“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Prov. 18:24 (KJV)
Most folks pride themselves in having friends. Friends are worth more than money. What makes us the richest possible? The more friends we have the richer we are, and the more friendly we are, the more friends we will have. Earthly friends often grow weary, and sometimes their friendship is broken. To say the most of it, they are limited. After they have done all possible and have looked helplessly at their dying form and weep as the soul separates from the body, they can do no more. But there is a friend who will cross the dark valley with His friends.
We have our earthly friends
The man who has no friends has not been friendly. Our nearest friends may be counted in the family circle.
There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. The fact that the brother is mentioned is proof that he is ordinarily counted among our best friends. Big brother will usually fight for his little brother. They stick together against their enemies.
Look at a father’s friendship: The father loves his children. He labors for them. He sacrifices for their education. The disobedient son or daughter may wander away from home and bring disgrace upon themselves and the family. The father’s heart aches and bleeds. He seeks to hide his sorrow, and in all his regret and grief, he will extend a helping hand to the erring child.
Look at the mother’s love for her child: It is the very nature of a mother to love her child. God placed the love there. Mother’s love is next to God’s love, but mothers have been known to forsake their children! A daughter may fall into sin and disgrace, but a true mother will find some kind word for her. A son may be a thief or murderer, but his mother’s love will greet him through the prison bars.
We may have God as our friend
We appreciate influential friends. We like to refer to them as our friends, especially if we get into trouble or in particular need. We may have God as our Friend, who is able to keep us out of trouble and supply all our needs.
Abraham won the friendship of God: “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed (counted) unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” James 2:23 (KJV) What did the friendship of God mean to Abraham and his family? Hear these words from 2 Chronicles 20:7 “Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend forever?”
Like Abraham, we may also be the friend of God by obeying Him. “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.” John 15:14, 15.
Christ, speaking to His disciples, laid down conditions on which they might be His friends. Obedience establishes friendship with Him. Christ, as a friend to His disciples, made known to them the things He had heard from His Father. By being a friend to Jesus, we may learn the secrets of heaven.
The Lord takes up where father and mother leave off: “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” Psalm 27:10.
Would you like to be God’s friend? Surely each of us would like for Him to be our Friend, and we would like to be His friend, which would mean that we were devoted to Him and He to us.
To be a friend to Him we have to love Him more than all. “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:37. The Lord must come first of all. We must love father and mother, but Jesus more than they. Our love for Him must be from the heart. It must be that true and unfailing love. We cannot put a fake off on Him. If we truly love and obey Him, He will be our Friend.
Dr. David Sparks is pastor at Flat Rock Pentecostal Holiness Church.