True Friendship

16th January

Then David took an oath before Jonathan and said, “Your father knows perfectly well about our friendship, so he has said to himself, ‘I won’t tell Jonathan – why should I hurt him?’ But I swear to you that I am only a step away from death! I swear it by the Lord and by your own soul!” “Tell me what I can do to help you.” Jonathan exclaimed.”

1 Samuel 20:3-4

True friendship is essential in our lives. Without it we are lost; A fact emphasized in the life of David and Jonathan. Let’s take a look why?

David was anointed King by the prophet Samuel, just before he went into battle with Goliath, the Philistine giant. David’s victory caused a great jealousy to rise in King Saul’s heart. His jealousy was so strong that he wanted to kill David. A fact made very obvious by Saul’s actions and attitudes. Jonathan, Saul’s son and probable heir to the throne (if it were not for Samuel’s prophecy), was David’s best friend. By all accounts they should not have even met, let alone be best friends. David at that time was a mere shepherd boy (although later upgraded to playing harp for Saul in his courts). Jonathan however, was the son of a King. The two should not have mixed, yet the scriptures tell us that there were best friends.

The day before the New Moon Festival, David fled to Naioth to find Jonathan in fear of his life. David knew that Saul was trying to kill him and he didn’t know what to do. After pouring his heart out to Jonathan, Jonathan says the following words of comfort to his friend, “tell me what I can do to help you.” These words are so deep on so many levels. Jonathan a King’s son, offering to help a servant boy. Not only that, but Jonathan’s offer of help, probably meant sacrifice for him too. Yet Jonathan, spurred on by his friendship with David, seemed happy to sacrifice his own life, his own inheritance, and perhaps maybe his relationship with his own father.

The friendship David and Jonathan had, highlights what true friendship means and what it looks like. It builds the other person up, even at their own expense and is there in times of need and in joy. Friendship listens, is stable and stands with the other when they can’t stand on their own.

Friends Closer Than Brothers

30th November

There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24

There is no stronger bond than that between family members. Family relationships cannot be rivalled. Family are there for you through thick and thin. As the saying goes ‘blood is thicker than water’. Family are there to celebrate with you, to cry with you and to journey with you through life’s up and downs.

Friendship can be much the same. Jesus had 12 friends (disciple’s) that also journeyed with Him through His life. They were there to support Him, learn from Him and look out for Jesus. Moses had Aaron and David had Jonathan. These were friends who stood by each other and stuck closer than brothers.

Friends and family are so important in our lives. Let us re-kindle lost family ties, forgive family feuds and get in touch with friends who have hurt us. Let us rebuild broken relationships, give grace where it is needed and express our gratitude for those we love. May we appreciate those brotherly and sisterly loving friendships we have and not take for granted the purity of true friendship.

No Longer Slaves But Friends

18th -19th April

Weekend Edition

I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are My friends, since I have told you everything the Father has told Me.”

John 15:15

Jesus’ words held so much power and authority yet He spoke with such intimacy and in such a personal way. In this weekend’s verse we learn what it means to have a renewed relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Jesus gives the analogy of a master and slave relationship. It was very rare to find any personal correspondence or relationship between a master and a servant. There was a level of respect and honouring of their position from the slave. Jesus uses this example to show the distance between God and man before He came. In order to be forgiven of sins, one had to present an offering in the temple once a year and rely on the High Priest to present their sacrifice to God. It all seemed so impersonal.

However, Jesus came, ‘being in the very form of God’, demonstrating the kind of personal relationship that God wanted to have with us. In sharing God’s heart with His disciples and followers, He broke down the barrier between God and man. “You are My friends, since I have told you everything the Father has told Me!”

The same stands for us today. God doesn’t want to hide Himself from us, like a far away, unapproachable supreme being. He wants to reveal intimate details of His character to us. He wants to have a personal and close relationship with us. In fact He wants to speak to us more than we think we want to hear His voice. Jesus, desires a personal audience with us because we are His friends. Yes He is a holy God, but that is why Jesus came. So He could be our righteousness for us. We can have a ‘friendship’ with God, because God doesn’t look at our sin that distances us from God, but looks at what Jesus did for us on the cross which brings us closer to God. That is grace, that is true friendship!!

The Sharpening Of Friendship

16th April

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend..”

Proverbs 27:10

Yesterday we heard about Jesus’ perseverance to endure the cross even though He was betrayed by one of His friends and let down by three other tired disciples. Yet friendships also have so many positives too. In fact, life was meant to be lived with companionship. Even the “Early church” knew of the importance of friendships, as the Apostles often encouraged the churches to meet together in communion and fellowship.

The writer of Proverbs wisely likens the sharpening of friendship with the analogy of iron sharpening another piece of iron. When a knife is blunt, it is pretty useless. In fact the most common cause of cuts in a kitchen is from blunt knives. It is only when a knife has been sharpened that you can use it to its full potential.

Much is the same with friendships. “Blunt” friendships can often be so draining and not genuine. When your time of need comes, they are no where to be found. Yet true friendship, is when you have a friend that can challenge you, correct you, encourage you and build you to be the person God intended you to be (and visa-versa). Sharpening may not always be easy to hear and to say, yet if we are not challenging each other, then our lives can easily slip away from God’s best for us. It is because a father/mother loves their children that they discipline them. So it is with friendship. True and genuine friendship can be a great tool in showing Holiness, Integrity and Godliness to our world that needs to be set an example of what true and genuine friendship is.

Friendship is an integral part to our growth in Christ, our growth as a person and helping others grow. May the Lord continue to bless our friendships and deepen our trust in Him.