Dear Heavenly Father, You are our Friend who sticks closer than a brother. You are our example of true friendship – One who laid down His life for His friends. Thank you for the gift of human friendship, which is a tangible representation of Your love and care for us. I pray that You would make me one who encourages my friends to press on in this race called life, and to press in towards You. It’s in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, that I pray.
Today, I will be an example of a Godly friend.
“This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends.”
(John 15:12-13 Message Bible)
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A Standard for Friendship
Bible Reading: Isaiah 40:25-31
Those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
MARIA HAD the kind of day at school where she might as well have been the loser in a low-budget action film. She felt like she’d been pummeled in the nose, slugged in the stomach, karate-chopped on the back of her neck, kicked in the kidneys, and stomped in the head. And that was how her friends were treating her.
When your friends let you down, you need a reminder of who God is. When friendship seems like a game you’re losing big-time-one you’re not even sure how to play-look at God.
God is the objective standard of true friendship. Psalm 18:30 reads, “As for God, his way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true.” God wants to help you be a caring, available friend because he created you-and by nature he’s a totally caring, available friend.
God is the universal standard for true friendship. Psalm 1 03: 19-20 declares, “The Lord has made the heavens his throne; from there he rules over everything. Praise the Lord, you angels of his, you mighty creatures who carry out his plans, listening for each of his commands.” The standard of true friendship is universally right everywhere, under every circumstance, because that standard comes from someone who rules over everything. Accepting others for who they are is right because it’s rooted in the character of the God who is accepting, the God who called us into his family when we were unacceptable (see Romans 5:6-8).
And God is the constant standard of true friendship. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “How can you say the Lord does not see your troubles? How can you say God refuses to hear your case? Have you never heard or understood? Don’t you know that the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth? He never grows faint or weary…. He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak” (Isaiah 40:27-29). The standard of true friendship is constant and right for any group of people in any time period because that standard comes from someone who is everlasting and unchanging. You know that caring for others in their joy and sorrow is right because God himself feels our joys and comfort us in our pain (see 2 Corinthians 1:3-4). And God wants to give you strength to be supporting and encouraging of others because God himself is a compassionate God (see 1 Timothy 2:3-6).
REFLECT: If you wanted to show your friends the kind of friendship God shows you, what would you change about the way you treat people?
PRAY: Thank God for showing you what a caring, accepting, supportive, and encouraging friendship looks like.
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