Bible Ballistics: BBs #256 A Friend Loveth, When???
As an old song once said “What the world needs now, is love….” And that is a relatively accurate statement, but it’s not “lust” that the world needs, but the love of God. For it is only God’s love, through His Son Jesus Christ that can change hearts and lives, and only changed hearts and lives will “CHANGE” anything, including America!
I received a blessing this week in the form of a precious note from a very dear friend. It reminded me how precious it is to have received God’s love, but God doesn’t stop there—He gives us friends, to share our lives and love with, and often those precious ones He sends into our lives become family in our hearts. Thank you Father, Son and Holy Spirit for enabling me/us to know your love and to have the desire and capacity to share it with flesh and bone people.
“A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17
I praise God for those precious ones that He has sent to me—the ones who have been there through thick and thin; through pleasant and difficult circumstances; through rejoicing and grief; through the lovely experiences as well as the ‘ugly’ ones. Oh, what a blessing God has given us in friends, but there is one that is the greatest friend of all.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” John 15: 13-15
Jesus is the greatest of friends, because He is not only God, but also the one who “lay down his life for his friends”!!! What less can we do for our friends? I’m not talking necessarily about ‘dying’ for others, although there are some we would be willing to die for, but I’m talking about laying down our “living” for our friends; doing that which is best for them, helping them and calling them to a higher plane of life and love. Real love empowers greatness; it doesn’t enable wickedness and sin. There is a great difference. But that’s not where I want to focus today, but instead I’d like to call us to be that friend who is ‘always’ there.
“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24
To have friends, we must be a friendly. We can all act and behave in a ‘friendly’ manner, without being a friend to others. To be a friend requires time, commitment and selfless devotion. While we can’t force our friendship on those who don’t want it, we can be that kind of person who gives our heart and love to those God brings into our lives. Yet we need to be realistic and understand that in this fallen world there are those who will want our friendship for a short time only; there are those who will find our friendship valuable only while it is convenient or agreeable; there are those who will only want our friendship for what it can ‘do’ for them, and when they are disenchanted with us or our ability to ‘give’, they will walk away; there are those who will come into our lives and change us for good, but then be taken away; and those who will come and abide with us.
Regardless of how often we may give without receiving, a real friend is the one who knows our faults and stays by our side through the ‘ugliest’ of difficulties, and loves us anyway. We are called by our Lord to be that kind of friend, because HE is that kind of friend. He is working for our good at all times. He prays for us, without enabling our sin.
“Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Romans 8:34
We are ever on the heart of our greatest friend, and likewise we are to pray and intercede for our friends. Just as Jesus does what is best for us, we are to pray for and minister God’s best toward the recipient of our friendship. A true friend loves at the “all times”, even when it is inconvenient, in fact, especially when it is inconvenient. We are to reflect the love and care of our Savior and Lord, Jesus.
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34
“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” John 15:12
“These things I command you, that ye love one another.” John 15:17
Jesus loves us, and we are to love others, especially those special people He sends to us as “care” givers, or those in need of “care”!!! So my challenge to each of us, is that we would consider our ways, and not only be that kind of friend, but also be a grateful friend who appreciates those precious ones that God has given to us to share our lives and love with. Thank you Lord for giving me so many precious ones to share my life with, may I truly be a good steward of “friendship”!!! May YOUR love be seen in me? May I always provoke to love and not frustration—only by Your Spirit.
“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:” Hebrews 10:24