by Margaret D. Mitchell
Week of March 12, 2017
“You are my friends if you do what I command.” -John 15:14
On His way to Gethsemane, Jesus spoke to His disciples these words of comfort and condition. He explained to them that He loved them so much that He was willing to lay down His life for them and that there was no greater sacrifice of love. He instructed them to love each other as He prepared them for what was ahead. He was, most definately, their friend.
True friends inform, advise, protect, serve, warn and love. They partner in unity and in righteousness. They share each other’s burdens and even grieve for one another. Consider David and Jonathan.
When a jealous and fearful Saul informed his son, Jonathan, that he would kill David, Jonathan immediately went into action informing, advising, protecting and serving his beloved friend, David. What would have become of David if Jonathan hadn’t intervened amid such defiance and evil? God used Jonathan to spare David’s life several times. Jonathan even gave David his own armor and weapon and chose to side with him over his own father. That’s dedication. That’s devotion. That’s brotherly love. (I Sam. 18-20).
We will know true friendship and can be a true friend when our hearts align with Jesus, because a true friend loves at all times. Jesus set the model for friendship. Since God is love, and He first loved us, He was our friend first.
Proverbs has much to say about friendship. Proverbs 12:26 instructs us to choose friends carefully. Proverbs 27:10 instructs us to depend upon on one another when in need. Proverbs 22:24 tells us not to keep company with people who are easily angered so that we will not be ensnared. And Proverbs 16:28 tells us that gossip separates close friends.
What kind of friend are you? Who are your friends? Are they for you or just with you? Can you trust them with your life, like David trusted Jonathan? And how do you treat them? Do you honor them, or do you speak death and disconnect through gossip, strife and complaining?
Righteousness is key in any friendship. In James 2:23, we see that Abraham was considered God’s friend because he believed God and obeyed Him. Obedience brings life. Disobedience brings death.
Friends teach us, like Jesus taught His disciples, because they care. They have a heart for sharing the love of Christ. They pour out. They want to serve.
One day, we will all come before the Lord and give an account for our lives. Will He call us friend? Or will He say, “I never knew you.”
We can be certain of everlasting friendship, of everlasting life if we repent for our sins, acknowledge that Jesus died on a cross for us and receive Him as the Son of God and as our savior.
He will come into your heart and fill you with His presence of love. He will guide you, help you in times of need. He will be your friend. Will you be His? And will you walk in His friendship everyday with Him by your side?
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