Friends

Proverbs 18:24
“A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

IMG_1230.JPGFriendship is one of the most important parts of life. We were not designed to live in isolation or face all the struggles of life alone. We have some wonderful examples of friendship in Scripture. We are told that when Jonathan met David, he loved him as his own soul. He expressed this love by taking his armor and giving it to David (1 Samuel 18:4). As the son of the king, this action showed he believed David was chosen, by God, to reign in the land. From that time forward, Jonathan lived to encourage David to be the man God had called him to be. His actions illustrate Paul’s words to to the Philippians.

Philippians 2:3
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”

Barnabas, in the New Testament, is also a great example of friendship. When Saul of Tarsus first met Christ, no other Christian would have anything to do with him. The church basically thought his conversion was an elaborate ploy to get close to Christians, in order to imprison or kill them. It was Barnabas who risked it all and befriended Paul. After meeting with him and seeing he had, in fact, given his life to Christ, Barnabas stood up for Paul to the other church leaders (Acts 9:26-27). Later, Paul was given opportunity to serve the Lord alongside Barnabas.

Both of these examples reveal the benefit of godly friendships. All of us long to have someone in our lives who would act like a Barnabas or a Jonathan. Solomon gives a practical tip as to how to develop and keep godly friendships. He writes,

“A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

If we desire friendship, we must be friendly. Instead of looking for someone who will come alongside and support us, we should be looking for those whom we can come alongside and support. One of the simplest ways to do this is at church. It is not uncommon for people to enter a church, sit by themselves, and leave without ever making contact with any other believers. After weeks and weeks of this, they may start to think the church is an unfriendly place, because no one has reached out and befriended them. While that may be true, it is equally true, they have not reached out to anyone else. One of the best ways to establish friendship, is to look for someone who is sitting alone and join them. Ask them if they want to grab a coffee or get a meal after church. I am not suggesting you use the church as a place to get a date, but as a place where you can establish godly friendships, which will help you walk with the Lord. instead of looking for someone to be the friend you need, look to be the friend someone else needs.

Pastor Jim

 

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