FRIENDS! Millie and I spent most of yesterday enjoying the company of friends, two couples, who are in Delray Beach enjoying the warmth, beauty and beaches of South Florida. We have all been friends for forty-five years; relationships that began in the beginning days of our first Pastoral ministry. In the course of those years we have spent times together that included joy & sadness, victories & defeats, the progression in life of children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. We have spent times of worship, ministry, vacations and mission trips together. Millie and I count ourselves fortunate to have these two couples as friends and count them as part of our family. We look forward to the remainder of the week together.
Everyone should be fortunate enough to have friends and lots of them. Someone has said, “A true friend is someone who has your back when things are going very wrong in your life. A true friend is someone who keeps their promises, and makes you want to keep yours too. A true friend is someone who neither leads nor follows, but walks with you. You’ll know when you find them.” All that may be true but I think the Bible says it best concerning friends, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity,” (Proverbs 17:17 NIV). One of the best things about true friends is that they make us better and build us up, instead of tearing us down. The book of Proverbs says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another,” (Proverbs 27:17 NIV). True Christian friends will work together to improve their relationships and to improve one another’s life so that each is more successful in serving others and God. As the writer of Ecclesiastes said, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; if one falls down his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up,” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV). I am thankful for earthly friends but I am also eternally thankful for my friend Jesus Christ who exhibited His great love for me as well, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends,” (John 15:13 NIV).