Time For Friends

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” 
(Genesis 2:18)
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  
(John 15:12-13)
38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” 39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.  
(John 1:38-39)
If lockdown has taught us anything, it’s the truth of God’s statement that it isn’t healthy for any of us to be alone. Last week, we looked at marriage as a form of deep companionship that God created so that people might reflect the glory of the Trinity and of the love relationship between Jesus and the Church. This week, we are going to look at some of the other deep relationships that God has given us to reflect his glory. When Jesus looks for the greatest expression of human love, in John 15, he doesn’t speak about marriage. He talks about the deep love that exists within human friendship. Many people idolise marriage, but the single man Jesus insists that our friendships are not second-best to marriage. They are a primary way in which we can reflect God’s glory!

Jesus did more than simply talk about the importance of friendship. He also modelled how to be a good friend. The first time he met Andrew and John, he he cleared his diary to be with them. He had a bigger to-do list than any of us, but we are told that “They spent that day with him.” Jesus wants to teach us that friendship is spelt T-I-M-E.

Through lockdown, many of us have discovered just how painful loneliness can feel. It is a kind of emotional poverty. It may not starve our bellies, but it starves our souls. That’s one of the reasons why what God challenged us a few weeks ago about observing sabbaths and margins and rhythms in our lives. God is calling us to make time for one another and to see our friendships as a primary way in which we get to reflect his glory. God is Trinity. He lives in community and he created us to live in community too. He is calling all of us to make time for friends.
1)   Who did you most miss seeing during lockdown? How can you deepen your friendship with them now?

2)  If your answer to that question was that you don’t have all that many friends, then how would you like God to help you change that? How would you like him to help you to become a friend to others?

3)   In Acts 28:2, we are told that some strangers “showed unusual kindness” to the Apostle Paul and quickly became his friends. Bring some specific people to the Lord and ask him to help you to show unusual kindness to them.
Father God, thank you that you created me to reflect your glory through the way in which I interact with my friends. Help me to show unusual kindness to the friends I have. Help me also to show unusual kindness to the other people all around me, so that I might turn many strangers and acquaintances into friends, all for your glory Lord. Amen.
If you have time, consider carrying on your conversation with God using one of our helpful Prayer Pathways.

Today’s Everyday Devotions have also inspired a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube channel