Friends Day!!

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”         

 (John 15:13)

Elbert Hubert had this to say: “A friend is one who knows you, and loves you just the same”. I don’t know if I could have come up with a better statement to describe a true friend than that. The Bible spends a lot of time discussing friends. Solomon reminds us that “the man who has friends must find himself friendly” (Proverbs 18:24). We would state the phrase this way in our modern conversation: “you have to be a friend to have a friend”.  Friendships are relationships that are two way streets; there is give and take on each end, and there are sacrifices for all involved. But there are also benefits for each individual as well. Think back to some of your closest friendships, some you may have had for years, and you understand the sacrifices made at times to continue certain friendships, and you are well aware of the benefits you reap from a close friendship.

While our friendships on this earth with others are important and valuable, there is one relationship which is worth far more than one with any individual on the earth, and that is our relationship with Jesus Christ. The principles of friendship are the same, and the benefits are eternal.  Jesus said, “I came that they might have life, and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). The life that is promised here on this earth for those who are Christians is said to be an “abundant” life.  The concept of abundance is so familiar to all of us in this country; it means to have more than is necessary, or to have an advantage. The word used here is “perissos” which takes the concept even further to mean “exceedingly abundant”.  The abundance has nothing to do with our finances, and it has nothing to do with the “things” we have. But the abundance Jesus came to give promises that things in this life will be better because we KNOW our eternal position.

The “abundant” life is a life made available to all those who are friends of Jesus. We are reminded by the Hebrew writer that Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all those who “obey” (Hebrews 5:9). Jesus said Himself that “you are My friend if you do what I command you” (John 15:14). Our friendship with those in this life is conditional on so many things, and no different, our relationship with Jesus is based on the condition of obedience.

God, like many of our close friends, knows us so well. Jeremiah, speaking of God’s knowledge of us, says He knew us before He formed us (Jeremiah 1:5). Not only does He know us, but loves us so much that Jesus went to the cross so we can have the hope of spending eternity with Him (John 3:16). No matter what your state in life, that abundant life is available to each and every individual. If you are here because of your friend, then thank God for that friend; they love you and care for your soul. We hope to see you again soon!

 

Ande Z

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