to seek after God with all your heart.
 


In Angus Buchan’s book “A mustard seed“, he writes about Abraham, being a friend of God, he writes ……

Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness; and He was called the friend of God.                                                 James 2 : 23

God calls Abraham His “friend” a number of times in the Bible. Was Abraham known as the friend of God because of his impeccable lifestyle? Not at all! Abraham was very much a man of flesh and blood just like you and me. He had many shortfalls and he slipped up many times. So why did God call him “ My friend, Abraham”
Everybody wants to be God’s friend. No-one wants to fight with the Creator of the universe. Not anybody in his right state of mind anyway. The Bible states that God looked down and saw Abraham and said, “ He is my friend” Abraham became God’s friend because he believed God. As simple as that!

To reward Abraham’s faith, God gave him a son who was called Issac. It was through Isaac that Abraham became the father of many nations. However, God subjected Abraham to severe tests on more than one occasion. The greatest test of all was when young Isaac, came of age and God said to Abraham, “I want him back” Abraham never once doubted God. Genesis 22 relates how he took the young boy to the top of a mountain and was about to offer him as a living sacrifice, when the Lord intervened.
The Lord was so touched by Abraham’s willingness to give back his most precious possession that He told him, “In blessing …… and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.
Even though Abraham was a sinful man, even though he was very human, the mere fact that he trusted in God and had enough faith to believe that God could raise his son even from ashes, meant that he found favour in God’s eyes.  
Spend a little time thanking God for all your friends, for those you relate to on social media, for those you meet every day and all those who are precious and special to you, they are truly a gift from God.

 


Please spend a little time, thanking God for the amazing gift of Jesus for His death and resurrection. Praise and thank him that we are able to draw close and learn more about this precious gift.
Break bread together 
 

 

 


A blessing .........
The Lord bless you with the riches of His grace;
With the treasures of His love; with the comfort of His mercies;
With the strength of His presence; with the touch of His care.
Amen.