What it Means to Have Jesus as a Friend
Have you ever wondered what it means to be close to God? To have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Well, it is the most fulfilling experience you can ever have.
I recently read “Jesus as Friend” by Salvatore Canals. It was a short and insightful read. I thoroughly enjoyed this book because it covers significant aspects of what Christianity entails. Through this book, we learn what it means to be a Christian and what we can expect from the Christian life.
In your walk with God, there are some things that you can expect from him such as learning to be holy, being connected with Christ and going through a pruning process. Also, there are the trials, the judgment and the warfare which we face and overcome.
Being a Friend of Jesus is to Live a Holy Life
“Holiness consists in faithful and loving fulfilment of one’s duties, in joyful and humble acceptance of God’s will, in union with him in your everyday work, in knowing how to fuse religion and life into a fruitful and harmonious unity, and in all sorts of other ordinary little things you know so well.”
In “Jesus As Friend,” we learn that Christ calls us into holiness. That we should be holy in our everyday living.
When I consider holiness, it means how I live my life every day. It’s being mindful of my thoughts and my actions because our actions are as a result of our thinking. Therefore, we must always question how we think and live. Is the way we live glorifying God and enhancing more light in the kingdom or are we revving up more fire to the darkness?
To be holy is to accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour. To be holy is to glorify God. To worship Christ and Christ alone. To be holy is to be good and kind to others. To be holy is to reject Satan, the devil and his agents. To live your life far away from sin and even if you do fall, to seek forgiveness and then place your eyes on God.
God is calling you to holiness, will you answer his call?
Being a Friend of Jesus is to Go Through A Pruning Process
“For you to yield more fruit, for your union with the Lord to be consolidated, you need pruning, purification. Don’t be afraid of the pruning knife: ‘My Father is the vinedresser’. For by means of this pruning, the Lord will purify your mind and your will, your heart and your memory. You cannot go forward one step in the life of union with God without taking another step on the path of purification. And to do that you need to cooperate with the Lord: when the moment comes for pruning, let it be done. And when you see shoots and leaves fall, be happy — think of the new fruit which this pruning promises soon to produce.”
I don’t believe that all Christians are perfect. We are imperfect people but Christ calls us and makes his will perfect in us.
When you bring Jesus into your life, know that you will not be the same. When you bring Jesus into your life, know that he demands a change from you. You will be pruned in your walk with Christ.
This pruning process is for you to be better because as God works on you, he will renew your mind. As God works on you, he will develop you for the better so that you can produce fruits that will be for his glory.
In my pruning process, I have seen God working on my mind. He’s been working on my thoughts to change how I view myself and the world. To stop the negative and downward spiral of thoughts that take me backwards.
In my pruning process, I have learned to be patient. To stop rushing and fussing over the future and to find myself grounded in the present moment. To be still. To decipher the word of God and know his plan for my life.
Being a Friend of Jesus is to Take Up Your Cross
“Holiness is achieved on the cross, because the cross means the death of sin, and sin is the only enemy of holiness. Let us listen to our Lord’s voice: ‘If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me’ (Lk 9:23). For a Christian there is no other way: he is the royal road of the holy cross.”
Jesus died on the cross for us all and his death was not in vain. It was to save us from sin. It was to call us to a life of holiness. It was for us to take up our cross.
When you choose to follow Jesus, know that he is not calling you into an easy life. Know that he requires you to do a difficult thing. To take up your cross is to accept that life would be challenging. To take up your cross is to accept that you will let go of a past that does not please him. To take up your cross is to make sacrifices. To declare that following the path of Christ is what you desire.
In taking up my cross, I have learned to let go of what is not serving Christ. In the past, I was one to enjoy astrology and follow those who give readings online. To take up my cross was me admitting that I can’t serve two Gods. If I love God, then I love him alone and I seek his wisdom in my life.
Being a Friend of Jesus is to Be Humbled
“Let me tell you — for I have said the same thing to myself very often — that you are nothing: your existence you have received from God; you have nothing that you haven’t received from him: your talents, your gifts of nature and grace, are precisely that — gifts; don’t forget it. And grace is also a gift, deriving from the merits of our Savior.”
When we befriend Jesus, we know that we are humbled. We know that God wants us to acknowledge him in our life. To know that without him, we can do nothing. To know that through him, we can do all things.
God calls us to a life of humility. To know that every good gift we receive is from him. To know that we all have Grace. Grace is what allows us to continue to walk with him.
Being A Friend of Jesus is to Seek Peace Always
“And he also wants us to be serene in our sincere effort to be better: ‘by endurance, you will gain your lives’ (Lk 21:19). You lack this serenity when you get annoyed with yourself and when you lose your peace on seeing that your progress in the ways of the Lord is slow. Do not forget that it is the light of serenity which makes you understand that ‘no one becomes a saint all of a sudden’. And do not forget that you will never find our Lord in noise and in interior confusion, for the Lord comes in tranquillity.”
When you walk with God, you enter into his presence. When you are in his presence, you know that Christ wants you to have peace. This peace comes from knowing that he is with you at all times. He is with you even in your most troubling days and hours.
This peace enables you to know that even though there is turmoil, God promises that all things will work out for your good.
In my life, I have been seeking peace and it has been difficult. I am the type of person that gets easily anxious. I am the type of person that can be quick to lose my patience. I can be quick to anger but God has been teaching me how to obtain peace. He has been teaching me to take my time with my words. To reflect on his words. To spend time alone with him and value him more.
Being A Friend of Jesus is to Be Ready for Battle
“But do not forget, my friend, that you need weapons in this spiritual battle. And your weapons have to be these: continuous prayer; sincerity and frankness with your spiritual director; the Holy Eucharist and the sacrament of Penance; a generous spirit of Christian mortification which will bring you to fly from the occasions of sin and to avoid idleness; humility of heart, and a tender and filial devotion to our Lady, comforter of the afflicted and refuge of sinners. Always turn confidently to our Lady, and say: ‘My Mother, I trust in you’.”
To take up your cross and follow Christ is to know that battles would be fought in the spiritual realm. As we fight these battles, we learn to grow in our spirituality. To grow in your spirituality means to keep Christ close. We keep him close in prayer. We keep him close in peace. We keep him close when we honour and glorify God and say no to the devil.
In the challenges and difficulties in my life, I know that God has preserved me. As he has been with me, I know that he has helped me to grow. That is why I tell you with all confidence that God is real and prayer is powerful. When you pray often, you invite God to the challenge, to the battle. You invite him to strengthen you. To build you. To take the fight on for you and when you praise him, all angels and saints gather around you. They declare the victory that will always be yours.
“Jesus as Friend,” is a must-read book for all Christians. This is the book that will guide you in your Christian life. This is the book that will teach you about what it means to be a Christian. This is the book that will strengthen you when hell comes against you.
You need to know that God is here. He is standing right next to you. He is the greatest protector. He is the greatest provider. Jesus is the best friend you could ever need.
Stay blessed good and faithful servant.