1 Samuel 18:1-3, Being a friend, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Friends are a treasure, Friendship, James 1:5-6, John 15:12-15, Proverbs 17:17, Proverbs 18:24, Proverbs 25:11-12, Proverbs 27:17-19, Revelation 3:20, Show Himself friendly
Bible Ballistics: Vol. 19 No. 12 Thankful For Friendship???
I sit here this morning praying for a dear friend who may be near her time to leave this world, and as I think of the years that we have shared, I sit here with tears in my eyes, as I rehearse the precious value of a real, true, and loyal friend. Do you have one? If you have one, you are blessed greatly; if you have more than one you are abundantly blessed, for they are a treasure rare.
With that in mind, I’d like to spend our time today seeing what God has to say about friendship/friends and perhaps calling you and me to reach out to those we love while they are with us. I certainly know the import of valuing each day with those we love, and I hope God can speak to each of us today to be more aware of our choices in how we spend our time, especially when we value things more than people, or even God Himself and our Lord Jesus Christ.
“This is my commandment,
That ye love one another,
as I have loved you.
13 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 15:12-15
Jesus is the greatest friend that we will ever have, and if you don’t know HIM, I invite you to call upon HIM today, for HE is ever waiting for you to open your heart and life to HIM in repentance and faith in Jesus’ substitutionary (in our place), atoning (making my amends), sacrifice (paying our sin debt on Calvary).
I stand at the door,
if any man hear my voice,
and open the door,
I will come in to him,
and will sup with him,
and he with me.” Revelation 3:20
Oh, dear friend, it is a decision that you will never regret, for I have walked with Jesus for over forty-five years—through thick and thin—through laughter and tears—through failure and success—through every trial that you can think of, and HE has never left my side. And besides all that, HE has sent me friends to share my walk, help me along my way, encourage me in the hard times, rejoice with me in the better times, and bless my soul beyond measure, and allowed me to share the same with them!!! The scriptures are replete with examples and words of wisdom in regard to friendship; and I’m so glad that God never called us to walk alone—but with Him, and praise God, more often than not, to have a friend or two along the way!
“Two are better than one;
because they have a good reward for their labour.
10 For if they fall,
the one will lift up his fellow:
but woe to him that is alone when he falleth;
for he hath not another to help him up.
11 Again, if two lie together,
then they have heat:
but how can one
be warm alone?
12 And if one prevail against him,
two shall withstand him;
and a threefold cord
is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
As the old adage says, “Many hands make light work.” May we appreciate the blessing of friends, and remember it takes “being” a friend, to “have” a friend to make things lighter—easier to bear!
“A man that hath friends
must shew himself friendly:
and there is a friend
that sticketh closer
than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24
Oh, how I praise God for those friends; the ones you can call at midnight, and they are there for you. May we ever be that friend who is there/here for our friends who have a need—whatever that need may be. But we must also ask God for discernment to know when we need to refer our friend/loved one to other sources of help. Oh, how I regret not recognizing the need of one that I love who needed counselling that I wasn’t able to provide and I purely ‘missed the call’, so to speak…. We must always pray, and ask for God’s wisdom, direction, and insight to see beyond the exterior, and be ever remembering and relying on “Thy Kingdom come…Thy will be done…”!
“If any of you lack wisdom,
let him ask of God,
that giveth to all men liberally,
and upbraideth not;
and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith,
For he that wavereth
is like a wave of the sea
driven with the wind
and tossed.” James 1:5-6
May we be faithful and stand fast in Jesus, for our own sake as well as to “BE” a good and wise friend! One of my favorite examples of a true friend is the story of Jonathan and David, and while we won’t take time or space for the whole account, we’ll simply look at what scripture records of true love among friends.
“And it came to pass,
when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul,
that the soul of Jonathan
was knit with the soul of David,
and Jonathan loved him
as his own soul.
2 And Saul took him that day,
and would let him go no more home
to his father’s house.
3 Then Jonathan and David
made a covenant,
because he loved him
as his own soul.” 1 Samuel 18:1-3
And as the Proverbs say:
“A friend loveth at all times,
and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17
I thank God for the dear ones HE has given me to love and to be loved by and have them to stand with me through the good and the bad—to love me “at all times”! Treasure the gifts that God has given you in friends! They are a priceless treasure, and worth our time and effort; and those who are brave enough to speak the “truth in love” at those times when we need a wise reprover, we ought to be doubly grateful for, for not everyone will be brave enough to speak! May we be the “iron sharpening iron”, as well as the gracious recipient of it!
“A word fitly spoken
is like apples of gold
in pictures of silver.
12 As an earring of gold,
and an ornament of fine gold,
so is a wise reprover
upon an obedient ear.” Proverbs 25:11-12
“Iron sharpeneth iron;
so a man sharpeneth
the countenance of his friend.
18 Whoso keepeth the fig tree
shall eat the fruit thereof:
so he that waiteth on his master
shall be honoured.
19 As in water
face answereth to face,
so the heart of man
to man.” Proverbs 27:17-19
May God bless you in your walk as a friend, and may HE abundantly bless you with those in your life who will help you be a better person and friend. May we each be a faithful ‘truth speaker’, and that “face answering face” to bring joy, ease sorrow, share the wisdom of God’s Word, as we lift the hearts of those who are down!
Thank YOU, Jesus, for the blessings of friends, both those I know personally, and those who are faithful followers and pray-ers for this ministry! Will you join me in the pursuit of excellence in our reflection of The Savior to a lost and dying world—a world in need of a friend? May we be that friend as God gives us opportunity. To God be the glory!
Amen and Amen!!!