Friday, April 12, 2019

The Gift of Friendship

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.  For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.   Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?  And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

One of the greatest gifts God has given us is that of friends.  He knew that we would not be able to do this life on our own.  We have Him but sometimes we also need someone beside us holding our hand, praying with us and for us, and fighting our battles with us.  1 Samuel 18:1speaks of the close friendship of David and Jonathan - As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Have you ever had a friend that you were so close to that you felt like your souls were knit together?  I have, and it is a beautiful mystery how you can feel so close to another individual that you may not have even known for years.  When God puts people together, He doesn’t follow any rules.  
The Bible gives us some good information on friendships: 
A Friend is True, Unchangeable- Knowing someone involves sharing your mind and heart...Loving someone involves the sharing of your emotions.  Love is the basic quality of friendship.  People will accept or reject the person that we reveal.  True friends are there for us in good times and bad. They come alongside us during the trials.  Many a man has discovered who his true friends were when he became unable to give but could only receive.  A friend is not just a friend because you enjoy giving to them.  Even greater is that you can receive from them. 
A Friend is Valuable- Many acquaintances (friends) will cause compromise in life. Trying to maintain a non-threatening position before everyone invites compromise in life. True friends accept you as you are but challenge you to be better. The Bible says that we cannot be friends with the world and God at the same time because one will be offended. Chameleon living is the result of living for friends and trying to become whatever they want you to be in order to be accepted and when we do that, we can’t be living for God. Most of us will only have a handful of true friends in our lifetime. 
A Friend Should Never Be Forsaken– We should always help a friend in need if we can.  Not to accept help from friends when you are in need is pride.  Let others have the joy you have by receiving.  

Friends help us realize our self-worth.  We can’t be a good friend and be selfish, so it helps us to focus on others in giving and receiving.  There is a cost of commitment, caring, love, and loyalty.  Friends can have an eternal impact on our lives.  The best friends will lead us to Jesus and they will build us up, not tear us down.  Jesus is a friend that never leaves or forsakes us.  He went to Calvary for us while we were still sinners, so we can have eternal life with God.  He paid the highest price for us.  Friendships are crucial for our health, higher success, for self-improvement, for other people, and for genuine religion--true spirituality.  They are a beautiful gift from God.  Take some time today to spend with your friends, so they know what a gift they are. 

Scripture to Claim:
For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die — but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:7-8

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