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Monday, November 25, 2013

Friendship

By Paul Meredith

     Genuine friendship is one of the deepest hungers of the human heart.  We innately seek out friends who have understanding, love and unwavering loyalty. True friendship is too rare and too precious to neglect, too infrequent to forget, and too sacred to carelessly cast away.
     Jeremy Taylor wrote, “By friendship you mean the greatest love, the greatest usefulness, the most open communication, the noblest sufferings, the severest truth, the heartiest counsel, and the greatest union of minds of which brave men and women are capable.”  The value of friendship is truly tremendous.  Euripides said, “Life has no blessing like a prudent friend.”  Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, “Fame is the senseless sunflower with gaudy crown of gold; but friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.”
     Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”  A little later in the book of Proverbs we see a further parallel between a “friend” and a “brother”:  “There are friends who pretend to be friends, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (18:24).  This dramatic kinship imagery is employed in order to solicit a stirring of our emotions.  By comparing friendship to the powerful bond of blood brothers, the intensity of its significance is emphasized.  In other words, God wants us to realize how tremendously important friendship is in each of us.
     Let’s be sure to value our friends and let them know how much we appreciate them.  Also, let’s be sure to be faithful as friends and companions.  John 15:13-15 says, “Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.  You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.  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.”  Are you a friend to Jesus?

- via THE SOWER, a weekly publication of the Arthur Church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who serves as minister and editor, may be contacted through the congregation's website:
http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com

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