Sumter Pastor Joey Durham: Jesus wants to be your friend


Our devotion today is on this thought, "Jesus Wants to be Your Friend," and my text is John 15:13, where we read these words: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (KJV) J. Wilbur Chapman, evangelist in the late 19th century, penned the words to this song, "Jesus, What a Friend for Sinners," and it goes like this, "Jesus! what a Friend for sinners! Jesus! Lover of my soul; Friends may fail me, foes assail me, He, my Savior, makes me whole. Hallelujah! what a Savior! Hallelujah! what a Friend! Saving, helping, keeping, loving, He is with me to the end." There is no doubt that the sweet Holy Spirit of God impressed upon the heart of this man of God the wonderful truth that it is the desire of Jesus Christ to be a friend, and not a foe, of sinners!

Why would Jesus Christ want to be your friend? I believe the first reason is clearly apparent, and that is that Jesus loves you! Our text states, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." On Golgotha's Hill, Jesus Christ laid down his life on Calvary's cross for "sinners" like me and you. He not only told us that He loves us, but He showed us just how much He loves by dying in our place on that old rugged cross. I believe the next reason that clearly shows us why Jesus wants to be your friend is that He loves us as we are.

In Romans 5:8, this reality is brought to our heart, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (KJV)

God loved us while we were His enemies, while we were sinners disobeying His Word, and while we could care less how much we hurt Him and broke His heart.

The wonderful truth is that God loves sinners and will forgive all of their sin if they will come to Him.

The third reason for why Jesus Christ wants to be your friend is He wants to take you to Heaven to be with Him forever. In John 14:1-3, the Lord Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (KJV)

I believe we all know that friends want to be together and Jesus Christ desires, not only to save whosoever will, but He has prepared a place called Heaven for all of His friends, those who have trusted Him as their own personal Savior. Have you trusted Jesus and received Him as your Savior? Is He your friend? Jesus Christ wants to be your friend!

Joey Durham is pastor at Open Bible Baptist Church at 180 Old Manning Road in Sumter. You can contact Pastor Durham at or call the church office at (803) 481-9315.