Did you know you can be a true friend to someone who is NOT a friend to you?
John 15:13-15 – Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
The word “friend” is one that is cast about so casually in today’s world as to greatly reduce much of its true significance to us. I hear children talk about their friends, and especially teens, and they refer to someone they just met at a walk in the mall as their friend. It would almost be funny if it weren’t so sad. Have w come so far from truth that the youth who will be the next generation of leaders in our world don’t even know what a true friend is?
I have more acquaintances than I can count. I have many, what might be considered, casual friends. These are people about whom I know a little more than I know of acquaintances. I have family, and for them I am eternally grateful. But friends; true friends; Biblically defined friends . . . I must say are few. And what do I call a Biblically defined friend? One who meets the criteria of our Text for Today . . . one who would lay down his life for me. Of those I can assure you, I have but few.
Interestingly, I have discovered that friendship CAN be a one-way street. Jesus was a friend to us when we were at enmity with Him. I can be a friend to you while you choose NOT to be a friend to me. I know that sounds strange, but it is true. When Jesus suffered, died, and was raised up for you, were you His friend? NO! Yet He considered you His friend; He showed that truth when He died for you. Think of it; while you were His enemy, He was your Friend.
Oh how thankful I am for that great truth. Seeing it in Jesus has made it possible for me to love those that I would otherwise find impossible to love. You see, the love of a friend is a deliberate love. It forgives before being asked to forgive. It gives when the recipient ONLY takes. It prays and intercedes for those who would only hurt you. It blesses those who curse, and in so doing, heaps coals of fire upon their head. It holds on when others let go, often without speaking to anyone except Father; not even the person who needs the friend. A friend of God obeys God. God called Abraham His friend. Are you a friend of God? Choose to be, and in so doing, be a friend to all men. Some of them really need a friend at this hour.
Manna for Today – John 15:1-17; Proverbs 18:24; 1 Samuel 18:1; Matthew 7:12; 1 Corinthians 13