“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” 1 Peter 4:8-10 (ESV)
The Wise Woman Stays Friends
Good morning, friend! Time for your favorite beverage and time with your favorite person—Jesus! As you quiet your spirit, take a few minutes to consider Jesus as your best friend. Write in your journal what you think a perfect friend would look like. Kind, loyal, humble, patient, caring, a good listener, and fun to be around are a few from my list.
God’s Word has a lot to say about friendship. There are many stories throughout Scripture about friends, their ups and downs, and their reconciliation. In fact, the disciple writers tell us how much Jesus prioritized relationships. Christ himself was a true friend to His disciples and others (Mary, Martha, Lazarus). Jesus Himself calls us friends! John 15:14 (NKJV) says, “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.” John 15:15 (NKJV) states, “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from my Father I have made known to you.”
There are many beautiful friends in the Scriptures! Three of my favorites are Moses, Aaron, and Hur in Exodus 17:12. As long as Moses’ arm was outstretched, the Israelites were undefeated; but when he was weary and his arm faltered, the army would lose. Both Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ arms in his exhaustion. As true friends, they saw his need and stood on either side of him, sacrificing their own strength to see him succeed. My other favorite friendship story is of the paralyzed man in Mark 2:4 and again in Luke 5:19. The four friends passionately pushed through the crowds (while carrying their friend on the mat), and then diligently climbed on top of the roof (that must have been a sight to see). Once there, they dug a hole big enough to lower their invalid friend through the ceiling. I am sure this wasn’t an easy task! Did they have spades in their back pockets? Did they fear ridicule from the Pharisees? They labored in compassionate unity just so their friend could be healed by Jesus! Can you imagine the exhilaration they must have felt watching their friend’s legs restored? I am sure they found the sacrifice of their exerted energy was well worth the reward to see Jesus perform this miracle!
There is one more friendship story that I believe is truly amazing, and it ministers to my heart deeply— Jesus and the disciple Peter. Peter is known as the rock; he wholeheartedly believed in Jesus, even to the point of asking Jesus to wash all of him when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. He was the disciple who stepped out of the boat and walked on water! We are talking about a faithful and radical follower.
At a fearful and unimaginable time, right after Jesus had been beaten and before His crucifixion, Peter denied knowing Jesus. The beautiful part of their reconciliation is that Jesus lovingly forgave Peter without condition. There weren’t months of neglect or shunning. There was no backstabbing or gossip or even an argument. Jesus just asked Peter if He loved him, and when Peter said yes, Jesus forgave him and reassured Peter of his calling to love the Lord’s sheep. I love this story because it’s my story, and yours too! God is love, and even when we make mistakes, He readily forgives us if we repent. In Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV), God’s Word instructs us to forgive: “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
Blessings and Love,
- Do you love like these friends in the Bible? Ask the Lord about going deeper with your friendships by loving their children, praying for their marriages, and forgiving any offenses. Ask the Lord to help you lend a listening ear more often, receiving the gift of just sitting and being there with your friends. Perhaps you need to extend love to a friend through kindness, or maybe you need to go the extra mile by making a meal or lending a hand with childcare. Ask the Lord to help you be more sensitive to the needs of your friends and to treasure and treat your friends as the gifts they are!
Are you friends with Jesus? Do you spend time with Him and share your deepest secrets with Him? He died on the cross for your sins so you can have eternal life with Him. If you receive this free gift of grace, follow and obey like the disciples did. Seek righteousness and peace, and Jesus will be your friend too! Nurture your relationship with Jesus by meeting with Him daily. Talk to Him, write notes to Him, and give gifts of service to Him. Be loyal, sit with Him, and mourn with Him. Tune your ears to listen to Him. Rejoice, be merry, and fall in love with Him!
Tell your children that Jesus is their friend too and that they can talk to Him anytime! Point out good character when you see it, and use every opportunity to talk about how great the Father’s love is for us!
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (John 15:13 NKJV)