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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 14 No. 14   A Month Of Gratitude??? #7


Friendship: I thank God for friendship!  First of all, I thank Jesus for taking me not only as His child but also to be my best friend!

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.

16 Ye have not chosen me,

but I have chosen you,

and ordained you,

that ye should go

and bring forth fruit,

and that your fruit should remain:

that whatsoever ye shall ask

of the Father in my name,

he may give it you.

17 These things I command you,

that ye love one another.

18 If the world hate you,

ye know that it hated me

before it hated you.

19 If ye were of the world,

the world would love his own:

but because ye are not of the world,

but I have chosen you

out of the world,

therefore the world

hateth you.

20 Remember the word that I said unto you,

The servant is not greater than his lord.

If they have persecuted me,

they will also persecute you;

if they have kept my saying,

they will keep yours also.

21 But all these things will they do

unto you

for my name’s sake,

because they know not him

that sent me.”  John 15:15-21

Having Jesus as my Lord and Savior isn’t about having a magic lamp, or a genie—it means being crucified with the One who loves me and gave Himself that I might have life!  He did it all for me and having Jesus as my friend means not only identifying with Him as my Lord and Savior, but also loving Him and yielding to His work in my life; that the world may see Jesus in me and be drawn to Him; and I can only do that as I die to self and live to HIM!

I am crucified with Christ:

nevertheless I live;

yet not I,

but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live

in the flesh

I live by the faith of the Son of God,

who loved me,

and gave himself for me.”   Galatians 2:20

Jesus has given all for me, what less could I give to and for Him?  And Jesus Himself told us that the cross is the issue—He died that I might live, and I live by the power of His cross!  My friend, Jesus, gave His life for me—how could I thank Him for His sacrifice with less than my all?

Then said Jesus unto his disciples,

If any man will come after me,

let him deny himself,

and take up his cross,

and follow me.

25 For whosoever will save his life

shall lose it:

and whosoever will lose his life

for my sake

shall find it.

26 For what is a man profited,

if he shall gain the whole world,

and lose his own soul?

or what shall a man give

in exchange for his soul?”  Matthew 16:24-26

Because I am grateful for the ONE who gave His life for me, I desire to please Him, and to hear His “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” when He calls me to Himself, or when He returns for His own!  Do you have such a friend?

I am also thankful for the precious friends in this life whom God has blessed me with!  I truly believe if you/I have one “real” friend, then we are abundantly blessed.  If you have more than one, then you are greatly blessed; and I count myself as one of those abundantly showered with faithful friends!  I have been so greatly blessed by those whom God has sent into my life—some for most of my life—some for a season—some for a short time.  Some are still here, some have gone on before me; but regardless of when, or where, or how long we had in close proximity, I am blessed beyond measure to have shared my life, love and labors with these unique precious ones.

God’s Word says a lot about friends, and I’d like to share just a few of those principles and truths with you today.

A man that hath friends

must shew himself friendly:

and there is a friend

that sticketh closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24

A friend loveth

at all times,

and a brother

is born for adversity.”   Proverbs 17:17

Open rebuke

is better than secret love.

6 Faithful are the wounds

of a friend;

but the kisses of an enemy

are deceitful.”   Proverbs 27:6-7

To have good friends, we must be willing to be a good friend; one who is there through thick and thin; one who stands fast in good times and adversity; one who is willing to hold you accountable to God’s Word; one whose advice is for your ultimate good rather than your momentary satisfaction!  How grateful I am that God has sent those kinds of people into my life—He has also allowed me to help those who stayed for a time; as well as those who stayed only as long as it was beneficial to them; and He has sent me those who have stayed the course despite my humanity!  God is so faithful and His love and care for me, as well as His faithfulness to grow me in His Word have helped me be a better friend, and I pray that I can always be that “friend that sticketh closer than a brother”! While I praise God for my siblings (whom I love and am thankful for also), we have often had great distances between us, and God has sent me friends who have stood by me in that “closer than a brother” kind of way!  My heart’s desire is that I will be that kind of friend to others.

Sometimes friendship has a cost, and just as Jesus paid the price for our salvation out of His great love for us; we ought to share with others that same kind of love in friendship!  True friends live and share the love of Jesus with one another, helping each other to become the best that we can be—to glorify our Lord!

Iron sharpeneth iron;

so a man sharpeneth

the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17

Are we being that “iron” sharpening “iron” by our walk with Jesus, or are we leading our friends down a path of compromise, indulgence and selfish, fleshly lusts?  It’s a tough question because it makes me assess my own walk with Jesus; am I growing in the grace of Jesus and helping others to keep our “eyes on the prize”—Jesus Christ Himself!

But grow in grace,

and in the knowledge

of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

To him be glory

both now

and for ever. Amen.”  2 Peter 3:18

Oh, to stand fast in “the evil day” and bring glory to The Lord Jesus, to encourage those He sends to us, being grateful for each one HE sends into our lives, imparting grace, courage and love!

Not as though I had already attained,

either were already perfect:

but I follow after,

if that I may apprehend that

for which also I am apprehended

of Christ Jesus.

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:

but this one thing I do,

forgetting those things

which are behind,

and reaching forth

unto those things which are before,

14 I press toward the mark

for the prize

of the high calling of God

in Christ Jesus.

15 Let us therefore,

as many as be perfect,

be thus minded:

and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded,

God shall reveal even this unto you.

16 Nevertheless,

whereto we have already attained,

let us walk by the same rule,

let us mind the same thing.

17 Brethren, be followers

together of me,

and mark them

which walk so

as ye have us for an ensample.”  Philippians 3:12-17

May we ever pursue the example of our Lord—He loved us first!  Loving others as He loves us—may we be the friend to others that Jesus is to us!  Thank you to all my wonderful friends—and a special thank you to those of you who have stood with me through the years—you are a treasure rare—and I truly “thank my God upon every remembrance of you”!  Blessings on your week! (Thank God and be sure and thank a friend!)

In this was manifested the love of God

toward us,

because that God sent his only begotten Son

into the world,

that we might live

through him.

10 Herein is love,

not that we loved God,

but that he loved us,

and sent his Son

to be the propitiation

for our sins.

11 Beloved,

if God so loved us,

we ought also

to love one another.”  1 John 4:9-11

Amen and Amen!!!