Sunday, May 19, 2013

Do you have any real friends?

        Do you have any friends? I mean real friends, good friends? Really good friends are hard to find. When we get any, we should treasure them highly. Most people say that they can count the number of their good friends on one hand.
It’s good to have friends. They’re great to talk to. When you have friends, you don't have to be lonely. Good friends will overlook your grouchy moods and thoughtless words. They will be aware of your weaknesses and accept you as you are. A good friend is someone with whom you can share your inner most secrets and desires.
But, friendship is give and take. Friends may inconvenience you at times. They may ask for a favor when you really don't have the time to give it. Their frankness and honesty may hurt your feelings or make you angry. In the end however, you have to forgive them. They’re your friends.
The better the friendship, the more you are willing to put up with; the more you will be willing to sacrifice for them. A real friend simply needs to be asked and the favor is granted. In the end, the real friend would even lay down his life to save or protect another friend.
That's what Jesus did for you and me. In fact, he did it for the entire world. He did it for us on the cross when he laid down his life to take away the sins of the world. On the cross the wrath of the Father was poured out on him; in a way we will never fully comprehend. He endured the pain and torment of hell in our place so we will never have to experience it. What a friend! There is none greater!
As Jesus walked the roads and highways of this world his friendship could easily be seen. Jesus had a reputation of being the friend of sinners. Even when one of his own disciple betrayed him with a kiss for thirty pieces of silver Jesus said, "Friend, do what you came for." (Matthew 26:50)
No matter how strong our friendship may be, there is often a limit. Hurt too badly, too often, a friendship may go bad. It may be matters of money, of the heart, or countless other things that rend us apart but it happens. Friends often fail us or we them.
Not so with Jesus. He is one friend you can count on day in and day out - no matter what. He knows us and our weaknesses better than we know ourselves and yet he loves us. He never wearies of carrying our burdens. His ears never tire of hearing our cries for help. He shares our grief, and carries our sorrows on his heart. He is indeed our Friend, our good Friend. 
            You may have many friends on this earth.  You may have only a few.  But no matter who you are, you have a friend in Jesus.