Proverbs 18:24 – A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Friends are great. I would hope that if you met me then you would find that I am friendly person. I have been blessed with a caring family and many kind teachers, preachers and mentors that have reinforced the importance of friendship and provided worthy examples. I would even say that friendship is the basis of all my professional success.
The New Testament is full of admonitions to love one another, love the brethren, love your neighbors, and especially, love God. When you get right down to it, friendship is based upon love. Oh, I am sure that most people do not spend hours thinking about how much they love their friends, but you have to admit that only friends show real love. In this way, we can (and indeed should) have many friends. We should be friends to the downtrodden and the poor and not just those who could benefit us. Equally we should be friendly to those we first meet as well as those whom we have known a long time. Friendliness knows no limits but what we put on it.
Jesus said, “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” (John 15:13-14). Each of the men who heard those words would live for Him who died for them. In many cases they gave their own life in the effort. They loved Jesus by carrying on His work and sharing the Good News of Salvation from sin, death, and hell by the grace of God. They loved others to demonstrate their devotion to His commandments and the blessing of His kingdom.
We may think that only a miracle will bring people to Jesus, and we would be right. Only the miraculous new life engendered by the Holy Spirit gives the new life that sees and understands Jesus Christ. However, we should not shortchange the importance the miracle of friendship plays in our daily lives as we live our the promises of Jesus by loving others and bringing them continually to Him.
Friendship is not always easy. It requires us to get our hands dirty in the affairs of others, but the rewards are heavenly. Jesus laid down His holy and precious life to save our friendship with Him. What will you do to show your friendship with Him or those He puts in your way?