May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, 
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 
(2 Corinthians 13:14)

Paul wanted the Corinthians 
to have a right relationship with Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God.
If this was important to a converted Paul, 
then it should be important for every Christian.

God gives salvation to those who believe in Him and His son, 
so that we will become part of His family.
As members of His family, 
we should have a desire to have a close relationship with Him.

This could be difficult if we perceive God 
to be someone different than He is.
If we picture God as stern, unsmiling and watching us closely 
so He can “zap” us when we mess up, then we might struggle 
in our efforts to develop a close relationship with Him.
But that is not how we should perceive God.

When we look at some of His characteristics, 
we discover that we can find no better friend than God.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but listed below here are some 
of the characteristics of God that help us understand more about Him.
He is the God of love (everyone wants to be loved).
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8)

He is the God who gives us life (life now and life everlasting).
For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven 
and gives life to the world. 
(John 6:33)
But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, 
the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. 
(John 20:31)
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life 
in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
(Romans 6:23)
He is the righteous God who is gracious and compassionate.
We may have friends that show compassion at times,
but God is 'full of compassion'.
The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. 
(Psalm 116:5)
He is the God of graciousness (kind, benevolent and merciful).
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show 
you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait 
for him! (Isaiah 30:18)
He is the God who is merciful, forgives our sins and does not stay angry.
God will discipline us at times, but it is from a heart full of love 
and concern for our welfare and not from a fit of anger.
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the 
remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to 
show mercy. (Micah 7:18)
He is the God of mercy and forgiveness (both are acts of kindness).
The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, 
even though we have rebelled against him; (Daniel 9:9)
He is the righteous God (everything He does is justified).
And the heavens proclaim his righteousness, for he is a God of justice. 
(Psalm 50:6)

He is the God who does not show favoritism (he cares for all the same).
Then Peter began to speak: 
“I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism” 
(Acts 10:34)
For God does not show favoritism. (Romans 2:11)

He is the forgiving God who redeems us 
(He sent His Son, Jesus, to earth to pay the debt that we owe).
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins,
in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. 
(Ephesians 1:7-8)

He is the God who has a great love for us, is rich in mercy, 
makes us alive, and gives us grace (these four characteristics 
show the length, breadth and depth of His love and concern for us). 
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive 
with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you 
have been saved. (Ephesians 2:4-5)

He is the God of kindness (shows His desire to be friendly with us).
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly 
realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the 
incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ 
Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6-7)

He is the God of peace (a valuable commodity that everyone desires).
It doesn't mean we will have a life that is problem-free, but He gives 
us what we need to cope with situations that arise in our lives.
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one 
and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility 
(Ephesians 2:14)

He is the God who rebuilds us so we can be a home to the Holy Spirit.
When the Holy Spirit is alive and active in our lives,
we will become entirely different than we were before being saved.
And in him you too are being built together to become 
a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:22)

He is the God of peace and joy (two more valuable commodities 
that show God's friendliness toward His family of believers).
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, 
but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17)

When you read these descriptions of God, 
doesn’t it make you want to be His friend?
Have you had the wrong concept about the characteristics of God?
Can you think of anyone you know who cares about you as much as He does?
Is there anyone you know who can offer you as much as He does?

Have you been delaying your efforts to develop a close relationship with God?
When do you plan to initiate your efforts to become His friend?
If you truly want to be His friend, it requires a conscious effort 
on your part while you are enjoying the life He has given you.

Becoming a friend of God may seem like an option, 
but it is a necessity, if you want to start enjoying life as it should be, 
and as He intended it to be.

“Heavenly Father, thank You for telling me in Your Word that You are the 
best friend I could ever have in my life. Forgive me for having the wrong 
opinion of You, and Your concern for my welfare. I now realize the 
importance of developing a close relationship with You. Teach me how to 
grow closer to You so that I can enjoy the benefits of fellowshipping with 
You. I want to start enjoying all the blessings You have for those in Your 
family. Show me how to permeate Your characteristics in my own life so that 
I can be a witness for You and point others to Your Son, Jesus. Help me in 
my efforts to use the spiritual gifts You have given me to serve You in 
whatever way You have chosen for me.”

About Don Woodruff

Retired from FedEx and dedicated to sharing God's Word with others. I send out devotionals M-F and have written two books: "The Crucifixion Catalyst / Unspoken Messages From God To Believers" (published and available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble **out of print**) and "I'm Saved Now What?" (unpublished). I am currently working on a third one that will be a Daily Devotional.


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