When You Need a Friend, God is There

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September 17, 2017

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    Getting Started

    Last week our focus was simply, God is Real. God is. God exists. And that makes all the difference for your life. But what is God like? Above all, God is a person. God is three persons, Father, Son, and Spirit, who are present with you in a relationship of grace, love, and friendship.

    Day 1 // God My Father

    Read Psalm 103

    This entire Psalm oozes love, warmth, relationship, and generosity. If you journal, jot down every benefit you experience and enjoy because God is personal and God is with you. Do you believe these wonderful realities? Believe them, claim them, and enjoy them all day long.

    In particular, look at verses 13-14. God is your Father. A good, good Father. Many of us have not had a good, good father. But our God is that kind of Father. He wants you to come to know and enjoy his Fatherly love, compassion, and generosity for you.

    Pray: Slowly pray through each line and phrase in this Psalm. For every grace and blessing named, as you say it, then say in your heart, “Thank you, my Father. I am loved by You. I am blessed by You.”

    Study: Do you want to know more about the Father God? Read saiah 64:8; Matthew 5:5-13; Luke 15:11-31 (the Parable of the Two Sons); and John 14:5-13.

    Worship: Do a search for the song, Good, Good Father by Chris Tomlin. Listen to it and worship with it each day this week.

    DAY 2 // God My Help

    Read Psalm 121

    This is a shorter Psalm, but once again, loaded with wonderfully personal descriptions of how God relates to you. As you did with Psalm 103, notice or write down every way God is with you and everything God does for you.

    Father, Son, and Spirit love to help you. One of God’s Hebrew names or titles is Jehovah Ezer (the Lord, My Help). “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me” (Psalm 54:4). “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…” (Psalm 46:1-2; also see Hebrews 13:6). In John 14:16 Jesus says he will send to us the Holy Spirit to be our Helper (paraclete).

    Reflect: Where are you struggling? Where do you hurt? Where are you needy? Where do you need the Lord to be your Helper? You can also do the same exercise for any family members or friends.

    Pray: Spend time asking the Holy Spirit to help in specific ways for each need you have noted.

    Act: Consider how the God Who Helps may want to help others through your own acts of love, service, and generosity. A constant and mature prayer of availability is, “Here am I, Lord, use me to help others.”

    DAY 3 // God the Giver of All Good Gifts

    Read James 1:16-18

    God is the Father of Light and the Source of all blessings. The old and much-loved Doxology says it best:

    Praise God from whom all blessings flow;

    Praise him all creatures here below;

    Praise him above, ye heavenly host;

    Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

    Amen.

    Above all, the good, good Father has given you life. And then he has given you resurrection life, abundant life, eternal life. And then, he gives you all other good things you have.

    Rejoice: Today is a day to count your blessings, number your gifts, and be grateful for all that has been entrusted to you. Think all day long of what you have received. For everything that comes to mind simply say, “Father in Heaven, thank you.”

    Day 4 // The Character of God

    Read Exodus 33:12-22; 34:4-7

    God is personal. God is a real presence. That means God has the characteristics and qualities of personhood. In these passages, we see one of the most famous and oft-repeated passages of the Old Testament.

    Notice how profoundly personal the conversation is between Moses and God. See the three things Moses asks of God: (1) teach me your ways, (2) keep your presence with us, and (3) show me your glory. The ways of God, the presence of God, and the glory of God are then described as the kind of person God is: merciful, good, compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love, abounding in faithfulness, maintaining his love to generations, and forgiving wickedness and rebellion. Yet, he is also a just and holy God.

    These are the attributes of personality. This is how God interacts with you. This is how Jesus engages you. This is how you will encounter and experience Father, Son, and Spirit.

    Pay Attention Today:  Be aware of God’s presence and divine

    activity. Look for and experience the love, mercy, generosity, and forgiveness of God.

    Pray:  Pray for those around you to experience God in this way. Especially pray for those who suffer, those who are alone, and those who are needy.

    Day 5 // Friendship With Jesus

    Read Hebrews 1:3 and John 15:12-17

    There are many themes in these short verses, but above all there is the gift of friendship. Jesus is God (John 1:1-5). Jesus is the full image of the invisible God, who is now with us (Colossians 1:15). And Jesus is the exact representation of God.

    So, when Jesus tells his disciples they are no longer merely servants and not even partners in mission, but that they are his friends, we understand that the intimate relationship we now have with the Almighty Lord, God, Maker of Heaven and Earth is almost unimaginable. It is (almost) too good to be true. If it were not for the grace of God, it would never be true. But because of the great grace, love, and mercy of God it is true. You are a friend of God.

    Journal: Jot down at least three or four components of a great friendship. What is absolutely essential to friendship? What is needed for friendship to be a really good friendship? What can you do to more fully enjoy friendship with Jesus? What can you do in response to his gracious invitation to be a better friend of Christ?

    Act: The beauty of our Christian journey is that it is not an individualistic thing. It is not just me and Jesus. It is you and Jesus and others, all enjoying friendship together. At Living Word, we value life together with spiritual friends. One of the best ways to experience this kind of friendship is to get into a small group or join one of our mid-size communities. Check the church webpage for stepping stones to new friendships.

  • Songs We Sing
    • Song Artist Watch
    • Good Good FatherChris Tomlin ft. Pat Barrett
    • Found In YouVertical Worship
    • Forever ReignHillsong Worship
    • To Be Like YouHillsong Worship
    • Lord I Need YouMatt Maher
    • Death Was ArrestedLiving Word Music
  • Other Messages in Series