Sir Godfrey Gregg
Proverbs 18:24 – A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
I like the more literal translations which translate this as: “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
This translation reminds me of the friendship we should seek above all others. It is friendship with our Saviour and Lord, Jesus. Jesus told the disciples that they were his friends if they did what He told them to do. Jesus said, “Greater love has no man than this: that a man would lay down His life for His friends.”
Jesus is the perfect friend. He is loyal, He is concerned for us, He has shown His love for us, He can help us (and will) in any situation. He never betrays us. Can we follow the perfect example of a true friend? If we cannot, then we can make the effort to try.
In one sense we need to understand that when Jesus came to earth and gave His life as a payment for our sin, He was sending us a “friend request”. He invited us to join Him in a relationship that would change us, strengthen us, and remake us forever.
Have you entered into such a relationship with Jesus? I hope you have a best friend in life. However, that friend cannot begin to compare to Jesus. He is always with you, He cares for you more than you can even imagine, He is committed to you, and He has done for you what no one else can do.
He calls you to respond to His friend request. Embrace Him as your Saviour and Lord. Confess your sin and receive His forgiveness and transforming love.
We forget that friendship is God’s idea. This is why it is so foolish to hear people say, “I don’t want to go to Heaven because all my friends will be in Hell.” If that is true, it is one of the saddest things you could ever say. Besides, this idea that Hell will be one raucous party is very mistaken. Hell is where the presence and gifts of God are removed. People in Hell have essentially said they do not want to live under the Lord’s authority. So, Hell will give people what they desire.
However, Hell will be a place without friendships, laughter, joy, pleasure, peace or any other of the things that are gifts from God. Every good gift comes from God (and a good friend is a gift from God). If we live apart from Him, we also live apart from the gifts He bestows.