“I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends”

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”

 Albert Schweitzer

I believe that true friendship has an incredible value.  Throughout the Bible we read of friends for good.  I’m personally grateful for good friends, and I need to cherish and esteem them more than I do.  A true friend is one who sticks with you no matter what the circumstances–his or her love is not dependent on things going well. (Which I suppose is the point, for they rarely go well.)

Many of us are profoundly handicapped– mentally ill or impaired physically. And quite often we are hungry for help. Case in point– the page that gets the most views on this site is “24/7 Crisis Lines.” We get 90-100 views every single day. This tells me that there is great need. Could it be, that maybe the Holy Spirit provides for us in this way?

“As iron sharpens iron,
    so people can improve each other.” 

Proverbs 27:17, NCV

“A friend loves you all the time,
    and a brother helps in time of trouble.”

Proverbs 17:17

“It is only the great hearted who can be true friends. The mean and cowardly, can never know what true friendship means.” 

Charles Kingsley

 

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Is He Your Friend, or a Doctrine?

“A rule I have had for years is: to treat the Lord Jesus Christ as a personal friend. His is not a creed, a mere doctrine, but it is He Himself we have.”

  ~D.L. Moody

Friendship with God can be a liberating secret. It releases us from the terrible bondage of religion and ritual with all its negative connotations. Intimacy with our Lord will carry us beyond creed or doctrine to the place of true communion.

It’s not that the Law is bad, but in the intense light of God’s grace it’s a poor substitute. We value legalism, and that is precisely what we believe when we bypass the relationship. Doctrine is a good servant, but a poor master. Grace always trumps legalism.

We evangelicals talk big about “a personal relationship.” That is indeed crucial. But few be the believers that walk in a daily friendship with their Savior. That is truly a tragedy.

“I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.”

John 15:15, NLT

Friendship with Jesus will bring true guidance. He shares secrets and wisdom to his friends. We are brought into a true knowledge of the Kingdom through the relationship of friendship with the King. We are not slaves– or drones, slavishly serving out of slavish fear.

We are His friends.

Jesus wants to confide in us; sharing mysteries hidden by time and sin. And his kingdom is full of amazing perplexities! He is looking to bring us into a willingness of a daily communion.

He will heal our wounds, and forgive all our sins. He is truly our savior as well as our friend.

Friendship comes with a price. It means we are now tethered to the Lord. That can get old, especially when I want to do my own thing. I will continually have to lay things down, and choose to accept tether and follow Him.

But my soul now has a best friend.

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The School of Friends

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“As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”

1 Samuel 18:1

But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”

Ruth 1:16

The quality of our lives can be measured by our friends.  It takes some of us a very long time to understand this.  Often we have this mistaken belief that other things are immensely important, and we strive to make these qualities relevant and significant.  But the Spirit of God is on a whole different board, and He is wondering why we aren’t there with Him. It’s time to catch-up!

To be a friend– a companion, is a significant undertaking.  It involves channeling ones love and commitment to someone other than family.  If we have become someone’s friend, our dedication to that person can be measured. (Not everything is intangible).  So what will friendship require?  My answer is simply this:  All that is needful for the present moment.

Something ‘clicked’ inside of Jonathan when he talked with David.  There was something of understanding and an affinity that was created between them.  As I read this account I realize that this friendship was what was exactly needed for David to survive the conflicts he was coming into.  Now it certainly wasn’t the full answer, but friendship would certainly help lift him above the fray.

Ruth had this exceptional relationship with Naomi.  Ruth was locked on and quite intensely has made a strong verbal and volitional commitment to Naomi.  She is so sincere here as she makes a vow to follow and to serve.  She ‘shuts down’ her agenda and goals in order to live life through Naomi’s experience.  What a generous humility and gentleness!

“Don’t forget your friend or your parent’s friend.”

Proverbs 27:10

Both Jonathan and Ruth embraced their new calling.  Friendship is a cavern chiseled out to be an amphitheater.  It is a whole bigger and more expansive than we ever thought possible.  Its borders and boundaries go far beyond than a Wednesday night poker game with your buddies.

Recovering this new understanding of biblical friendship can be revitalizing.  When we see the fruits we wonder how we will ever transverse the path of discipleship without companionship.  It is noteworthy to point out that Jesus sent out His disciples ‘two by two’.  Sometimes, it will involve a radical (extreme) shift in thinking.  However, there can be an incredible boost coming from this relationship.

“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”   

Helen Keller

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ybic, Bryan

kyrie elesion.

 

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