Many of us use our eyes or something we’ve heard to sum up a person or group of people. That’s not God’s way; He takes into consideration who each person is inside and what they’ve gone through.
“But Jehovah said to Samuel: “Do not pay attention to his appearance and how tall he is, for I have rejected him. For the way man sees is not the way God sees, because mere man sees what appears to the eyes, but Jehovah sees into the heart.” “1 Samuel 16:7
Since we are made in God’s image, if we choose to do so, we have the ability to look beyond a person’s physical appearance. There are many people we could become friends with if we choose to look past the surface. We are one race, the HUMAN race, it doesn’t matter what clothes you wear, your age, your ethnic background, or the color of your skin; at the end of the day, we all bleed red blood, we all have feelings and minds to help us think, we all descended from the same original human couple created in the Garden of Eden.
When we widen out and make friends of all ages and backgrounds, we can learn that we are not that different from one another, you may be surprised how much you enjoy friendship with different types of people. The most important thing with friendship is that you have common beliefs and goals, that way you can help each other and lift each other up whenever necessary. With friends, you can weather many difficult storms, with God as your friend nothing is impossible.
Looking at them intently, Jesus said to them: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”Matthew 19:26
The awesome thing about God is that he WANTS to be our friend, he looks past all our flaws, our exterior appearance and all the various reasons that humans may choose to dislike us or decide we are not their sort of person. He even gave us his word to encourage us and help us learn what to do to become his friend.
“Now this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it beyond your reach. It is not in the heavens, so that you have to say, ‘Who will ascend to the heavens and get it for us, so that we may hear it and observe it?’ Nor is it on the other side of the sea, so that you have to say, ‘Who will cross over to the other side of the sea and get it for us, so that we may hear it and observe it?’ For the word is very near you, in your own mouth and in your own heart, so that you may do it. “See, I do put before you today life and good, and death and bad. If you listen to the commandments of Jehovah your God that I am commanding you today, by loving Jehovah your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his judicial decisions, then you will live and multiply, and Jehovah your God will bless you in the land you are going to possess.Deuteronomy 30:11-16
For this is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome,1 John 5:3
To be God’s friends, we must obey his commandments, simply put, have an obedient heart. What did Jesus tell us was the the greatest commandments?
He (Jesus) said to him: “‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind. ’This is the greatest and first commandment. The second, like it, is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments the whole Law hangs, and the Prophets.”Matthew 22:37-39
Jesus said two things: first, love Jehovah God with all your being, and second, love one another. Why is that? When we love people we do not lie to them, cheat them, steal from them, murder, mistreat or abuse them in any way, instead, we look out for their interest even if it puts us at a disadvantage, even if it is hard. If we have love for others it drives concern and empathy makes us better people and better friends; we look past the outer shell of a person and get to know who they really are and friendship can blossom. God is not partial and he expects the same from us.
At this Peter began to speak, and he said: “Now I truly understand that God is not partial,Acts 10:34
O Hearer of prayer, to you people of all sorts will come.Psalm 65:2
Go, therefore, and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit,Matthew 28:19
God wants all people of all sorts to be his friend. At the end of it all, he promises, we will be one human family under his Kingdom. What a lovely thought!
In the final part of the days, The mountain of the house of Jehovah Will become firmly established above the top of the mountains, And it will be raised up above the hills, And to it all the nations will stream.Isaiah 2:2
“‘And I will shake all the nations, and the precious things of all the nations will come in; and I will fill this house with glory,’ says Jehovah of armies.Haggai 2:7
After this I saw, and look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands.Revelation 7:9
How do we become friends with God? It does not require a lot, but it is not always easy to stand firm. We need to have a heart to listen to and obey his commands, display humility, and have love for people of all kinds. When we do this, we will learn to look past the outer person and get to know people and who they are inside. When we do this, we may just find that people are not always as they seem!
We have assurance from God himself that he will help us as we work to become his friend. He personally offers his help:
For I, Jehovah your God, am grasping your right hand, The One saying to you, ‘Do not be afraid. I will help you.’Isaiah 41:13
We also know that he wants to be our friend. He inspired James to write:
James 4: 8 “Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you.”…
What a loving arrangement!