By Phillip G. Kayser at DCC on 2-20-2011
When I was a little kid I had a friend who wanted the two of us to become blood brothers. I guess he had read about that in some Indian story or something. But we pledged our friendship to each other by cutting our wrists and mixing our blood. And by the way, to you kids who are listening, don't try this. Just because your pastor was stupid as a kid doesn't mean that you should be. But anyway, we became blood brothers. And then we carved each other's names with flint rocks onto our foreheads. I guess in some idiotic way that was supposed to symbolize that our friendship was for life. It took a long time for me to lose the word "PAUL" emblazoned on my forehead – a lot longer than it took to break our sentimental friendship. So much for becoming lifelong friends.
In striking contrast 1Samuel portrays the lifelong friendship of Jonathan and David. And there are wonderful lessons we can learn about friendship from the scattered descriptions that this book gives. Definitely better lessons than carving your name in somebody else's forehead. I should have quit after I had carved my name on his head.
Not all friendships will have the same deep kindred-spirit relationship that Jonathan and David had, but I think all friendship can learn a thing or two from these passages. This friendship does not just teach us about friendship on a horizontal level; it teaches us about God's grace. And I want to highlight ten short lessons in these seven verses:
Class and age disparities did not hinder this friendship (v. 1)
The first thing that I see is that class and age disparities did not hinder this friendship in the least. When you study the chronology of Saul, Jonathan, and David, you realize that Jonathan was 28 years older than David. Yet chapter 18:1 says that "…the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul."
Thankfully homeschoolers have learned a lot better to have friendships that span across age groups. And I think that peer dependent America misses a lot when they won't even consider relationships with those who are from different age groups. In the Bible you can think of the deep friendship that Naomi had with her daughter-in-law, or the friendship of Paul and Timothy, or the friendship of Moses and Joshua. The Bible is full of examples that show that true friendships do not consider age to be an obstacle. My mother-in-law has a very good friend who is probably half her age.
Another thing that could have been intimidating for David was the difference in social status, wealth, and office. But in chapter 18:4 Jonathan took of his royal robe and all his armor, and gave it to David. He wanted David to know that these things are not a hindrance. And we will later apply this when it comes to our relationship to Christ. But just on a human level, we needlessly deprive ourselves of the joy of friendship when we make such artificial barriers.
Was willing to go against the crowd (v. 1)
The second wonderful trait that I see in Jonathan is a willingness to go against the crowd in standing up for David. Verse 1 says, "Now Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they should kill David; but Jonathan, Saul's son, delighted greatly in David." What about all the servants? According to chapter 18, "all Israel and Judah loved David" (v. 16). Saul himself told David that all his servants loved him (v. 22). It was probably one of the things that made Saul jealous. But when push came to shove, and Saul tried to keep people from being friends with David, those servants were not willing to go against the crowd - even to defend the one that they loved. They weren't willing to do it. Sure they might have been uncomfortable with what Saul was asking them to do, but many of the servants succumbed to the pressure, and over time those who weren't willing to, had to go into exile with David. It reminds me of life in government schools. The exiles that we will read about in later chapters were willing to go against the crowd just like Jonathan was. They were true friends.
I recently read a New York Times piece on two baseball players, Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson. There is a picture of their statue in your sermon notes. Jackie Robinson was the first black American to play in major league baseball. The owner and manager of the Dodgers, Branch Rickey, knew that there would be a lot of racial prejudice against Robinson, and he made Robinson promise not to retaliate with his tongue or with his fists no matter what, for at least two years. He had done so, but it was extremely demoralizing. Before he even started playing, a petition was being circulated among the players to kick him off the team. Pee Wee Reese, the shortstop and captain, refused to sign it. But as the bean balls, spikings, spittings, and racial slurs were unrelenting, Robinson was feeling like his career was going to end. And on May 13, 1947 it all came to a head in an infield practice at Crosley Field, Cincinnati. People from the dugout and the grandstands were taunting Robinson with terms like "shoeshine boy" and "snowflake." Pee Wee Reese had heard enough. He stopped the practice, walked diagonally across the infield and put his arm around the shoulder of Robinson, and just stared at those in the dugout and the grandstands until they stopped their taunting. Apparently he did that again at his home stadium in Brooklyn, standing with his friend against a hostile crowd. Robinson later said that the arm around his shoulder was what saved his career. And it took a lot of guts for Pee Wee to do that. I guess with a name like Pee Wee, you don't think too much about the opinion of others. But that, brothers and sisters, is friendship.
Too frequently Christians allow what other friends say or do to make them cave in on their treatment of some close friend. Perhaps it is laughing at a demeaning joke. Or perhaps it is excluding them from a discussion. And often they will feel bad about it and try to make it up to the friend in private. But a true friend is willing to be a friend in public, and willing to stand against the crowd, buck peer pressure, and metaphorically put his arm around his friend's shoulder and stand by him. And later we will have some application when it comes to our relationship with Christ.
Delighted in David (v. 1)
The third thing that we see is that Jonathan delighted in David. In fact it say, "he delighted greatly in David." And that's not something you can necessarily make happen. Not everybody connects in the same way. Even though we should be friendly with everybody, it doesn't mean that you will be a close, close friend. But there is incredible joy that comes from such friendship. And so I find it interesting that even though Jesus gave up much to be our Savior, He did not give up His friendships. It is true that He was hurt by the betrayal of one friend. But he stuck close with his true friends to the end. John 13:1 says, "having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end."
Here's the problem - it is precisely this great delight that we have in friends that makes the pain of loss so great. This is what made David and Jonathan weep so much in chapter 20:41. This is what made David weep bitterly when Jonathan died in 2Samuel 1. He felt that there was a part of him that had been ripped out. It's not an easy thing for an elderly person to lose their spouse. They don't get over it right away, and sometimes the body needs to come in and be there during the anguish of loss. Obviously you won't be a substitute for the lost spouse. Nothing can stop that pain, but you can support him or her just like David's friends gathered around him and supported him in the loss of his best friend in the next chapter.
Sometimes when people go through the pain of losing a friend, or being betrayed by a friend, they decide they will never get close to another person again. The pain was just too much. They deliberately stay shallow in their relationships with everybody. And that's not healthy. Fear of another loss just makes the loneliness greater. It's better to learn how to handle the pain of a loss rather than to avoid friendships.
When Charles Schwab was 70 years old, he was in court fighting yet another frivolous lawsuit. At the end of winning the court case he made a statement. He said, "I'd like to say here in a court of law, and speaking as an old man, that 9/10ths of my troubles are traceable to my being kind to others. Look you young people, if you want to steer away from trouble, be hard-boiled. Be quick with a good loud ‘No' to anyone and everyone. If you follow this rule, you will seldom be bothered as you tread life's pathway. Except you'll have no friends, you'll be lonely, and you won't have any fun!" He was making the point that it would be easy for him to avoid these painful situations if he would just stop being nice, but he would also miss out on the far greater joy of relationship.
If you have not experienced the reality of verse 1 – if you have not delighted greatly in someone, make sure that it is not because of fear of being let down. This is one delight that God wants all of us to have. And even if you have not yet met your bosom buddy, I hope that you can find delight and joy in the lesser friendships within this church. Some people never do get a friend as close as Jonathan and David. That's OK. These principles still apply to other friendships.
Took time to communicate with David (v. 2ff)
Of course, friendships take time and effort to develop more fully. And Jonathan and David had spent a lot of time communicating with each other. I'm going to give you five levels of communication that we typically engage in on any given day, and I want you to think about which level Jonathan and David are instantly able to engage in:
First there is the cliché level. These are nice, comfortable, often-repeated routines of speech that enable a casual relationship. "How are you?" "Fine. How are you?" "Fine." "It's nice to see you." "How is your family doing?" And when I say "cliché" it doesn't mean that they are necessarily bad things to say. It gets the conversation going politely. I still use cliché's. Sometimes I think it is a part of politeness. But it is the shallowest level of communication. In friendships we want to go deeper than that. And certainly during courtship it is hoped that you would go deeper than that.
The second level is talking about facts. "How about them Huskers? Have you seen the new quarterback that they are trying to recruit?" Or, "Did you get that new job you were applying for?" "No. I would sure like to leave. My boss has really been dumping a lot of work on me lately." "Ah! That's too bad. You haven't had a day off in a while, have you?" You can have a long conversation simply talking about facts. That's as far as some people ever get. They are comfortable at the level of facts because they are not too dangerous. And by the way, you might even want to be applying this to your levels of communication with God. How deep does your communication with God go? For many of us it is a laundry list of prayer requests – it's facts that we are communicating. And that's OK, but we should desire to go deeper.
The next level of communication is opinions, values, and worldview. This can include concerns, expectations, doctrines, personal goals, dreams, desires, and aspirations. But it is sharing who you really are. And this is the level at which people sometimes part company. And usually, they really shouldn't. Maturity in friendships allows for differences of opinion and doesn't feel threatened when those differences arise. And you can look at Jonathan and David as an example. Did they have differences of concern, expectation, and aspiration? Yes they did. Jonathan could have left Israel and joined David – especially after his dad almost killed him and insulted him in front of everyone. But as much as Jonathan loved David, he felt the need to support his dad and stay loyal to his dad. This set up an incredible internal conflict within Jonathan. He was being pulled in two directions. But Jonathan was mature enough to be able to value both his father (whom he disagreed with) and David (whom he was friends with). And it is wonderful to have a friendship that is able to freely discuss concerns, expectations, worldview, personal goals, dreams, desires, and aspirations without any worries that the two of you will inadvertently be divided, or that your friend will use the information to hurt you.
Of course, there are limits to this as well, as should be obvious. If someone is doing something criminal, you can't ignore it or you will be an accomplice. I'll give you one biblical illustration. Deuteronomy 13:6-9 describes a serious crime. It says that even if you have a bosom friend, if he tries to get you to become an apostate, you must not shield him from the death penalty. You must love God more than you love your bosom friend. And in that unusual situation where God calls for his death, painful as it might be, you must agree. Otherwise you have an idolatrous friendship. And God is in the business of destroying idols. The people who had an idolatrous friendship with Saul ended up being miserable over it.
Anyway, let me read you the first verse of Deuteronomy 13:6-9 – "If your brother, the son of your mother, your son or your daughter, the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, secretly entices you, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,'…" So these guys are trying to get you to apostatize. If they do that, you are to have nothing to do with them, but must turn them over to the state for this treason. Why would God have to address that problem? Because when you get to deep levels of friendship, it is easy to do anything for your friend, even compromise your faith. It's very easy to put your friendship before God. And so the Scripture helps us to recognize both the value and the danger of friendship. Interestingly, Jonathan did not allow his closeness to his father to pull him away from honoring God. He did the right thing. Saul asked him to kill David; he refuses; he hides David. He does the right thing.
The fourth level of communication is communicating feelings. This is where you feel safe enough to share your deepest emotions. David and Jonathan do that in chapter 20. They are able to fully laugh together and weep together. Expression of emotion does not make them nervous. And it's interesting that the Bible calls the whole body to rejoice with those who rejoice and to weep with those who weep – which to me means that we ought to be able to develop this level of communication with anyone in the body.
The fifth level of communication is the ability to reveal your unique needs with each other and to be vulnerable. This implies that there is a level of trust for you to be able to share this. Obviously, some needs aren't appropriate to share with everybody. There will be some needs you only share with your spouse. But here are some needs that David and Jonathan were able to consistently fulfill with each other: 1) First, "I need to talk." And let me tell you, that often is a real need. Some people brush it off because they are busy, and they wonder why their children aren't close. "I need to talk" was a need that both Jonathan and David tried to meet for each other.
"I need you to be open and honest with me." At one point David implies that Jonathan is not being honest about his dad's attitudes. In chapter 20:9 Jonathan responds, "Far be it from you! For if I knew certainly that evil was determined by my father to come upon you, then would I not tell you?" He was offended by David's misinterpretation, and reaffirmed that he was there to be open and honest with David.
"I need to hang out." This might be because of loneliness, or it might be because you feel discouraged, or it might be because you don't trust yourself to be alone right now. Jonathan and David do a lot of hanging out in this chapter and the next.
And there are other needs that friends feel free to share with each other. Later we will be seeing that Jesus is a true friend to us, but I think you can see it on these deeper levels of communication.
Here's a fun exercise that you could do sometime. Use your concordance and find all of the scriptures that have the word "together" or "one another" in them. And actually, I've given you a head start by listing several of the one another passages in your outline. If you want to make it a shorter exercise, you could limit it to Acts through Revelation. If you do that, you will discover a lot of things that Christians did together. They didn't just go to church together. They did a lot of things together throughout the week. They developed friendships. Here's a sample: Meeting together, praying together, sharing material things together, eating together, advising one another, working together, visiting one another, standing together when under attack. God wants us to develop friendships within the body, and the one-anothering passages and the "together" passages give us a lot of good information for doing so.
Protected David (v. 2)
Roman numeral V – Jonathan protected David. He didn't protect David's sin. No friend should do that. In fact, friends should be at a level of communication where they can express their disapproval of certain actions without it jeopardizing the friendship. Scripture says, "faithful are the wounds of a friend" (Prov. 27:6). But verse 2 is talking about a true desire to protect David's name, his reputation, and his life.
"So Jonathan told David, saying, ‘My father Saul seeks to kill you. Therefore please be on your guard until morning, and stay in a secret place and hide." Looking out for David's safety was a risk that Jonathan took and it required forethought and effort. But friends do look for the safety of each other.
Became an intermediary for David (v. 3)
Sixth, Jonathan became an intermediary for David. This is one of the functions of a peacemaker. I think being a peacemaker is a huge function of a friend. Verse 3 says, "And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak with my father about you. Then what I observe, I will tell you." This was a marvelous attempt at being a peacemaker, and it was successful – at least for a while.
And I appreciate the way that several of you in this congregation have sought to be peacemakers. When you see two friends who are alienated, I have seen one or more of you seek to bring them back together again. It is yet another evidence that this church does the work of the ministry rather than expecting the elders and deacons to do it all.
Spoke well of David (vv. 4-5)
Somewhat related to this is point VII- Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul. Let's read verses 4-5:
1Samuel 19:4 "Thus Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father, and said to him, "Let not the king sin against his servant, against David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his works have been very good toward you."
1Samuel 19:5 "For he took his life in his hands and killed the Philistine, and the LORD brought about a great deliverance for all Israel. You saw it and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood, to kill David without a cause?"
Jonathan was almost acting like an attorney for David. But the remarkable thing is that he pulled it off in a way where both Saul and David could be winners. He appealed to Saul's decent side, and he did have one.
We likely don't have anything even remotely comparable to this in our congregation, but the basic principle transcends time and congregations. It takes effort to speak up for someone when his name is being trashed. A few weeks ago I heard someone doing that on behalf of a preacher from another denomination. It wasn't like this young man agreed with the preacher's theology or positions, but he felt that others were somewhat misrepresenting the man. And I really appreciated what he had to say.
But we can be like Jonathan if we will refuse to listen to or to agree with gossip. We can be like Jonathan when we clear up misunderstandings. And we can be like Jonathan when we refuse to speak poorly of brothers and sisters in the Lord. Saul's speaking poorly of David came back to eventually bite him.
That kind of happened to a friend of Jan Paderewski, the famous pianist. When he left Poland to play his first recital in London, he asked an influential Polish friend to give him a letter of introduction. He thought if his first recital didn't go well, he could give this letter of introduction to the powers that be. Anyway, his friend handed him the letter in a sealed envelope and he took it with him. But he never needed to use it. Everything went well. Some years later, while going through his papers, he saw the envelope, got curious, and he opened it up. And here is what it said: "This will introduce Jan Paderewski, who plays the piano, for which he demonstrates no conspicuous talent." Some friend, huh? If any of you have heard Paderewski, you know that the introduction misrepresented him. And as with Saul, it was a bit embarrassing. Saul's actions come back to bite him. Jonathan's speaking well became a permanent blessing that we remember to this day.
Risked his own life by rebuking Saul (vv. 4-5)
The eighth thing that Jonathan did was to risk his own life by rebuking Saul. Maybe it didn't seem like a risk of life to Jonathan at this point, but Saul does throw a spear at his son in the next chapter. And based on Saul's fury even with his children, he was at least risking wrath.
Gained David's safety (v. 6)
The ninth thing that Jonathan did was to gain David's safety. Verse 6 says, "So Saul heeded the voice of Jonathan, and Saul swore, ‘As the LORD lives, he shall not be killed." In effect he was saying that as sure as there is a God in heaven, I will not kill David. Yet he sought to break this promise very quickly. But at least for now, Jonathan's friendship brought safety to David.
Restored David to service and fellowship (v. 7)
The tenth thing that Jonathan did was to restore David to service and fellowship. Verse 7 says, "Then Jonathan called David, and Jonathan told him all these things. So Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as in times past." And that is the most natural thing for a friend to desire. He wants David to be working side by side with him so that they can continue to fellowship.
Though Jonathan is not a type of Christ, this certainly reminds us of the wonderful grace of Jesus
And even though Jonathan is not a type of Christ, I can't resist comparing this wonderful friendship with the one that we are ushered into with Jesus. Go back to point I and apply this to your relationship to Jesus. Jesus is the King of kings and the Lord of the universe. He is so exalted above us in station, in wealth, in power, and in office, that it would seem ludicrous for us to even call Him our friend, if he did not invite us into that relationship. And yet, just as Jonathan took of his royal clothes and traded with David, Jesus took off His royal glory, became a servant, and traded places with us. He became our substitute, so that we could be his friends.
And you could go through each of the points and see that Jesus was and continues to be a friend to us. Maybe we ignore His overtures of friendship, just like the bride in Song of Solomon did on one occasion to her husband. But Jesus clearly has been reaching out to you.
Look at point II. Jesus was willing to go against the crowd in the Gospels to be our Savior and our Friend. And He continues to be willing to be our Friend even when relatives and friends forsake us. We will be shortly singing Psalm 27 that worships God for that fact. Even when we lose every other friend, we can greatly delight in our friendship with God.
Point III is another similarity. Just as Jonathan delighted in David, Proverbs 8:31 says that the Son of God delighted in us sons of men. Psalm 16:3 says, "As for the saints who are on the earth, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight." Amazing that he would say that. Proverbs 12:22 says, "those who deal truthfully are His delight." Proverbs 15:8 says, "the prayer of the upright is His delight." It's hard for us to fathom that God would delight in us – much harder than understanding that Jonathan would delight in David. We can understand that Malachi 3:1 says that the Father delights in His Son. But God is willing to delight in those who delight in Him, and to draw near to those who draw near to Him.
Point IV said that friendships communicate, and God has not only communicated volumes to us through the Scripture, He guides us by His Spirit, and He manifests His presence in our lives from time to time. In John 15:15, Jesus said, "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you." This is really His love-letter. He has communicated to us everything that we need to know.
Going through the rest of the outline, Jesus protects us, is our Mediator, intercedes for us to the Father, gave His life for us, gained our eternal security, and restored us to service and fellowship. What a marvelous Savior!
Can you see why I couldn't resist applying this to our walk with God? It may seem like a fairy tale to speak of God being our friend, and yet it is possible. Jesus gave this promise: "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you." And of course, that brings up the second side of the equation. Friendship has two sides, doesn't it? There is no friendship if one person wants to be friends and the other does not. And friendship cannot be forced. We must give ourselves unreservedly to Jesus to experience the closeness of friendship. He woos us, but we must respond by His grace. Otherwise it is not a friendship. So if you want to progress from the status of slaves to friendship, take the last point seriously:
God's grace can enable us to be friends like Jonathan
Point B says that it is God's grace that enables us to be friends like Jonathan. And to refuse to pursue friendship with God is not humility. I used to think that it was humility when I first became Reformed to think, "Who am I to speak thus to God? He is too exalted." But that is not humility; it is lack of grace. For example, going back to point I - to say that Christ is too holy, too kingly, too exalted, too anything for us to be friends with Him is to despise His offer. We cannot let point I get in the way of our friendship with God. Satan will tempt us to think that we are such peasants, such sinners, such scum that we dare not think we can be friends with Jesus. But I want you to take a look at chapter 18:4, and I want you to realize that Jesus has done this with you. Chapter 18:4 says, "And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword, and his bow and his belt." They traded clothes. And that is what Jesus did for us. When we by faith accept His friendship, He gives us royal clothes, an adopted position in the family, a royal status, and royal privileges. Jesus gives you His righteousness, His armor to fight His battles with, and His weapons. Do not despise the great gift He has given. His friendship is there, if you will enter it.
You can apply point II in a similar way. You need to be willing to go against the crowd to be a friend with Jesus. This is not an option. James 4:4 says, "Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." If you value the world's opinion so much that you are ashamed to talk about Jesus in front of them, you are not being friends with God. The only way you will be able to be friends with king Jesus is to go against the crowd when it comes between you and Him. Will you make that commitment?
The third thing involved in friendship is delighting in Jesus. If you are bored with Jesus, it may indicate that you have not yet been regenerated. But delighting in God grows more and more as you spend time with God. Psalm 34:8 says, "Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!" He is saying that you've got to taste the relationship. Psalm 36:8 says the same thing. It says, "They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures." Not just a trickle of pleasures, but the river of God's pleasures. "Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart" (Ps. 37:4).
The fourth part of your friendship with God involves communication, just like it did with Jonathan and David.
I think that 2Chronicles 12:14 gives the clue as to why Saul could never be God's friend, even though he envied the fact that the Lord was with David. That passage says of the later Rehoboam, "he did not prepare his heart to seek the LORD." If you want to be friends with God, Isaiah 55:6 admonishes you, "Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near." Deuteronomy 4:29 says, "you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul." And part of that seeking involves praying. Zechariah describes the closeness of walk that will characterize the earth when it is full of believers. It says,
Zechariah 8:21 "The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us continue to go and pray before the LORD," And seek the LORD of hosts. I myself will go also."
Zechariah 8:22 "Yes, many peoples and strong nations Shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, And to pray before the LORD."
And of course, God loves to bless us with His friendship when we seek to communicate with Him. When I read John Owen's descriptions of communion with God, it made me realize how shallow my friendship with God really is. But it also made me motivated to seek the Lord more. Will you do so? Please, treasure His friendship.
And you could evaluate your friendship with God and with others by the other points that are in there. Do you protect God's name? Or do you use His name in vain? Some people think, "Oh, Phil! You are so tight. Why do you worry about euphemisms of God's name?" Hey! I can't change your heart, but I want you to know that you are robbing yourself when you insult God. If you want to be friends with Him, honor Him.
Do you seek to be an intermediary who reaches out to those who are estranged from God? Do you speak well of God to others? Are you willing to risk the anger of others, or even risk death for God? Do you seek the safety of His bride and seek to bring her more and more into fellowship with your ultimate friend, Jesus? If the answer is "No," or "A bit," then ask God for the grace of friendship. Tell Him that you want to be closer friends.
I thought of a number of hymns that we could sing after the service. One is "More love to thee." We're not actually going to sing that one. We are going to be singing from a Psalm instead. And I think it is a wonderful Psalm when you have lost a friend like David lost Jonathan.
But let me at least read you the words of this hymn, and then I am going to close with prayer that God would make us better friends with Him and with His bride.
The hymn says,
More love to thee, O Christ,
More love to thee!
Hear thou the prayer I make on bended knee;
This is my earnest plea,
More love, O Christ, to thee,
More love to thee, more love to thee
Once earthly joy I craved,
Sought peace and rest;
Now thee alone I seek;
Give what is best
Let sorrow do its work,
Send grief and pain;
Sweet are thy messengers,
Sweet their refrain,
When they can sing with me, more love, O Christ to thee
Then shall my latest breath
Whisper thy praise;
This be the parting cry
My heart shall raise,
This still its prayer shall be
More love, O Christ to thee,
More love thee.
Father God, we want to have more love to Thee. Oh, forgive us for the times when we have taken your friendship for granted. Forgive us for the times when we have not been a true friend to You. And by Your grace, enable us to invest in this friendship. Enable us by your grace to respond appropriately to Your Scripture promise that "you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul." We seek You this morning, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We seek a deeper walk with You. Please shed abroad in our hearts Your divine love, that we might love you with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind.
And help us to love each other within this body with the friendship you have described in these verses. Help us to value each other and to speak well of each other. You have said in John 13, "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." We want that kind of a testimony to a lost world.
And may we be those who will seek to reconcile a lost world to You. Give us such friendship with You that we will be bold to speak well of You to a lost world. Please, bless our efforts at evangelism. We love You. It has been our blessing and glory to worship You this morning. And we offer up our hearts in the strong name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.
!(./1Samuel 19-1-7/media/image1.jpeg)!(./1Samuel 19-1-7/media/image2.jpeg)!(./1Samuel 19-1-7/media/image3.jpeg)A True Friend
Bits & Pieces, January 9, 1992, pp. 1-2. ↩