Thursday, March 31, 2016

NEED A FRIEND?


  A CANDLE IS LIKE FRIENDSHIP.  Sometimes friendships don’t last forever.  School friends or friends in the neighborhood sometimes are lost.  People go to different schools or graduate.  They move away.  Like a candle that burns out, friendships end.
            Sometimes friendships end abruptly, however, like a blown-out candle. This usually happens when buddies have a disagreement and they say or do things they can’t take back.
             Family relationships sometimes are like a flashlight. They will stay lit all your life if the batteries are kept charged or renewed (and this includes a marriage).
            God’s love is like the sun, which keeps shining and warming the earth whether the skies are cloudy or blue. In the same way, God will never stop loving us.
            Solomon wrote, “A friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17); “A man who has friends must himself be friendly” (Proverbs 18:24).
Friends usually start with a friendly greeting and a conversation. Sometimes friendships begin with just a smile.
            Jesus was accused of being a friend of publicans and sinners, but in reality, his closest friends were his disciples.  Yes, he did go to Zacchaeus’s house, but Zacchaeus already had decided to follow Jesus.  He showed Mary Magdalene compassion and friendship, but she already had repented of her sins when she wet Jesus’ feet with her tears. He talked to the woman at the well, who received with joy the news that he was the Messiah. Jesus told the woman to go and sin no more.
             The Bible tells about the friendship of David and Jonathan.  Jonathan was full of faith, like David.  The Philistine Army challenged Jonathan just as the Philistine Giant later challenged Israel’s Army to a fight.
            David and Jonathan met right after David slew Goliath.
            The Bible says there was an immediate bond of love between them, and they became best friends.  Jonathan made a special vow to be David’s friend, and he sealed the pact by giving David his robe, tunic, sword, bow and belt” (1 Samuel 18:1-4).
            David married Jonathan’s sister, Michal, but King Saul, Jonathan’s father was jealous of David and hated him.  He tried several times to kill David.
            On one occasion, Jonathan saved David’s life.  Jonathan once said he loved David as much as he loved himself (1 Samuel 20:16).
            King Saul wanted Jonathan to be the next king, but David already had been anointed king. God rejected Saul because of his rebellion.  Jonathan, who was likely to follow his father, apparently had no desire to be king, although he was a mighty warrior.
            Jonathan was killed on the battlefield fighting the Amalekites, another nation like the Philistines, alongside his father.
            Afterward David wrote a funeral song (2 Samuel 1) where he mourns Jonathan.
            “How I weep for you, my brother, Jonathan!” he sang in sadness.
            David had a wonderful friend in Jonathan.  But sometimes friends can be a bad influence.
David’s son, Solomon, warned his son about unwholesome friends. In Proverbs 1:10-19 he wrote, “My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.”
One time I asked a class of children to write down the names of people they would like for a friend. Then they wrote their own name and glued it facing the other names. When it drie and they tried to tear them apart, they discovered a little of their name was left on the others, and theirs were left with theirs.  Likewise, we leave a little of ourselves with every friend we make, and they leave a part of themselves with us. Good friends make us better.  Bad friends can influence us in a bad way.
But good friends are great! Is there someone you would like for a friend?  Pray this week God will help you to show yourself friendly.  Then decide to call this person on the phone, plan to meet for lunch or for an evening at your house.
 Friends are priceless..

© Copyright Ada Brownell