Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Best Friend

Some brothers are not friends. But the brotherhood of Jesus is one that possesses all the qualities of truest Friendship. The man Christ Jesus, the Elder Brother, illustrates the word; "There is a Friend that sticks closer than a brother."

Of all the gifts of God, next to Himself, there is not one so precious as a true friend. This is a treasure which no gold can buy, no genius invent, no power produce. The wealthiest are poor without it, and an empire's crown would be a worthless bauble, if, amid the crowd of courtiers who do it homage, there are none who, for his own sake, love the wearer of it.

Friendship implies reciprocity, mutual sympathy, respect, affection, service. It is much more than kindness shown by one and received by another; much more than beneficence on the one hand and gratitude on the other. There are conventional uses of the word which give a very inadequate idea of its true meaning. A mere acquaintance, known enough to be recognized in the street, is sometimes so designated. With more reason we might thus speak of one who has done us some valuable service. Those also for whom we feel compassion and sympathy, or to whom we have ourselves shown kindness, we may regard as friends, because we have "befriended" them.

But "friendship" implies much more; there must be corresponding communion. It is not enough that one should render and another receive affection and service, each must love and serve the other; kindred sympathies stretching their tendrils to intertwine each with each. Beneficence however generous in the one, and gratitude however sincere in the other, are not enough to secure the special charm of friendship, when the interests, honor and happiness of both are shared.

Such true friendship gilds all pleasures, soothes all sorrows, decorates with flowers the roughest path, and cheers with songs the darkest night. A true friend, strong to help, wise to counsel, tender to sympathize, unselfish, unchanging is a priceless gift from God. Oh, then, what must be the blessedness of those to whom Jesus, the model Friend, the infinitely mighty, wise, tender, and faithful One, says, "YOU ARE MY FRIENDS."

[Newman Hall]

John 15:15 ... 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.

James 2:23 ... And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

Proverbs 18:24 ... A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.