By Lamont H. Fuchs, Ed.D.
Friends, isn’t it great when you know you have a faithful friend?
I remember a song I often sang in church as a kid. It was, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”. Does anyone remember that one? It seems so long ago. I believe that was a different time and attitude of the church and Christian devotion.
I am not a kid anymore. I am retired, but I believe in the power of prayer and my friend, Jesus.
I use Facebook. I use it a lot. I have many so-called ‘Friends,’ but I can tell you that I also have never met many of them. However, I have often run into some of them at events at churches I visit or at events I attend, and when I recognize the name of someone, I say, “Wow, I know you from Facebook. Nice to meet you.” Or people come up to me and say, “Are you that guy on Facebook with BikerDown?”
Before social media, how many people did you call friends you had never met before social media? Maybe a pen pal. Oh! A pen pal – does anyone remember those? There is no substitute for authentic face-to-face friends.
Real friends are treasures, jewels that you cannot throw away with such disregard as the one you might kick to the curb on Facebook.
Friends are partners. Partners are people you work with, struggle with, walk the same path with, and believe in the same mission.
Partnerships – Jesus’ endorsement of Marriage is a partnership and friendship example. Your spouse should be the second most crucial partnership and friendship in your life. Unhappy is the married couple who are not friends.
Anyone here without a friend? Sometimes we feel that way when we get depressed or when nothing seems to be going right.
Friendships are essential in our lives. God gave His Son so that we could have a friendship, love, and relationship with Him. God created us to be friends with Him. From the garden when Adam and Eve walked and talked with God and throughout history, God made His people, shaped them, and molded them to be His. He wanted their worship, and in return, He blessed their land and their peoples.
We are to love our God. And we love with our human ability to love. God loves us, but He loves us with His Godly love that we cannot match. What a friend we have in Jesus. He loves us. Let me remind you of His love for us lest we forget.
Do you have a good friend? Do you have a friend so close that you would give your life for them? Do you have a friend so close they would give their life for you? It is hard to say what you will do once you run into a house on fire or a car ready to explode to save the life of a friend.
I have a friend who has already died for me. And He has died for you. Not only did he give us His life so that we might become His friends, but He endured torture no person has ever endured. I am not talking about his beating. I am not talking about the fact he was hung on a cross, nailed through his hands and feet. Others throughout history may have been tortured harder than that.
But I am talking about the fact that Jesus bore and endured the sins of all humanity. And it killed Him. Yes, Jesus endured all your sins and the sins of all humanity to be your friend. Could you ask for a better friend than that? All the rotten things you and I have done? He has paid for them all.
Then miraculously, He did something more. He raised Himself from the dead. He defeated death to show us He is God. Then, after He was crucified and died, laid in a tomb, sealed with a stone, He showed himself alive to His friends. And He promised His Spirit to save us and that He will return to take us with Him so one day we can be with Him, His friend for eternity.
He is asking now. Will you be his friend?