Are you a true friend of God?
Published 7:40 am Monday, February 16, 2004
You and I sometimes act as if we are as tough as a rhino -- and it's not in our best interest to be that way. That two horned terror of tremendous speed, size and agility is feared by most animals and appears to be independent and self-sufficient. Yet he is not feared but he is befriended by the frail looking buffalo bird. These two animals are friends. They share life's challenges and joys in mutual friendship. They need a friend. The rhinoceros has poor eyesight and is covered with parasites. The buffalo bird rides the back of the rhino eating the parasites and warning his friend of any danger. The two friends complement each other in symbiotic relationship.
God gives human beings the gift of friendship. "There are friends who pretend to be friends, but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24). Life without a best friend is lonely. A friend is someone who knows you well and still loves you. Sharing things in common is what makes for strong friendships. A friend protects you and defends your reputation when others gossip. As a true peacemaker, a friend will warn you of unseen dangers. A friend helps you in times of trouble. A friend brings out the best in you. A friend is loyal and exhibits a sincere interest in your complete well being.
A true friend will accept you the way you are but will love you too much to leave you that way. A loving friend will tell you the truth. Hurtful, destructive, abusive and addictive behaviors will not be tolerated, not by a true friend. When a friend is about to make an unwise decision, a caring friend will take a stand and offer wise counsel. A true friend is more concerned about what is best for you than being accepted by you! Friends have an amazing impact on us. "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another" (Proverbs 27:17).
The Bible calls Abraham a "friend of God." Abraham knew God personally; he had regular conversations with God. Many people claim to know about God but to be a friend of God is to know Him, that is, to personally trust your life to His care. A friend of God loves God. Now there is no doubt a lot of confusion over this idea of love for God and for our neighbor. One night a man decided to show his wife how much he loved her. He began reciting romantic poetry, telling her he would climb high mountains to be near her, swim wide oceans, cross deserts in the burning heat of the day, and even sit at her window to sing love songs to her in the moonlight. After listening to him go on for some time about this immense love he had she ended the conversation when she asked, "But will you wash the dishes for me tonight?" A friend of God is obedient to the commands of God. A friend of God is interested in the things of God. A friend of God enjoys fellowship with God. A friend of God will be loyal to the cause of Christ. God created you for the very purpose of you being His friend. We need God we need His friendship as the source of all friendships.
Rev. Michael King is the pastor of North Brewton