“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24
Let’s face it, a true friend in this world is hard to come by. There are many people who might call you their friend and there might even be many people that you would call your friends, but when it comes right down to it, when the rubber meets the road, who can you really count on?
Is that true in your own life? Do you do onto others as you would have done unto you? (Luke 6:31) Do you take time to let others know how much you appreciate them? Did you make it a point to really thank that friend who watched your kids for you that day you were sick? Have you expressed your gratitude to that faithful friend of yours who picked you up on the side of the road when your car broke down?
I could go on and on, but most importantly, are your actions showing a continuous pattern of love by demonstration (I John 3:18) for Christ, first and foremost, and others in your life? Have you told that co-worker of yours who has been on your heart the truth of the Gospel? Have you given a Gospel tract to that university student you see at the coffee shop everyday as you get your morning coffee? Are you living your life so as to be a consistent example of Christ? If not, then you need not make any more excuses for your behavior. It is time to correct yourself, repent (I John 1:9), and start living your life the way Christ showed us by example. That’s Lesson #1.
Lesson #2, swinging around to the other side of what I wanted to say in this article, did you know that there is an old hymn called, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”? How true that really is. It sounds cheesy to say, but it is absolutely true! There is no greater friend that you will have in your life than Jesus Christ and how awesome it is to think that we, sinful men can be called friends of God through the blood of Jesus Christ and the atonement of the cross (Ephesians 1:6-7).
The very first of the Ten Commandments says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20). That was not a suggestion, that was a command and anything that your heart is attached to before the Lord, is an idol in your life and is sin, which is transgression of the Law of God (I John 3:4). There is no one else in your life who knows you better than Jesus Christ and there is absolutely no one better in your life to take everything to (All of your problems, cares, worries, joys, thanks, and so much more) other than the Lord.
Jesus said in John 15:14, “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.” But we are only friends of God, if we obey His commands. Sometimes my kids will say that they love me and many times I’ll reply by saying, “Then obey me.” Their love for me is shown by their obedience. You see, your obedience indicates the condition of your heart. You do not obey someone that you disrespect or hate. You obey those that you care about and love.
So, in this article, we are learning a two-fold lesson. One, if you want friends, then you’re going to have to be a friend. Sometimes, to be a true friend means you need to say things that others do not want to hear, but is for their own good. Two, there is no greater friend that you will have in your life than Jesus Christ. So, before you hit your head on the pillow tonight, be sure to thank God for the gift of His Son Jesus and remember that you can bring everything to Him, your faithful friend, in prayer. What a friend we have in Jesus! And remember, always let your actions to others be those you would have done to yourself (Luke 6:31).