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Last Sunday was friendship Sunday. The Bible is awash with examples of friends and friendships that we can learn from. Some friends are good and some are bad. What is important though, is to understand why people become friends or how they get drawn into certain friendships so that we can learn how to choose our friends.
A friend is a person who is on good terms with another for numerous reasons. These could be good or bad. A friend can also be viewed as someone who is attached to another by feelings or affection by mere personal regard. One thing that is certain though, is two cannot walk together until they are in agreement, (Amos 3:3). Friends tend to think and act alike. They tend to value the same things and also believe the same things. This is because of the nature of the relationship. The word ‘ship’ simply means a vessel or a large boat. But when it is married with the word friend, the ‘ship’ adopts a different meaning.
According to the Cambridge Advanced Learners’ Dictionary, the ‘ship’ suffixed into a root word gives it the rank, position, skill or relationship of the stated type. A pauper who is in friendship with a prince will enjoy the benefits of the life with a prince. He has been brought into a ‘ship’ with the prince. They are travelling together. “Birds of the same feathers flock together.” Friendship is a relationship of fellowship.
There are more than 118 words where ‘ship’ has been suffixed into and those can help us understand this relationship. The first is courtship. We all understand the sharing and agreement in this relationship. The other is citizenship, where one is granted full benefits of belonging, worship, where we become one with God, apprenticeship and so on. You become one with your friends and you benefit and influence one another. Lot benefitted from his friendship with Abraham, David benefitted from Jonathan. Ruth benefitted from Naomi, Daniel, Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego, worked together.
We have similar friendships in the New Testament. Paul and Silas, Jesus and Lazarus’ family, and many more. Our friendships will determine our destiny in life. We must choose our friends carefully. “There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship”. Friends show their love even in times of trouble, not just in happiness. A friend is one who in wishing you well, wishes it for your sake, (Aristotle). A friend establishes such a relationship with you whereby they want you to do well. The man who carried their lame friend on a bed to Jesus wanted him to walk freely like they did, (Mark 2:4-12). They were good friends!
One anonymous writer once said, “A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words”. Angelique Kijo, a West African singer put it this way, “A true friend sees the first tear, catches the second and stops the third”. True friendship is divine! It started with God. James 2:23 tells us that Abraham was God’s friend. God confirms this in Isaiah 41:8, “But you, O Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend”. It is this friendship that got Abraham to heaven, (Luke 16:19-26).
Jesus also came offering friendship to men in the New Testament. “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you”. (John 15:15). This is the ultimate friendship because it will save us from destruction. Getting on board a ‘ship’ of friendship with Jesus will make us escape hell. One lucky criminal experienced the power of this friendship when all hope was lost for him. Hanging there helplessly on the cross, he turned to Jesus for friendship. Jesus responded and gave him hope. “Tonight you will be with me in paradise,”. That was the change in that man’s life. Just like Abraham whose friendship with God landed him in heaven, this man found himself in Paradise with Jesus. Two of my friends helped me change the course of my life when I had failed my second year in Secondary School. Good friends can be that inspiration you need to turn your life around.
Jesus is the ultimate friend. When the life of this world ends, it is our friendship with Jesus that will give us hope. He already promised, “I am going to prepare a place or you. And If I go and prepare a place or you, I will come back and take you to be with me…” (John 16:1-4). Jesus was sent to come and give us life; it is friendship with him that secures that life. Will you strike a friendship with Jesus?
View Previous Articles
27 September 2015 – Growing Spiritually
17 August 2015 – Servanthood
17 March ’15 – Mothers’ Day Message
16 February ’15 – Attribute of God: Holiness
8 February – Understanding the Purpose of the Church
25 January ’15 – FOCUS
28 December ’14 – What Can You See From Where You Are?
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15 September 2014 – The Battle Is Not Yours Its God’s Own
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27 July 2014 – Say No To Yokes
13 July 2014 – With God Nothing Is Impossible
29 June 2014 – Praying Your Future Into Reality
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15 June 2014 – Fathers Arise
8 June 2014 – Pentecost
25 May 2014 – Be Prepared
18 May 2014 – The Church is a Place of Prayer
11 May 2014 – Values and Standards
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“ 20 April 2014 – Easter Sunday: The Facts About Resurrection”:/27-april-2014-easter-the-facts-about-resurrection
13 April 2014 – Our God is Holy
30 March 2014 – Mothers Day: The Great Mothers of the Bible
27 March 2014 – Beware Of Rebellion
18 March 2014 – God That Helps His People
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19 January 2014 – Benefits of Fasting
12 January 2014 – Do Christians Have to Fast?
24 November 2013 – What Kind of A Christian Are You?
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03 November 2013 – Unity and Diversity One Body