God Includes You

We include our friends in our plans, in our lives. When someone gives you great seats to a game, you think of friends you can invite. When Memorial Day or Labor Day rolls around, you include your friends in the plans for the cookout.

Jesus declares that as His friend, you know the Father’s business (John 15:15). You are included. God does not need us. He is completely sufficient in Himself, yet He chooses to include us in His plans.

From the beginning of humanity, God has entrusted responsibility to His people. Early in the story of humanity, we see God including us …

So the Lord God formed out of the ground each wild animal and each bird of the sky, and brought each to the man to see what he would call it. And whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. (Gen. 2:19)

Why did God hand the naming process over to Adam? Was He tired and out of energy? Had the entire creation process sapped His energy? In part, He enjoyed partnering with Adam on the significant and enjoyable process of naming animals.

The only miracle recorded in all four Gospels is the story of Jesus feeding five thousand people with two fish and five loaves of bread. There is a huge crowd walking around with Jesus. It gets late in the day, and the disciples suggest that Jesus send the crowd away. Jesus asks Philip where the closest bread store is located. Philip did the math in his head and pointed out that it would take eight month’s salary to feed everyone.

Jesus knew what He was planning to do; He was simply testing Philip (John 6:6). He did not need a brainstorming session with the disciples. His question was an invitation; an invitation to be included in what Jesus was going to do.

Andrew finds a boy who has two fish and five loaves of bread. Jesus transforms the kid’s lunch into enough food to feed the entire crowd. And the disciples are included in the miracle as they pass out the food to the people. After everyone eats, Jesus asks the disciples to gather all the leftovers. The disciples gather the leftovers into food baskets. There are precisely twelve baskets, one for each disciple.

As your friend, Jesus seeks to include you in His plans, in His mission. Even in the details of our days, God invites us to join Him.

Adapted from Identity (2008, B&H Publishing Group)