Theme of the Week: The Redemptive Power of Godly Friendship
Bible Verse: Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce. Proverbs 3:9 ESV
Scripture Reading: John 15:1-17
Our need for redemptive human friendship is real and vitally important. Christlike friends are gifts of God’s grace who remind us of Christ and point us to Christ. But as good and rich and pleasing to God as these relationships can be, they are obviously no replacement for the friendship of the One who makes it all possible.
Our greatest need is for a friendship that transcends the friendships of this world. We need the friendship of our Lord Jesus. Jesus brings us all the blessings of friendship in their highest forms. He is the friend who provides continual earnest counsel through his Word. He is the friend who rebukes and corrects us in love. He is the friend who provides us with the Comforter—the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is the friend who sticks with us at all times, promising never to leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) and promising to be with us to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20).
Does it seem inappropriate or irreverent to you to think of Jesus as a friend? If so, recall that it was he who first applied the term “friend” to his relationship with his disciples:
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. 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 15:12–15
Jesus is our best, greatest, surest, wisest, most faithful friend. Our earthly friendships reflect only the smallest fraction of the glory of his heavenly and divine friendship. At the start of this week, we looked at Proverbs 18:24, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” This friend is ultimately Jesus Christ, for all human friendships are actually secondary, derived from God’s friendship toward his people. It is the friendship of the Son toward those for whom he died that is primary, essential, and definitive. Cultivating our friendship with him is the wisest and most redemptive of all actions.
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