austin sparks, book ministry, christian ministry, daily devotional

August 21

21 AUG – Is Your Knowledge of Christ Based on Friendship?

“No longer do I call you servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from my Father I have made known unto you.” John 15:15

Here is a knowledge from the Father through the Son which is based upon this element which is called ‘friendship’. “I have called you friends”. Surely that means that we have to come into a relationship with the Lord Jesus of a very deep, inward character of a very confidential nature, shall we say. There is something about that relationship which speaks of understanding born of the very closest communion. Someone may say to you about a friend of yours, that they said a certain thing or that they did a certain thing, and your rejoinder would be: ‘No! I am quite sure that so-and-so never said that or did that. I know them too well. I know that they would not say or do a thing like that.’

There you have touched the inner meaning of friendship. It is a knowledge which understands quite well what would be expected and not expected, what could come from that direction and what could not come from that direction. But that is a knowledge which is a deep, inside knowledge. You can never get that by observation; you can never come to that position by simply listening, or studying; you have to know, and when you know by communion, by living in touch with that one, you know instinctively what to expect and what not to expect. The Lord Jesus says that He takes the disciples into that relationship with Himself, and on that basis He opens His heart; that all things that He had heard from the Father He made known unto them, because of the relationship: “I have called you friends…”

What is the point of saying such things? You and I are not going to get the real knowledge of Christ by listening to addresses, by attending meetings. The value lies in the fact that we go away with what is said into the presence of the Lord, having a background relationship with Him. Things may be true, and of the greatest value as things for our spiritual help, but we have to work those things out in the secret with the Lord. Otherwise we shall be ‘meeting-mongers’; we shall simply be attending meetings and getting an accumulation of knowledge. The real value will lie in the time which we spend with the Lord on these things: it will be personal communion with the Lord in the secret place; it will be what is going on deep down in our hearts, between ourselves and the Lord. This knowledge is on the ground of what the Lord Jesus calls ‘friendship’.

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