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Viewpoint from Rev Linda Turner 21/10/2016

Dove rightRevd Linda Turner
Minister, Cornerstone Baptist Church, Martham

also published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury

One of the joys or challenges rather of being a mum is the constant changes in your children’s friendships, my boys went through that tough time when they were young, when friends fall out with each other just because they don’t like what you are wearing or that you have spoken to someone else, and sometimes you have fair-weather friends, only with you when things are going okay but as soon as things get tough they are off like a shot
Have you ever had a one-way friendship? People who always need a favour, but never give anything in return. In these kinds of friendships, there is clearly something missing
dove leftI wonder if God ever feels that way about us with our constant barrage of questions, problems, and prayer requests, thankfully He stands ready and willing to help. But if we aspire to be a friend of God, we need to recognize that true friendship with God is a reciprocal deal
When Jesus talked about friendship, He told the disciples, “You are my friends if you do what I command” (John 15:14)
What a distinct and absolute privilege! But notice the second part, “if you do what I command.” You see Jesus made it clear that His true friends would be those who would show their allegiance to Him by doing what He told them to do: “Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12)
My youngest son had a true friend they travelled through life together through ‘thick and thin’ staying true friends with each other as they grew from boys to young men
Perhaps we should evaluate our friendship with God. Is it a fair-weather friendship or do we feel that it is a privilege and a priority? And also ask the question of ourselves how can we express our friendship to Jesus? Are there some habits or routines in our lives that need to change in order to prioritize this relationship?
Jesus proved His friendship when He “laid down His life” for us. Now the question is, what will we do for Him?  Every day we have opportunities to display our friendship with Him when we extend kindness to someone, forgive an offender, and show compassion to the poor and the oppressed
So, welcome to the privilege of being God’s friend—and the privilege of proving it. After all, true friendship goes both ways!