Real Friends   Leave a comment

Just like you, I can review my life and tell you many stories about many close friendships I have enjoyed.  Childhood friendships are always a good starting point, but then come the relationships developed in school, college, work, church, neighborhoods and more.

There was an unnamed man in the Bible that had some true friends that gave him one of the greatest gifts a man could receive.  The story is told in all three synoptic Gospels.  We don’t know anything about this man’s history other than his current condition – he was paralyzed. 

His friends brought him to where Jesus was speaking, couldn’t work their way through the crowd, and took him on the roof of the house, dug a hole through it, and lowered their buddy in front of Jesus.  This is what the Bible says happened next.  “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’”  There is a word in this passage that is key, yet not easily understood; “their.”

What could the faith of these friends have to do with the forgiveness of the paralytic’s sins?  Could it have been that the man convinced his friends into believing enough just to take him there and see for themselves?  I think not.

I believe that the faith of these friends filled them with compassion to the point of putting their faith into action.  They were compelled to bring this man to the Lord.

Do you want to be a friend?  I mean a real friend; authentic, caring, loving and Christian.  Then let me offer these guidelines based upon the actions of these men. 

Be a friend first to Jesus Christ.  Have faith in our living Lord and Savior.

Care deeply for your friends, not just seeing what you can get out of a relationship.

Be willing to lift up your friends in the following ways: 

Spiritually.  In your personal, private prayer life

Emotionally.  In conversation, being an encourager regardless of their circumstances

Physically, if need be, to help them through the tough times we all face

Be willing to do the most important thing any friend can do for another: Bring your friend to Jesus!

We all need friends.  We all need Jesus.  Wouldn’t it be great if every friend brought all of their friends to Jesus? 

Be a friend today.

 

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