Tue | May 11, 2021
Jesus the backstory – Part 8

Dwight Fletcher | THE BEST FRIEND

Published:Sunday | January 24, 2021 | 12:05 AM

Since the end of last year, we have been focused on friendships as a necessary part of life. We looked at the fact that Jesus had friends and why, we too, need friends. Last week, we discussed how to determine the state of our friendships and how to start and cultivate healthy godly friendships. We end the series this week with some guidelines for the most important friendship you can ever have.

As you meet other persons, you will be able to identify those who positively influence your life and you positively influence theirs. Start to connect with those persons. We suggest Christian friends if you are a Christian or considering becoming one.

If you are truly pursuing God’s best for your life, it’s essential that you not only make new friends, but connect with the right kind. And while Christian friends are not perfect since they are working to be more like Jesus, if they demonstrate the characteristics of a good friend, then they are a good investment to make.

Proverbs 27:17 tell us this, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” We need more friends in our lives that encourage us, course-correct us, help us to fulfil purpose and to be more like Jesus. One of the most difficult situations is when someone begins a relationship with Jesus but doesn’t ever really connect with other Christians. This limits their potential and the isolation makes them easy pickings for the enemy.

God’s word is clear about how we can experience healthy friendships. We need to remove unhealthy influences and develop our own relational skills. Proverbs 12:26 puts it this way: “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” God designed us for relationship. He understands what they should be like and how they should flow. That’s why Jesus also demonstrated this for us while on earth. Therefore, if we’re going to excel at having good friendship, we must prioritise our relationship with Jesus.

Jesus went to The Cross, died and conquered death to give us the opportunity to be a friend of God. Romans 5:11 says: “So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.” This was one of Jesus’ friendliest acts to us – giving Christians good standing with God the Father.

The God of the universe, the One who spoke creation into being, wants to be your friend. He’s a friend like no other. He’s a friend who will always be there, when everybody else turns their back. The Bible tells us … God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5.

TWO BASIC GROUPS

There are two basic groups: those of us who have already committed to being Jesus’ friend, and those who haven’t yet done so. For the first group, the real question is, how well are you treating your friend Jesus Christ? Do you give that relationship most of your attention? Is He at the front of the line for your time and energy?

For the second group who are not yet friends with Jesus, are you ready to become one? Then acknowledge that not being His friend meant you were His enemy, but you’re ready to change that with God’s help. Simply believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, then was risen from the dead and now reigns with God. Commit to follow Jesus by giving Him full access to your heart and show this outwardly by getting baptised. This friendship will change your life forever!

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