Give me a word, Lord: FRIENDSHIP

Proverbs 18:24 There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

God has truly blessed me with wonderful friends in this life. Friends have come and gone through the years but not without leaving an imprint forever on my heart. One of my dearest friends has COVID 19 currently, and because this virus is crazy and doesn’t read any of the textbooks and causes a different physiologic response in everyone, I have been spending a lot of time in prayer for my friend and in quiet reflection. Friendship is just one of the many gifts that God bestows upon us, and it is a gift that should be treasured over gold, fortune, or fame.

Friendships bring joy and laughter into our lives. I recall the many good times with friends in which we’ve laughed until we literally cried. We’ve shared our good times, joys in life, births, adoptions, marriages, and so much more. But friendship isn’t just about sharing the good times. True friendships are important for maintaining our physical, emotional, and spiritual well being. Yes, it is quite true. We all need a good friend or two to walk through life’s journeys as we travel through the hills and valleys.

We have friends, but do we all have truly close friends? Is there a person or persons whom you have allowed into the innermost part of your life? For you see, a true friend is one that shares deeply with you and is not there just for the good times, but remains close through the bad times. What makes a friend a good friend? A good friend has many qualities. A good friend is someone whom you can be honest with, rely on, talk to, and someone who also listens to you. It is someone who knows the most intimate parts of your life and loves you in spite of yourself.

If you spend a little time in scripture, you will see that the Bible has a lot to say about friendship. Abraham was called a friend of God. He was the only one in the entire Old Testament who was given the honor of being called a friend of God. Jesus had a close group of friends that we know as the twelve disciples. During the three years before the crucifixion, they had become very close friends. They walked together, talked together, fished together, ate together, sailed together, and just hung out together. Jesus wasn’t merely their teacher and master, He was their very good friend. During the last supper, Jesus spoke these words to his treasured friends, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. This is my command: Love each other.” (John 15:13-17)

Jesus shared what it means to be a friend, and He called the disciples His friends. He laid down His life for them, but guess what? He laid down His life for you and me also! Jesus knows what true friendship is, and He demonstrated it in the greatest act of friendship ever when He took on the cross for each and every one of us. We didn’t choose Him, He chose us! Christ is the best friend you will ever have. He wants us to talk to Him. He wants us to share the vivid details of our lives, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Christ knows us inside and out, better than we even know ourselves, but just like our best friends here on earth, He not only likes us warts and all, He loves us! Enjoy your friendships today. Pray for your friends, and pray to the very best friend you will ever have. Today, I thank God for friendships!

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