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February 2, 2015

A friend is defined: a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter. Every person you have conservation with; is not your friend. Some people can’t wait until you are finished telling them your story before they start sharing it with their friends.

In life, some things are not meant to be shared. My father told us: “don’t tell all your business. Keep some for yourself”. An acquaintance will pretend to be your friend to gain your trust to advance their gain. A true friend will be honest with you, support you and always there for you. A true friend always shows compassionate, love and understanding. If a person does refuse to help during a time of need, is not your friend.

A friend loves unconditionally. There’s no limitation or boundaries. Some “so call” friends will say; “I am there for you”. Soon as you ask them to put their actions where their mouths are, they do a complete about face. This is the time their vocabulary fills with excuses. I would “but, if, and can’t”.

In the New Testament, we see true friends, a friend that denied Jesus and repented and a friend with motive to advance his wealth.

True friends-Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.  Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.  Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.  But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.  So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.  On the next day, when he departed,  he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’  So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:30-37)

And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves;for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’;and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs. (Luke11:5-8)

Repented-Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” (Matthew 26:33-35) Many times, we have good intentions. We all know how Peter denied Jesus three times. When we stumble or fall, we can always go back, repent, shake the dust off and move on. 

Motive-Judas demonstrated his betrayal and sealed his acquaintance with a kiss. Everyone that speak well of you, hug and kisses you is not your friend. His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.”  Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. But Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?” (Matthew 26:48-50)

Accountability-If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? (James 2:15-16)

God summed up His love and care in one Scripture: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

I ministered to a young man on last week that had been let down by his friends. People will let you down and fail you. God will never let you down or leave you. My father once told me: “two things you never place your trust in. They both will let you down when you need them the most”. Those two things were “people and a job”. Thank God for giving me a wise earthly father and friend. Jesus is the only True Friend we have. We can share all our grief’s, pains, disappointment, dreams and goals with Him. He will be with us in the storms and after the storms. In good times and bad times, He is there.  He is a Friend that will never leave nor forsake us. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

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