A friend is someone whom you have met and share common interests. How do you become a friend of GOD? You find out what HE likes and develop in those areas that HE likes and is interested in. It becomes your deepest desire to please HIM and HE becomes your number one priority. What pleases HIM? Walking in HIS Commandments of Love in full unqualified obedience with no delays or exceptions.
Love. Walking in Agape Love is the first thing that gets FATHER’S attention.
Faith. FATHER is pleased when we walk in faith, especially great faith. Understanding authority and being obedient to authority equates to faith.
Hope. Provide hope for the poor by giving to their needs when they are unable to provide for themselves. Their angels report your actions back to HIM.
Jesus marveled in two instances and both had to do with gentiles. Neither one belonged to the Jewish faith. The centurion sought out Jesus in Matthew chapter 8:
5 When Jesus entered the village of Capernaum, a captain in the Roman army approached Him, asking for a miracle. 6 “Lord,” he said, “I have a son who is lying in my home, paralyzed and suffering terribly.”
7 Jesus responded, “I will go with you and heal him.”
8–9 But the Roman officer interjected, “Lord, who am I to have You come into my house? I understand Your authority, for I too am a man who walks under authority and have authority over soldiers who serve under me. I can tell one to go and he’ll go, and another to come and he’ll come. I order my servants and they’ll do whatever I ask. So I know that all You need to do is to stand here and command healing over my son and he will be instantly healed.”
10 Jesus was astonished when he heard this and said to those who were following Him, “He has greater faith than anyone I’ve encountered in Israel! 11 Listen to what I am about to tell you. Multitudes of non-Jewish people will stream from the east and the west, to enter into the banqueting feast with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the heavenly kingdom. 12 But many Israelites, born to be heirs of the Kingdom, will be turned away and banished into the darkness where there will be bitter weeping and unbearable anguish.”
13 Then Jesus turned to the Roman officer and said, “Go home. All that you have believed for will be done for you!” And his son was healed at that very moment.
And in Matthew chapter 15, Jesus encountered a Lebanese woman:
21 Then Jesus left and went north into the non-Jewish region of Lebanon. 22 He encountered there a Canaanite woman who screamed out to Him, “Lord, Son of David, show mercy to me! My daughter is horribly afflicted by a demon that torments her.” 23 But Jesus never answered her. So his disciples said to Him, “Why do you ignore this woman who is crying out to us?”
24 Jesus said, “I’ve only been sent to the lost sheep of Israel.” 25 But she came and bowed down before Him and said, “Lord, help me!”
26 Jesus responded, “It’s not right for a man to take bread from his children and throw it out to the dogs.”
27 “You’re right, Lord,” she replied. “But even puppies get to eat the crumbs that fall from the prince’s table.”
28 Then Jesus answered her, “Dear woman, your faith is strong! What you desire will be done for you.” And at that very moment, her daughter was instantly set free from demonic torment.
Both times Jesus marveled concerned the great faith of Non-Jews. They received His message about the Kingdom of GOD and embraced it to the fullest. They were both blessed by the healing and restoration of their children. The son was healed and the daughter was delivered from the demon, two aspects of Jesus’ ministry.
In his epistle James wrote by The Holy Spirit beginning chapter 4:
Whoever chooses to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy!
7 So then, surrender to God. Stand up to the devil and resist him and he will turn and run away from you. 8 Move your heart closer and closer to God, and HE will come even closer to you. But make sure you cleanse your life, you sinners, and keep your heart pure and stop doubting.
As I have said in the past, you become like the company you keep. As you embrace the priorities of Our Heavenly Father, you will move closer to HIM. HE provides you with HIS priorities in The Word. Jesus’ ministry provided us with insight to FATHER’S priorities as He ministered to those in need. Once FATHER’S priorities become your priorities, you move toward intimate friendship with FATHER.
Paul wrote by The Holy Spirit in Philippians chapter 2:
3 Be free from pride-filled opinions, for they will only harm your cherished unity. Don’t allow self-promotion to hide in your hearts, but in authentic humility put others first and view others as more important than yourselves. 4 Abandon every display of selfishness. Possess a greater concern for what matters to others instead of your own interests. 5 And consider the example that Jesus, the Anointed One, has set before us. Let his mindset become your motivation.
In Acts chapter 1, after the resurrection, Jesus had an extra forty days to teach the disciples. Jesus could have taught on any subject yet He taught on the Kingdom of GOD. Shouldn’t His focus be our focus?
Luke recorded by The Holy Spirit:
1 To Theophilus, the lover of God.
I write to you again, my dear friend, to give you further details about the life of our Lord Jesus and all the things that He did and taught.
2 Just before He ascended into Heaven, He left instructions for the apostles He had chosen by the Holy Spirit. 3 After the sufferings of His cross, Jesus appeared alive many times to these same apostles over a forty-day period. Jesus proved to them with many convincing signs that he had been resurrected.
During these encounters, He taught them the Truths of God’s Kingdom realm 4 and shared meals with them.
Jesus instructed them, “Don’t leave Jerusalem, but wait here until you receive the gift I told you about, the gift the Father has promised. 5 For John baptized you in water, but in a few days from now you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit!”
6 Every time they were gathered together, they asked Jesus, “Lord, is it the time now for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”
7 He answered, “The Father is the ONE WHO sets the fixed dates and the times of their fulfillment. You are not permitted to know the timing of all that HE has prepared by HIS own authority. 8 But I promise you this—the Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will be filled with power. And you will be My messengers to Jerusalem, throughout Judea, the distant provinces—even to the remotest places on earth!”
Why concern yourself with timing when there is plenty to do in establishing the Kingdom here on earth? FATHER has it all under control so don’t focus on things you are not meant to know until FATHER sees fit to reveal a hidden mystery. That will happen in due time.
The deep mysteries of the Kingdom were not given to the world, they were only to those whose hearts were prepared. In the parable of the soils (aka parable of the sower), the heart is what needs correcting in order to receive the deep mysteries of GOD. Once the heart is corrected, cleansed, and purified, we are ready to receive those deep mysteries reserved for those who are intimate friends of HIM.
Jesus told His disciples in Matthew chapter 13:
11 He explained, “You’ve been given the intimate experience of insight into the hidden Truths and mysteries of the realm of Heaven’s Kingdom, but they have not. 12 For everyone who listens with an open heart will receive progressively more revelation until he has more than enough. But those who don’t listen with an open, teachable heart, even the understanding that they think they have will be taken from them. 13 That’s why I teach the people using parables, because they think they’re looking for Truth, yet because their hearts are unteachable, they never discover it. Although they will listen to Me, they never fully perceive the message I speak. 14 The prophecy of Isaiah describes them perfectly:
Although they listen carefully to everything I speak,
they don’t understand a thing I say.
They look and pretend to see,
but the eyes of their hearts are closed.
15 Their minds are dull and slow to perceive,
their ears are plugged and are hard of hearing,
and they have deliberately shut their eyes to the Truth.
Otherwise they would open their eyes to see,
and open their ears to hear,
and open their minds to understand.
Then they would turn to Me
and let Me instantly heal them.”
23 “As for the seed that fell upon good, rich soil, it represents the hearts of people who hear and fully embrace the message of Heaven’s Kingdom realm. Their lives bear good fruit—some yield a harvest of thirty, sixty, even one hundred times as much as was sown.”
As for me, I desire the fullness of a hundredfold return. Why pursue anything less when it concerns the Kingdom of GOD? FATHER has offered HIS intimate friends such an opportunity and only our hearts will prevent us from embracing such a level of fruitfulness. Such willingness to please HIM promotes a deeper relationship based on Love and trust.