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The Journal

Friendship with God

Dear Friends,
In Genesis 18:1-15 the Lord appears to Abraham and sits down and has a meal with him. It is an extraordinary encounter. In the first 8 verses it is unclear about what the Lord’s purpose is except to hang out and that is the point. The Lord takes an interest in Abraham. In James 2:23 Abraham is called the friend of God. Jesus in John 15:15 explains to his disciples that he calls them friends. This theme of friendship is connected to a meal. We see that in the NT Jesus celebrated many meals with his disciples and especially the last supper. He left us the last supper as a reminder of what His death achieves for us. The death of Jesus as symbolised by the last supper brings forgiveness of sin but also is a picture of our friendship with the Lord. In Luke 14 we are told that in heaven there is a great banquet which we are invited to. Heaven is a place of celebration and friendship. Abraham’s meal with the Lord is fulfilled in Christ and the meal and friendship He offers us. This friendship with Abraham also extends to Sarah his wife. In Genesis 17 God reaffirmed his promise to Abraham to bless him with an heir and now he also visits Sarah to help her believe the promise. She is struggling to believe and laughs at the promise and God gently rebukes her. It is very encouraging that the Lord meet us where we are at and helps us to believe -see Philippians 2:13. We should be encouraged that when we are struggling in our faith God comes to us through

Honouring our faithful saints who have passed away: Dulcie Jones - this year we received a generous gift from her estate for the work of All Souls.

His word to build faith because faith comes from hearing the word of God - Romans 10:17. I am very struck by Abraham’s boldness to seize this opportunity. In 18:3 he begged the Lord and his visitors to not pass by. So often we shrink back in faith and don’t reach out for the blessings which the Lord wants to give us. We need to be bold. The blood of Jesus has opened access and dealt with our sin and we need to take hold of the blessings of faith boldly. So much of our society encourages us to be victims and to allow fear and discouragement to take hold. We are quick to catastrophise. whereas what is needed is that throw off fear and discouragement and cling to God’s promises and keep serving the Lord. Tonight we continue our series in 1 John 2:3-17. This speaks of the need for our fellowship and walking in the light to be expressed in obedience. John speaks repeatedly about “knowing”. He is dealing with false teachers who thought they knew better than anyone else

about faith ie the gnostics. But the gnostics disconnected faith from obedience which is an expression of love. In 2:15-17 we see the pressure of the world which includes our cravings and our boastings which lead us away from Jesus. We do well to guard against these false paths to true knowledge and friendship. God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara