04/12/17 Friends

READING: 1 Samuel 19-21, Luke 11:29-54

“He loved him as he loved his own life.”

1 Samuel 20:17

Across 40+ years of being a Christ follower, I’ve been incredibly blessed with Christian friends. In fact, it is not a stretch to say that these men and women have genuinely been moms and dads, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and kids and grandkids to me. The love that God gives His people crosses racial, ethnic, and social lines in such a way that the shed blood of Christ truly unites us as family. In fact, I’ve learned that truth not only with my friends here in North America, but also with my Christian brothers and sisters around the world. It’s amazing to me how people who don’t even speak the same language, but who know Jesus personally, somehow connect in a life-changing way.

I think about those friendships as I read about the friendship of David and Jonathan in 1 Samuel. The phrases that describe their loyalty to each other are deeply emotional, depicting men who truly see each others as brothers. We know that “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself” (1 Sam. 18:1), with both caring for each other in covenantal loyalty. Jonathan “greatly delighted in David” (1 Sam. 19:1), so much so that he would stand against his father, Saul, to protect David from Saul’s jealous rages against the coming-one-to-be-king. He and David would be brothers-in-law, fellow warriors, and friends in following God. Though they would separate for David’s safety, they would also grieve that departure deeply and covenant to take care of their “descendants forever” (1 Sam. 20:42).

Such depth of friendship occurs only because God creates such bonds. In Christ, we learn to love, cherish, challenge, encourage, support, and disciple one another. Because of the supernatural uniting power of His Holy Spirit, we never walk alone; not only does He live within us, but He also gives us Christian friends who walk beside us. Thus, the words of the apostle Paul that all of us suffer when one believer suffers, and all rejoice when one of us is honored, are indeed true (1 Cor. 12:26). God makes us one spirit – and we walk arm-in-arm in the family of God.

That, my brother or sister in Christ, is a miracle and gift of our Father.

ACTION STEPS:

  • Thank God for the gift of His family.
  • Make a phone call, or send a text or an email, to say “thank you” to a trusted brother or sister in Christ.

PRAYER: “God, only You unite hearts like the Bible describes. Thank You for the people You’ve placed in my life.”

TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Samuel 22-24, Luke 12:1-31