BOOK OF GOD'S PROMISES
By J. Stephen Lang
-- If loneliness is a problem in the modern world (and it is, definitely),
friendship ought to be highly valued. It is, but there's the problem of the "loyalty
gap" -- the feeling that relationships -- marriage, friendship, employer-employee
-- are temporary at best, to be dissolved whenever one party feels like it. This
situation isn't new, as the Bible makes clear:
Many will say they are loyal
friends, but who can find one who is really faithful? (Proverbs 20:6)
the Bible gives some classic examples of "really faithful" friends. The classic
example is that Old Testament pair, David and Jonathan.
After David had finished
talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king's son. There was an immediate bond
of love between them, and they became the best of friends. And Jonathan made a
special vow to be David's friend, and he sealed the pact by giving him his robe,
tunic, sword, bow, and belt.
1 Samuel 18:1-4
The book of Proverbs is, in
some ways, the "Book of Friendship," with wise words about the true meaning of
A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help
in time of need.
There are "friends" who destroy each other,
but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.
Disregarding another person's faults preserves love; telling about them separates
It's harder to make amends with an offended
friend than to capture a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate
locked with iron bars.
Just as damaging as a mad man shooting
a lethal weapon is someone who lies to a friend and then says, "I was only joking."
The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked
lead them astray.
Keep away from angry, short-tempered people,
or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.
Wicked people are an abomination to the LORD, but he offers his friendship
to the godly.
We know what real love is because Christ gave
up his life for us. And so we also ought to give up our lives for our Christian
brothers and sisters.
1 John 3:16
Continue to love each other with true
Christian love. Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Don't forget about those
in prison. Suffer with them as though you were there yourself. Share the sorrow
of those being mistreated, as though you feel their pain in your own bodies.
Dear brothers and sisters, what's the use of saying you have faith if
you don't prove it by your actions? That kind of faith can't save anyone. Suppose
you see a brother or sister who needs food or clothing, and you say, "Well, good-bye
and God bless you; stay warm and eat well" -- but then you don't give that person
any food or clothing. What good does that do?
So you see, it isn't enough just
to have faith. Faith that doesn't show itself by good deeds is no faith at all
-- it is dead and useless.
The Book of God's Promises -- Copyright, 1999 by J.
Stephen Lang. All rights reserved, used with permission.
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