A friend loves at all times – Proverbs 17:17a

God gave friends to each one of us.  Like family, like sunshine, like warmth, like majestic trees and like chocolate, they are an awesome gift from the Creator.  Friends are to be cherished.  We all have circles of friends.  Small circles of close friends, circles of church friends, circles of work friends, and monstrous circles of Facebook friends.  These circles overlap and chain together like Olympic Rings.

The Closest Kind
My closest friends tend to come from within the church, actually within my local church or denomination, because we are aligned on a deeply spiritual level. We are in effect brothers and sisters in faith.  We are a tight, loving group.  We are all branches from the same root.  A root that feeds, nourishes, sustains and anchors us.  “The root of Jesse.”  This root is Jesus, and He is also my friend.  Actually a very close friend because His love for me is deeply and unconditionally sacrificial.  Jesus changed our relationship with God forever.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:13

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” – John 15:15

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. – Proverbs 18:24

Each Other and One Another
As the saying goes, “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.”  Good advice.  But there’s more.

Friends pray for each other.
Friends confide in one another.
Friends empathize with each other.
Friends help one another.
Friends do not gossip about each other. (Gossip separates the best of friends – Proverbs 16:28b)
Friends are sincere and loyal to one another.
Friends trust each other. (An honest answer is the sign of true friendship – Proverbs 24:26)
Friends enjoy time with one another.
Friends accept each other’s weaknesses and imperfections.
Friends are good medicine.
Friends enrich our lives.
Friends celebrate good times and support in difficult times.
Friends prevent loneliness.
Friends are quick to ask for forgiveness and ready to be forgiving.

Chosen by the Master
I just love this quote by C.S. Lewis on friendship:

“In friendship…we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another…the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting–any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” can truly say to every group of Christian friends, “Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.” The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.” ― C.S. Lewis, the Four Loves

“The aim of friendship is exclusively determined by what God’s will is for the other person.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Tribute to Friendship
I love you not only for what you are,
But for what I am when I am with you;
I love you not only for what you have made of yourself,
But for what you are making of me,
I love you not for closing your ears to the discords in me,
But for adding to the music in me by worshipful listening;
You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign.
You have done it just by being yourself.

Perhaps that is what being a friend means, after all!
—Author Unknown

Introduced by God!
Sometimes in life we run across friends that we know the Holy Spirit has so delicately and deliberately placed onto our path and into our lives. Friends who have been filled with, and touched by the Holy Spirit. The God of the universe introduces us to one another because He knows that we will be a blessing to each other.

Thank you Lord for the gift of friendship.


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