FriendsBro. David Chancellor
1/30/2005 6:00 PM
Faith in God will give us the victory and bring us through whatever we may face.
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
There’s a balance to be found between being a friend and staying true to God. Some would want to have the people of God go off and establish a "utopia." God expects us still to interact with others. What is the effect of that friendship on us and others? Are you seeking the approval of others? If so, you’re headed for trouble. Still, God would have us to reach out to others. He wants us to live before others to be an example and so that others can know him. There is a care we need to exercise so that our friends don’t become a wedge between us and God.
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
This friend is Christ. He’s the one that will remain when all others fail us. We should be most concerned about keeping Christ’s friendship. If we would influence others, we need to be a friend. Prayer requests show that interest is being taken in others. We can be a friend without following the world’s ways. Take time to take an interest in others.
And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept. For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! But wisdom is justified of all her children.
The people of Christ’s day couldn’t be pleased. Jesus was a friend of publicans and sinners. He ate with them (this was a sign of friendship). If Jesus hadn’t been a friend of sinners, we would still be lost. Drawing off from the world won’t keep us holy and pure. A pure and holy life requires the power and grace of God. God’s grace is sufficient to help us stand and treat others as they should be treated. Be friendly to the ones that others would push away. Have a concern for the souls of others. Be the kind of friend that will be there in the good times and in the bad times. Most people find God when things are going wrong.
1 Corinthians 5:9-11
I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
These had a problem among them. One had brought a reproach on the cause of Christ. If someone is professing to be a child of God in a life of wickedness, those are the ones we need to step away from. God wants us to reach to sinners, but these cause confusion and are detrimental to God’s cause. God wants those who claim his name to live pure and holy. Speak to others when the opportunity is available. Sinners need to see that there is a better way to go. Many have been told that a pure life isn’t possible. They need to see that it is. People should be able to see God in all that we do. We want people to see that there is a better life. Others need to see that we can live a happy and pure life. The devil would try to ensnare us and make us like the world.
A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
This begins to show us what it means to be a friend. The world needs to see us as a friend who cares when they’re at their worst. Can you befriend those that are the source of your trouble? "A friend loveth at all times." Can you be the kind of friend who can help them to know when to be quiet? Can you be the one others can turn to for help and for encouragement?
Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
It’s good to have friends who can tell it like it is, even when it’s hard to hear. This isn’t backstabbing, but rather, helping even when you know it will hurt. God hasn’t called us to tell people what they want to hear. He would have us to tell people the truth. God’s people are friends that are still there when the tough times come. If the devil would have you to be quiet, tell the truth. If others show you where you need help, take it and learn from it. Whatever comes, treat people right.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 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. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another.
Christ is the real friend. He laid down his life for us when we opposed him. When we commit to him, he wants us to do what he says. It’s a test of our friendship with him. Our friendship with others stop where they begin to come between us and God. Befriend those about you. When we have the Holy Spirit within, we can stand and be true and holy. We can have a life that shows forth the life of Christ. Choose Christ as your friend first. Our lives should be a tool Christ can use to get his message out. Show others the message. Be someone who cares and will be honest even when it’s hard and when it hurts.