Weekly Newsletter

Pastor David’s Weekly Devotional
      Leo Tolstoy, the great Russian writer, tells of the time when he was walking down the street and passed a beggar.  He reached into his pocket to give the beggar some money, but his pocket was empty.  Tolstoy turned to the man and said, “I’m sorry, my brother, but I have nothing to give.”  The beggar brightened and said, “You have given me more than I asked for – you have called me brother.”
      Have you ever had a time in your life when you felt you had no friends?  No one to share life with.  No one to talk to.  No shoulder to cry on.  No one to laugh with.  Perhaps we have all been there.  If we have, it is probably something we will not soon forget.  Even today, statistics show that most people feel they only have one person they would call a friend.
      The word “friend” means many different things today.  In fact, it is sometimes difficult to know whether the person we spend the most time with is someone that we would call our friend.  Even in the Bible, we find that there are many ways the word “friend” is used.  Proverb’s wisdom warns us that: “wealth brings many friends, but a poor man's friend deserts him” (19:4).  The writer of Ecclesiastes describes the importance of friendship, “If one falls down, his friend can help him up.  But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (4:10).  In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus is called, “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (11:19).  In the parable of “The Wedding Feast” the king said to one guest, “Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?” and then cast him out into “the outer darkness” (Matt.22:11-13).  Even at the climax of his betrayal Jesus said to Judas, “Friend, do what you came for” (Matthew 26:50)
      One of the greatest passages on friendship is found in chapter five of the Gospel of Luke.  Word had got out that Jesus was in town healing the sick.  In fact, the house where Jesus was healing was so full that there was no way in.  Not to be denied, four men carrying their paralytic friend on a mat decided to break into the house … from the roof.   And that is just what they did.  They dug a hole into the roof and lowered the paralytic man on his mat right down in front of Jesus.  Now that’s friendship!  They risked life, limb, and reputation to make sure their friend saw the Savior.  They were literally carrying their friend to the feet of Christ.  They dared to be inconvenienced.  They were willing to be embarrassed.  They were willing to sacrifice time and energy.  They were, in the purest sense of the word, friends.  The Bible tells us that when Jesus saw their faith – notice not just the paralytic but “their” faith – He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven” (Luke 5:20).
      We all need friends like those of the paralytic.  Likewise, we all need to be a friend like that.  Simply put, a true friend is one who is willing to do whatever it takes to bring their friend to the feet of Jesus.  The opposite is also true: If you and I are not willing to bring our friends to Jesus – either for salvation or edification – we are not truly acting like a friend.
      It has been said that to those who have many friends friendship can seem to be of little value, but to those who have no friends friendship is a fortune!  Be a friend to the friendless.  Let them know that Christ is the Friend of sinners, the friend that is closer than a brother, and the friend who died so that they may live.  By His example, Christ showed us that the best way to have a friend is to be one!  The greatest way to demonstrate our friendship is to show them the way to Christ.  Jesus said: “You are my friends if you do what I command you” (Jn.15:14).

Together in and for Christ,
Pastor David

Scripture Readings for the Week (Monday – Sunday ~ Week #13):
Genesis 48-50; 1 Samuel 11-15; Psalm 36-38; Job 25-26; Jeremiah 1-6; Mark 5-6; 1 Corinthians 9-10
Recommended Reading:
“What is the Great Commission?” by R.C. Sproul

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