Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How to Have a Friendship

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.  John 13:34-35

As strange as it may sound there are many individuals who do really know how to build a relationship.  The Apostle John offers some good advice.  John and Gaius were more than just acquaintances, they were friends.  He declares his friendship in 3 John v.1-2.  The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth.  Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.  Here are some ways to build a lasting friendship.

I.  Befriend Each Other by:

·      Declaring your love to each other -  In verse one John refers to Gaius as “beloved, whom I love in truth.”  Later in verse 5 he referred to Gaius as “beloved” again.”  John speaks often about this important bond in relationships throughout his writings.  If you want to build lasting relationships you have to make sure that your love is more than just words.  Look at 1 John 3:18, “Dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions.” (NLT)

·      Praying For Each Other - John prayed that Gaius would prosper both physically and spiritually.  When we pray for another we become close to them which leads to the next way we befriend someone.

·      Rejoicing Because Of Each Other. 3 John v.3-4, “For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth. I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.” John states two reasons why he rejoiced when he thought about Gaius. 

1.    Because of his witness.  The life of Gaius was a testimony for others.  Apparently, some of the members of this church had visited John and spoke about Gaius.  Nothing can destroy our Christian influence faster than a bad witness or testimony.  On the other hand, a good testimony is a credit to any Christian or church and will help it to grow both numerically and spiritually.

2.    Because of his faithfulness.  John was happy to hear that Gaius was “walking in the truth.  When we believe the same things we draw closer to one another.  In Philippians 2:2 Paul said, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.  

In the last part of 3 John v.4 John uses the word “children.”  That is a family term.  John looked at his relationship with Gaius as he would a family member.  It is not uncommon for our close friends to know more about our daily lives than our own family.  Proverbs 18:24 states, A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  One of the greatest treasures we have on earth is a good friend. 
So, the first thing we learn is that having a friend demands stating our love, praying for them and then sharing in the joys of their life.  These are steps that bring us close to another and add a great deal to our lives.

Scripture to Claim:
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17

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