Among God’s blessings, enjoyed by almost everyone, is the blessing of friendship. The right kind of friendship is important (Jas 4:4; 1 Cor 15:33), but there is comfort and advantage in having a friend (Prov 17:17; 18:24; Ecc 4:9-12). Friendship is conditional (Jas 2:23; John 15:14). When we meet the conditions of friendship with God, the blessings are overwhelming (Mal 3:10; Luke 6:38). What kind of friend is the Lord Jesus Christ?
1. JESUS IS DEPENDABLE
- The promise (John 14:23)
- The outcome (Eph 3:14-21)
2. JESUS IS NEARBY
- When lonely (2 Tim 4:17; Phil 4:4-5)
- When lost (Acts 17:27)
3. JESUS IS COMFORTING
• Every circumstance (Heb 2:18)
4. JESUS IS HELPING
- Every prayer (Phil 4:11-13; Heb 13:6).
5. JESUS IS ENCOURAGING
- Best response (John 6:1-14)
6. JESUS IS LONGSUFFERING
- Our errors/sins (Luke 22:31-32)
7. JESUS IS PRAYING
- Our advantage (Heb 7:25; 1 Jn 2:1)
8. JESUS IS CORRECTING
- Total honesty (Matt 16:21-23; Prov 27:6)
9. JESUS DID DIE
- For you (John 15:9-10, 13)
Are you moved by His love and friendship?
Will you return His love and friendship (John 15:14)?
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. TIMOTHY! BE DILIGENT TO COME TO ME QUICKLY” (2 Tim 4:6-9).
Apart from our parents our friends probably influence us more than anyone else. For that reason, Paul warns of the danger of keeping the wrong kind of company (1 Cor 15:33). We can also see the beauty of the proper kind of association in the relationship Paul sustained with Timothy. When the crisis of life knocks at our door from time to time, most of us want someone to stand by us and share the burden. For Christians, this “someone” is generally a comrade in the gospel who is a spiritual strength ant influence in our lives.
The friendship of David and Jonathan aptly illustrates this principle. As Saul was attempting to murder David because of jealously, David had to flee to the wilderness to escape a cruel death from his own king, whom he had loyally served. David was hiding out in the woods. No doubt, Saul’s envy made this a very distressful time for David. The Scriptures reveal that at this point, “Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David in the woods and strengthened his hand in God” (1 Sam 23:16).
What more can one Christian do for another? Those who are genuinely devoted to Christ and have nurtured a love for spiritual things generally develop a strong spiritual bond with someone of the same persuasion and conviction. It is a natural sequence: “…everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him” (1 John 5:1).
A struggling soldier of the cross can find no greater friend than his beloved brother who will talk to him about spiritual things; share with him inspired words of God, and pray with him to a God at whose throne they both bow.
Another way to express the same thought: a Christian can find no greater friend than the friend who will strengthen his hand in God. David had such a friend in Jonathan. Paul found such a friend in Timothy.
Have you found a friend like that? Are you a friend like that? — By Steve Casebolt