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Father’s Friends

What Do Friends Know?

(Fall 2022) Everything!

Well, almost – the exaggeration hopefully summoned your attention. ☺

Intimate friends have strong enough relationships to entrust each other with even their “secrets” that might be misunderstood or misused by those who may be simply acquaintances or “casual friends.”

Jesus declared this aspect of his friendship with his disciples, as recorded in John 15:15:

I have never called you “servants,” because a master doesn’t confide in his servants, and servants don’t always understand what the master is doing. But I call you my most intimate friends, for I reveal to you everything that I’ve heard from my Father. [John 15:15 (TPT)]

Indeed, Jesus held back only what the disciples were not yet ready to grasp but instead promised that the Holy Spirit will eventually unveil these things:

12There is so much more I would like to say to you, but it’s more than you can grasp at this moment. 13But when the truth-giving Spirit comes, he will unveil the reality of every truth within you. He won’t speak his own message, but only what he hears from the Father, and he will reveal prophetically to you what is to come. 14He will glorify me on the earth, for he will receive from me what is mine and reveal it to you. 15Everything that belongs to the Father belongs to me—that’s why I say that the Divine Encourager will receive what is mine and reveal it to you. [John 16:12-15 (TPT)]

There are even hints in the Old Testament of this desire on the part of God to entrust his friends with secrets. For example when Yahweh, along with two angels, appeared in human form to Abraham before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, He said to the two angels, “Should I really hide from Abraham what I intend to do?” [Genesis 18:17 (TPT)]. (Three times in Scripture we see that God called Abraham his friend [2 Chron. 20:7; Isa. 41:8; James 2:23].)

Another Old Testament example of God’s desire to share secrets with friends (his servants the prophets) is recorded by the prophet Amos regarding the intentions of God to take strong action in disciplining his people:

Surely the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing His secret plan [of the judgement to come] to His servants the prophets. [Amos 3:7 (AMP)]

From these Scriptural examples we see that Abba’s desire is to share his intimate secrets with his friends, which is but one of his expressions of deep love for us. Remembering that sharing is “two-way” among friends, let us seek to become vulnerable enough with Abba to share our own innermost thoughts with him. He knows them in any case, but our free expression of these thoughts is evidence of true (and safe!) friendship with our Best Friend!

Friends Share Their Hearts!

(Summer 2022)

Friendship with the Father has a thrill factor that must be somewhere around infinity!

If that sounds a bit imprecise, especially coming from a former physicist, it is because I don’t think it can be measured. The Father’s love for us is beyond measure and indeed it is infinite because he is! And his friendship entails a deepening of the revelation of his heart to us, and ours to him, even though that sharing is ridiculously lop-sided on any scale.

Nevertheless, we can explore his heart because he has opened it to us, as his friends. And because his heart is the most fascinating place in the universe, we cannot even guess how thrilled we will be at our next discovery of another facet of his multi-textured love. The previous one, whatever it may have been for you, was surely beyond your full understanding!

I emphasized a key implication of friendship with Abba in my previous encouragement in this series for Father’s Friends, but it bears repeating here again because of its enormous blessing.

Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. [John 14:23]

The desire of Jesus and the Father is to “take up residence” with those who love them, with the obvious implication of entwinement of their hearts with the believer. This is one of the hallmarks of close friendship.

Let’s pursue this a little further. The heart-entwinement just mentioned gets us a bit further along the avenue of exquisite thrill! Not only does the Father lovingly search our hearts, but he also invites us to search his and his love is evidenced by the vulnerability he displays as a result.

Exploring this facet of our friendship with Abba could keep us busy on into eternity, but for now, let’s focus on the sharing of emotion with our Friend. He truly cares about our emotions and understands them in exquisite detail. The fact that he gave us the ability to experience emotions is of course (partial) evidence that we are made in his image. But his motive behind this gift in enthralling in its own right – he truly loves us with purity beyond our comprehension.

Indeed, this infinite love of God places a “demand” upon itself, if you will allow me to phrase the concept this way. An example is that he will not withhold any good thing from those whose heart is blameless toward him (see Psalm 84:11 [ESV]) and his emotions are certainly good “things.” What did Abba want to share when he gave us emotions? The obvious answer is that he wanted us to share in his joy. In fact, he takes great delight in us (see Zeph. 3:17) and wants us to be able to do the same, namely take great delight in him (and in each other!). This is just one of the exquisite facets of heart-entwinement with God.

A thrill of this kind of sharing is that we can actually feel the heart of Abba as he experiences emotions of all sorts, and we can know that he feels our emotions as well. He delights right along with us when we hold a new-born baby or tenderly hold a loved one close to us.

There is also an incomprehensible sadness that we can experience when the Father grieves over a child who is lost. To be sure, our own hearts grieve in this way as well, but when we allow Abba’s emotion to permeate our hearts we can sense how he feels in addition. I like to say, in fact, that pure, godly, compassion seeks to make Abba’s heart pain-free, not just our own.

This brings me to another encouragement, perhaps an exhortation, for you. Consider how Abba feels when you pray that his heart would be blessed. I have personally made it a habit to bless my Father’s heart with the fullness of his children taking their places in that infinite heart of love. I can feel his pleasure in that prayer of mine, because our hearts are entwined, and more so every day.

Search Abba’s heart for his emotion that he wants to share with you today, and let your own heart be blessed along with his as you experience the heavenly entwinement of your hearts that increasingly beat as one!



Are You a Friend of the Father?

(Spring 2022)

This is a profound question for the believer. How can you know if you are Father’s friend? Do you have to hear his voice from a cloud declaring such? Are your shortcomings an impediment to friendship with Abba? Is it even possible to be regarded as his friend, and not just his son or daughter?

These are just some of the questions that can swirl through our minds as we contemplate the question posed in the title.

Let me settle the swirl straight away! What matters is Abba’s opinion, not our own perceptions. He calls you his friend, because Jesus has done so. When did Jesus call you his friend? The moment you desired to entwine your heart with his! Jesus announced to his disciples that:

Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. [John 14:23]

The desire of Jesus and the Father is to “take up residence” with those who love them, with the obvious implication of entwinement of their hearts with the believer. This is one of the hallmarks of close friendship. A friend of Jesus is a friend of the Father, because Jesus is the exact representation of the Father. [See Hebrews 1:3] He explicitly said to Philip:

Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. [John 14:9]

It will not change reality if you claim to be unqualified to be Father’s friend. Your desire for entwinement of your heart with his (e.g,, your love for him!) is sufficient, and it trumps all your imperfections that you might list for disqualification. So, let your heart be settled from any swirling in your mind. Receive your status as a friend of the Father, because his desire is stronger than your shortcomings. In future articles, we will gain encouragement as we consider some of the fruit of this glorious, loving, friendship with Abba and that will serve to help us deepen our friendship with him because love begets more love!