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Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Few Thoughts on Biblical Friendship

John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

Proverbs 18:24 “24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Proverbs 27: 5-6: “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”

Proverbs 27:9 “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel”

Philippians 2:1-11 “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

A Biblical friend loves sacrificially.

A Biblical friend looks to the interest of her friend.

A Biblical friend loves actively, not just passively or from afar.

A Biblical friend looks to Jesus as her model of friendship

A Biblical friend endures even through difficulty, hardship, awkwardness, and conflict, even when doing so costs her.

A Biblical friend does not exit through the front door or through the backdoor of her friend’s life when things get tough or awkward.

A Biblical friend lovingly tells the truth, even when it is hard to do so.

A Biblical friend humbly receives counsel and even rebuke, even when it hard to do so.

A Biblical friend loves with the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control.

A Biblical friend loves according to gospel love—the kind of love that is patient and kind, does not envy or boast, is not arrogant or rude, does not insist on its own way, is not irritable or resentful, does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and doesn’t end.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you that you model friendship for us!! Thank you for being faithful to us even though we were not faithful to you!  Thank you for Jesus who demonstrates what that looks like in a tangible way by living a life of sacrifical love and humble service.  Thank you for your Spirit who teaches us how to love this way and who empowers us to love this way despite our sin and weakness. Father, forgive me for the ways I have not been a biblical friend to my friends. Help me to love like the beautiful description I see in your Word!! Help me to be this type of friend. Help me to be more concerned about being this type of friend to others than about how others are or are not this type of friend to me. Forgive me and give me grace where I fall short. And help me to forgive and give grace where my friends fall short. I ask this in your precious name, Amen!!

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