As I got to the office this morning, I read today’s devotional from Truth for Life and it blessed me and encouraged me so much, that I wanted to share it with you.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:12-15
Earthly friends may fail or leave us,
One day soothe, the next day grieve us;
But this Friend will ne’er deceive us:
Oh, how He loves!
One truth that all of us know deep down is that friendship is vitally important for each and every one of us. God Almighty has wired us to care for one another. We long for relationships: to be known, to be loved. We know that even one genuine friend makes us truly rich in this world. We don’t want to be islands.
Yet while we may have true friends who are loyal, sensitive, and honest, we can only find ultimate friendship in Jesus. He alone is the friend who “is the same yesterday today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). His brand of friendship extends far beyond the bounds of human friendship; He knew how to be a true friend even to tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:34). One of the reasons that some find friendship so difficult is because it demands vulnerability and openness. But Jesus is never in a bad mood, never lets us down, never treats us capriciously. And He wants to be friends with us—with you! As you come to Him in faith, the one through whom all things were created delights to call you His friend. Let that sink in a little.
Every friendship requires effort, and friendship with Jesus is no different! That’s why Jesus tells us, “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” When we receive Jesus as a friend, we also accept Him as our King.
Perhaps you have found human relationships to be hurtful or fleeting. Perhaps you are surrounded with friends, or perhaps you cannot count a single one. In any case, here is the most wonderful friend: the one who knows us completely and loves us all the same. With Him we can have the kind of friend that “sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). – Alistair Begg
*This is the end of the TFL devotional
The Lord Jesus Christ is the pure example of a true friend, for He laid down His life for His “friends.” Anyone may become His friend by trusting in Him as his personal savior, being born again and receiving new life in Him.
Friendships are relationships that are entered into by individuals, and it is only as good or as close as those individuals choose to make it. Someone has said that if you can count your true friends on the fingers of one hand, you are blessed. A friend is one whom you can be yourself with and never fear that he or she will judge you. A friend is someone that you can confide in with complete trust. A friend is someone you respect and that respects you, not based upon worthiness but based upon a likeness of mind. *gotquestions
This is just a brief excerpt from John MacArthur’s message….
Love and truth are inseparable. And love is built upon truth. Truth always governs the exercise of love. That’s why truth is spoken of in verse 1, 3, 4, 8, 12. They were both in the truth. Now, we are to love all people in the world in an evangelistic way, we are to love them in the sense that we care about their souls the way God loves the world. But that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking here about a love that is unique to those who are in Christ and in the truth. A special love, a unique bond, a family love among Christians.
I don’t know if any of you saw that article in the L.A. Times about Fuller Seminary, started many years ago by Charles E. Fuller and the Fuller Evangelistic Association. It was in the Times today that Fuller Seminary was announcing that they have received a one-million-dollar grant from the Federal Government which they initiated in order to bring about a conciliation with Islam, since they worship the same God. They have abandoned the truth. The God of Islam is not the God of the Bible. The God of Islam is Satan. They have made a deal with the devil. This is Faust revisited. They have made a deal with the devil. And they have agreed over a two-year period not to evangelize Muslims. And so they have abandoned the great commission in their deal with the devil.
You know, I’m always glad when institutions or people who think that way make it public because it removes any doubt about the direction. I don’t rejoice in that, I grieve in that. But I find myself pushed hard away when someone abandons the truth. No matter what I say, I’ll be accused of being unloving.
As I read that, I couldn’t help but think of these Scriptures:
“You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4
“Do not make friends with a person given to anger, Or go with a hot-tempered person,” Proverbs 22:24
“A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.” Proverbs 16:28
“I am a companion to all those who fear You, And to those who keep Your precepts.” Psalm 119:63
May our friendship with the Ultimate Friend, Jesus, lead us in being a true friend to others – loving in truth!
In His Grace,