Be A Friend & Fulfill the Law of Love

When I think of the love of God, I am often reminded when Jesus said, “I no longer call you servant but friend” (John 15:15). We are not servants, but Sons and Daughters so that puts us in an entirely different class. I believe we are still considered a friend of God, just like Abraham. We know we are included in this love, this friendship, because of John 15:13, Jesus laying down his life for his friends. No greater love than this that He laid down his life for us. I John 3:16 says it is how we know that He loves us, because He laid down His life for us. I am personally so grateful for the love and friendship I have received from the Lord. He truly sticks closer than a brother. Because he has shown so much love to us, I think one of the things we should be aware of is the many that are away from the Lord. He loves them and laid down His life for them as well as for us. As a good friend, what is important to Him is important to me. He has proven to me over and over what is important to me is important to Him. Now I should return the friendship.

We should bring people to Jesus. We should show love on behalf of the Father to those who are away from Him. So many don’t have a way to Him or they don’t even know how much He loves them or wants to help them. It reminds me of the crippled man at the troubling of the waters (John 5:). He told the Lord when the angel troubled the waters, I have no man to help me get in. He didn’t have anyone to help him. He had no one who loved him that was there to help him get his miracle that he so desperately wanted. You know the end of the story. The Lord healed him. I often tell the account of the man who was paralyzed and was on a cot and his friends lowered him down into the house where Jesus was teaching (Mark 2, Luke 5). They tore off the roof and lowered him down. They loved their friend so much they got him to Jesus; and when the house was full, they wouldn’t take no for an answer. The Bible says Jesus saw their faith. He sure did. He saw the roof off. He saw the man being lowered down. He saw their love and without love faith doesn’t work (Galatians 5:6). They all believed Jesus would heal their friend if they just got him there, and that is exactly what happened. But make no mistake about it, love was in true operation that day.

What are the characteristics of God’s love? Friends are born for adversity (Proverbs 17:17). A true friend who loves with God’s love and not his own love, loves at all times; the good times and the hard times.   When you have the love of God shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Ghost, you can be a true friend. What does that look like? As a true friend, you can be trusted. People should be able to tell you anything without the fear of it being repeated. The Bible says a gossip separates close friends (Proverbs 16:28). Proverbs 17:9 (NIV) “He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” The Bible also teaches that true friends encourage one another. We are told that the sweetness of a friend’s counsel that comes from the heart rejoices or cheers up the heart of a friend (Proverbs 27:9). You can see God’s love and friendship go hand in hand.

To close, I want to let you know personally that many people have shown me love and friendship throughout the years. Their friendship and love brought me back to God and helped sustain me through many different periods of my life. What would we do without friends? Let’s all do our best to be a true Godly friend to someone. Let’s help people get to our friend and Savior Jesus. Let’s help our brothers and sisters in the Lord and continue to be good friends. Just like God called Abraham his friend, I want Him to be able to call us friends.

Pastor Mark Garver