Today's Daily Devotions
By Carey Lewis
Knowing True Friends
A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17 (NKJV)
A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV)
Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
Proverbs 27:6 (NKJV)
We're born into an assigned family, who may or may not be people of God. They may or may not be loving and kind. Either way, experiences are shared and bonds are formed from time spent together. Most of us find friends through common pursuits.
But how do birth families and old friends fit with us as new creations in Christ? Should the ties that bound us stay connected, even though they pull us this way and that? Are we leashed in love or tangled in knots? Do we need freedom, forbearance or both?
Actors, models and talent for Christ, consider some thoughts about friendship:
1) Honoring parents and caring for kin are unswerving Commandments from the Lord.* Nor did God exclude evil family. But when we come of age, honor and care don't equal bondage or subservience.
2) Our closest friends will be deep in the Lord, with Christ's Blood (not clan blood) uniting us. Jesus maintained circles of fellowship and chose three of his best men for key roles. Be kind to all men, but walk with your kin.**
3) As disciples and followers of Christ, we're forbidden from putting anyone or anything ahead of our duty and the immediacy of His call. When He says come or go, we come or go. God will nurture our kin in our absence.***
4) Our truest friends will tell us when we're wrong. They'll mourn when we mourn and laugh when we laugh. They'll stay close to us in adversity. They'll lay down their plans and lives to help us.****
5) We weren't created for isolation, but for fellowship with Him and our kin, who are found within the body of Christ. If you've been hurt by friends (so was Jesus), resist being a lone wolf. Hang with sheep.*****
To Be Continued...
* 'Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you' (Exodus 20:12).
* 'If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever' (1 Timothy 5:8).
** ' 'Who is My mother and who are My brothers?' And He stretched out His Hand toward His disciples and said, 'Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother' (Matthew 12:48-50).
** 'Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?' (2 Corinthians 6:14).
** 'Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?' (Amos 3:3).
** 'Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them' (Matthew 17:1-2).
*** 'He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me' (Matthew 10:37-39).
*** 'He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him' (Matthew 4:21-22).
**** 'Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends' (John 15:13).
***** 'And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching' (Hebrews 10:24-25).
***** 'But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin' (1 John 1:7).
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