Cultivating Friendship with Jesus


In our journey as followers of Christ, it's common to find ourselves in situations where our lives may feel out of alignment. Even though we love and honor Jesus, we can still get things out of whack. However, by making intentional choices and cultivating a deep friendship with Jesus, we can bring our lives back into alignment. In this article, we will explore the differences between two sisters, Martha and Mary, and how their choices can guide us in making better decisions in our own lives.

Choosing Peace over Anxiety

One of the key differences between Martha and Mary is their response to circumstances. Martha is portrayed as anxious and worried, constantly burdened by excessive work and preparations. On the other hand, Mary chooses peace. She sits close to Jesus, listening attentively to His words. This choice to prioritize peace over anxiety is crucial for cultivating a friendship with Jesus.

When we face challenging circumstances, we have a choice to make. We can either let anxiety consume us or choose to trust in Jesus and find peace in His presence. Instead of burdening ourselves with unnecessary work and excessive preparations, we can learn from Mary's example and simply sit at the feet of Jesus, listening to His words.

Active Listening: Transforming Our Hearts

At first glance, Mary's choice to listen to Jesus may seem passive. However, when we dig deeper, we realize that listening to Jesus is an active and transformative process. The Greek word used for "listening" in the New Testament implies a response. Whenever someone listened to Jesus, their hearts were pricked, and it demanded a response from them.

When we choose to actively listen to Jesus, we go beyond just hearing His words. We allow His teachings to penetrate our hearts and transform us. Whether it leads to immediate action or a change in our perspective, active listening to Jesus has the power to shape our character and align our choices with His will.

Cultivating the Root: Delayed Fruit

Another aspect where Martha and Mary differ is their focus on instant, immediate fruit versus cultivating the root for delayed fruit. Martha is driven by the desire to produce instant results and fix things on her own. Mary, on the other hand, focuses on nurturing the root, allowing the unseen inward action to take place.

To cultivate the root, we need to ask ourselves two crucial questions when faced with a circumstance. First, how does God want to develop us into the image of Jesus through this situation? By seeking His guidance and allowing Him to shape us, our response to circumstances will be transformed. Second, how can we bring glory to Jesus in this specific circumstance? By aligning our actions with His will, we can bear fruit that glorifies Him.

Increasing Him, Decreasing Ourselves

The core of cultivating the root and friendship with Jesus lies in the understanding that He must increase while we must decrease. It's about aligning our desires with His and seeking His will above our own. Just as the apostle Paul acknowledged that knowing Christ was of surpassing worth, we too must recognize that the ultimate goal is to become more like Jesus and bring Him glory.

"He must increase and I must decrease." - John 3:30

When our focus shifts to Jesus as our Master and our desire becomes transformation into His likeness, the Holy Spirit gets involved. The Holy Spirit's role is to glorify Jesus, and when our hearts and desires align with this purpose, the Holy Spirit begins to work in and through us.

The Holy Spirit's Guidance

As we seek to cultivate friendship with Jesus, we invite the Holy Spirit to guide us. The Spirit of Truth comes and leads us into all truth, revealing to us what is to come. When our focus is on glorifying Jesus, the Holy Spirit takes what is of Jesus and discloses it to us. This partnership with the Holy Spirit empowers our actions and infuses them with greater purpose and intention.

"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth." - John 16:13

However, we must be aware that when the Holy Spirit is involved, He may challenge us to lay down things that hinder our transformation into the likeness of Jesus. It may involve pruning, uncomfortable moments, and wrestling with God over things we do not understand. Yet, through this process, the Holy Spirit makes the barren areas of our lives fertile and strengthens our weaknesses.

Embracing New Beginnings

When we press into friendship with Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, new things begin to flow in our lives. Just as a seed planted in good soil bears fruit, our encounters with Jesus have the potential to multiply and produce abundant results.

"The one on whom seed was sown on good soil… indeed bears fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty." - Matthew 13

By developing our friendship with Jesus, we tap into His creativity, receive new ideas, and gain a fresh perspective on how to handle various situations. Our lives become infused with joy, beauty, and purpose as we trust in Him and seek to bring Him glory.


In our journey as followers of Christ, it is essential to recognize that every circumstance we face is an opportunity to cultivate friendship with Jesus. By choosing peace over anxiety, actively listening to His words, and focusing on cultivating the root instead of immediate results, we align our lives with His purpose. As we decrease and allow Him to increase, the Holy Spirit empowers us to bear fruit that brings glory to Jesus. Embracing this process of transformation and embracing new beginnings, we experience the fullness of life and the fulfillment of God's promises.

Remember, every encounter with Jesus, even the uncomfortable ones, plants a seed in us with the potential for multiplication. So let us press on, making better choices and cultivating a deep and lasting friendship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
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