God’s Gift, Of Friendship.
What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins, and griefs He bears. What a privilege to carry, everything to God in PRAYER.
“This is My commandment, that you love and unselfishly seek the best for one another, just as I have loved you. No one has greater love [nor stronger commitment] than to lay down his own life for his friends. You are my friends if you keep on doing what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you [My] friends, because I have revealed to you everything that I have heard from My Father. You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed and placed and purposefully planted you, so that you would go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit will remain and be lasting, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name [as My representative] He may give to you. This [is what] I command you: that you love and unselfishly seek the best for one another”. (John 15:12-17 AMP).
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens the wits of another. Whoever takes care of a fig tree can eat of its fruit. And whoever protects his master is honored. As a face is reflected in water, so a person is reflected by his heart.” (Proverbs 27:17-19)
One of the greatest gifts the Lord has provided us is friendship. He puts people in our lives whom we love and can help grow spiritually–a mutual benefits. Good friends critique each other, push each other and encourage each other in the Lord. This is what the writer of Proverbs means. Biblical friends will be like iron sharpening iron. They improve each other.
Friendship often comes through the local church. If you sense a lack of friendship in your life, consider reaching out and joining a small group or becoming a part of a ministry at your church. Great friendships are often made in places of service because all the people there have hearts for service-meaning you are already on the same page! There are many opportunities for friendships, and often they begin with you stepping out of your comfort zone and saying hello.
The Proverbs verse (17) also encourages us to be good stewards of our friendship. We should make a habit of praying, “Lord, how can I encourage this friend today? The Lord will always show us how, and sometimes it’s through a gesture as simple as a kind text message.”
Being a good steward of friendship also means being willing to correct friends if they are going astray, and being willing to receive correction when we ourselves drift away from God. This means we must be very careful never to gossip about other people and to remember to show love to the other person, especially when we are disagreeing.
We see from the Bible that God has ordained friendships to be an integral part of our lives. King David was famously friends with Jonathan, the Son of Saul. Jonathan helped king David escape from king Saul potentially saving David’s life. The disciples were friends. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were friends who stood together. Timothy and Paul were friends.
If you sense a need in your life for more godly friendships, begin to pray for God to put people in your path. And, as He does, honor those friendships by being a good and loving steward of them, vowing to help sharpen the other person just as he or she sharpens you.
“You adulteresses [disloyal sinners—flirting with the world and breaking your vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend [that is, loving the things of the world] is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God”.(James 4:4 AMP).
Let us pray:
Dear Lord, I thank You for the gift of friendship. I thank You for the friends in my life, and I ask that You would bring more friends to me. Help me to be a good steward of the friendship You have for me now and in the future. I want to help people understand Your love for them and for many that begins with extending an offer of friendship. In Jesus wonderful name. Amen.