Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Pastor's Ponderings, May 28, 2019

Let's Be A Friend Like Jesus

Aladdin, a 1992 American animated musical fantasy film, has a song made famous by Robin Williams called, “Friend Like Me.” The blue genie sings about all of the benefits that he can provide to the main character and then in the last line of his song the genie reminds him, “You ain't never had a friend like me, hah!” 

While we may enjoy the antics of this fantasy genie, Alan Jackson wrote the classic entitled, “What a Friend We Have In Jesus.” A few of the powerful lyrics are, “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grieves to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.” When we have Jesus as a friend, He is like no other.  Because He loved mankind so much, He laid down His life for the world (John 15:13).  He went to the painful cross, a sacrifice for the sins of all of mankind, all for the joy of it (Hebrews 12:2).

Jesus is our perfect example. The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, elected to be with the sinners when He could have reigned in the palaces (Mark 2:16-17). Jesus will stick closer to us than anyone (Proverbs 18:24). Can we temporarily eschew the good life to talk with societal outcasts?  Are we willing to be friends to the friendless, to comfort those who are rejected and sad, or to drop by the jails just to befriend a prisoner who has lost hope? Are we willing to sacrifice our comfort, our income, our position, status, or respect for those who have none of these things? 

We have never had a friend like Jesus who sees us at our worst and who looks beyond our faults and sees our needs.  Can we be friendly to someone who really needs us?  Someone needs us as a friend. Please let it be you and me.

John 15:13
New International Version (NIV)
13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Hebrews 12:2
New International Version (NIV)
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Mark 2:16-17
New International Version (NIV)
16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Proverbs 18:24
New International Version (NIV)
24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

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