Friday, May 15, 2009

Friendship-Strengthened Hands

I tell you friendship is something I highly esteem. My parents named me Jonathan from the famous Bible character who was the son of King Saul and the best friend of King David. As I studied Jonathan's life in the Bible I saw some strikingly similar characteristics with myself. Jonathan was a faithful friend, look at some of the quotes from I and II Samuel in regards to Jonathan and his unique friendship with David:

  • 1Sam. 20:17 And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul.
  • 1Sam. 18:1-3 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. (2) And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father's house. (3) Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.
  • 2 Sa.m 1:26 I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.
  • 1Sam. 23:15-16 And David saw that Saul was come out to seek his life: and David was in the wilderness of Ziph in a wood. (16) And Jonathan Saul's son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God.
Now, I have to admit since marriage I have never expressed my friendships as one "that passes the love of women" but I can truly relate to Jonathan and his dedication to his friend David. I love people! I have this crazy view, that absolutely every person I meet is for a purpose. When I first meet someone I ask myself a question. "How can I strengthen their hand in God?"
When Jonathan met David out in the wildereness of Ziph and strengthened his hand in God it was in the middle of David's distress. David was running for his life. I love to meet people with problems, issues, or heartaches. When God directs me to such people I see such an opportunity. I understand why Jesus came to the lame, the rejected, and the despised because there is such an opportunity.

You may ask what is this great opportunity. Is it an opportunity for me to show off my friendship skills? Is it just an opportunity to solve all of their problems? Maybe it is just an opportunity for me to counsel them? No, it is an opportunity for them to see Christ in a way they had not seen Him before in their current circumstance. Oh the joy to see the light bulb come on and see people find God's strong hand in the midst of their trial. That is so exciting.

One component of friendship is networking and introducing others to your friends that may have something they need. Well I know I have one friend who is my best friend that knows everything and has everything. He gives me the confidence to meet absolutely anyone that has blood running through their veins. He helps me see people how HE made them not how they are acting. This friend is the one and only, Jesus Christ. I can call Him friend because he 1st called me friend . I want to introduce him to everyone I meet. John 15:12-15 talks about our friendship with Jesus.

"This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. (13) Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (14) Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. (15) Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you."

So my purpose in friendships is to reflect a walking manifestation of Christ's love here on earth. God desires such a close relationship with us that he doesn't want to just call us servants but also friends. Since God desires friendship with us, I too desire to be everyone's friend. I know that is not possible to be everyone's friend, but the power is in my hand to choose who I love, to choose who I sacrifice for, to choose who I listen to. Friendship is one of the best investments on the earth.

My dad asked me once, "Son do you know what one of the greatest things you have in your life?" I pondered the question and said proudly, "God". He affirmed that my answer was true, but outside of God he exclaimed, "People, Son..People!". Simple answer, but a forgotten answer. The God of all heaven put His stake in one aspect of his creation..people...human beings. I strive to be a friend to people just like Christ is a friend to me. It says in the proverbs and Galatians:

  • Pro 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
  • Pro 18:24 A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
  • Pro 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
  • Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Gleaning from Jonathan and David’s friendship I learn the following:

  1. It is to knit to somone and have a blood covenant. I Sam 18:1-4

  2. It is to strengthen each other in God. I Sam 23:16,17,23

  3. It is to help bring reconciliation in broken relationships with God or people. I Sam 19:4-7

  4. It is to provide protection for each other. I Sam 20:1-4

  5. It is to have a person to love as I love myself. I Sam 20:17; II Sam 1:26

I love my reminds me of my purpose on earth. To strengthen people's hand in God. Jonathan risked the relationship with his own father for his friend. Jonathan selflessly aided the man who would eventually take the Kingship from his family in the name of friendship. Jonathan stood in the gap for David when it was not a popular thing to do.

In my world investing in friendships is where life finds it's riches. God hard wired me for friendships. I need bone to bone relationships in my life. I just got reconnected with a childhood friend I hadn't seen since I was 10 yrs old. We met in a KFC in Columbia, MO. I sat across from the table thinking to myself whoever would of thought that our childhood friendship was purposed for such a time as this. God has a purpose in everyone you meet. I have some friends (they know who they are) who are irreplaceable in my life. I need each and every relationship God has put in my life.

Search for the value in your relationships. Don't just look for a friend! BE A FRIEND! Hallelujah.

Jonathan... Strengthening your Hand in God

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave your comments below