A Friend In Jesus

Not too long ago, the Lord impressed upon my heart the importance of prayer. And, although I know it was personal, yet this impression has stuck with me so unrelentingly that I felt I should share it here for the sake of someone who might be in such need as I was. And the way God works is indeed marvellous and strange, for it is not I thought I had a need. But but the Lord impressed upon me that I ought to pray, and it was then that it dawned on me that I truly had a need – the need to pray!

Actually, the impression came in the form of a familiar song. On this particular occasion, the words of a song that I had sang for so long that it had become mundane to me became the sweetest words of any song that I had ever heard or sang! The song took me to a new level of faith, literally. Ultimately, I discovered that I had the truest Friend in Jesus.

Since then, I have shared this song with my family and with some members of my church, and although they are accustomed to singing it every so often, this time round I could see the power it had over their lives. So I thought, There might be someone out there, besides us here, who needs some encouragement in this regard. Hence my decision to share it on this blog. I share it with a prayer.

May the Lord bless everyone who has a need tonight and may He hearken to your cry. And may you discover, like I did, the meaning of the word “friend” in Jesus Christ.

Jesus – Our True Friend

Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. Prov. 27:17

Hello there again. Today we will look at a subject that has been on my heart for a while: Who is our true friend?

There are people who call the dog man’s best friend. Actually, the faithfulness of this animal is legendary. It is known to do exactly as you tell it to, and it sticks as close to its owner as their own skin. Dogs have even been known to save their owners from certain death. But thank God, a dog’s life is just that: a dog’s life; and we cannot carry this reasoning into the church. For all the faithfulness it is famed for, there is one thing the dog cannot do: it cannot save you from eternal death. In fact, no one can save you from eternal death, except One: our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

In the Spirit, Jesus is therefore our true friend. Jesus does not appear to us physically; but we know Him through the circumstances that He allows us to pass through. And here on earth, Jesus has given us many like-minded friends – brothers and sisters in Christ who will show us and coax us along the narrow road, the road of denying self and taking up our cross.

This scripture is therefore speaking of Christ, ultimately. It is Christ who tells us:

“For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake…” (Phil. 1:29)

Notice, Christ does not tell us to only believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake. The reason for this is because God’s wisdom stated long ago in Proverbs that

“Iron sharpeneth iron”.

Believing alone does not sharpen us. Suffering does that work. Suffering for Christ, or Christian suffering, sharpens our spiritual countenance.

The No. 1 gospel in the world today is the “faith message”; but it is a message that twists God’s truth. This message teaches that all we need to do is to believe. That is all that is required of us. Once we believe, this message states, we will be able to receive God’s best for us, both in this world and thereafter in heaven.

But God’s truth states that we are not only to believe on Christ here on earth, but also to suffer for His sake. That is the full Christian message. If someone were to pay me a half-salary all my life, imagine the amount of money they would have robbed me of! That is what the “faith” or “only believe” message has been doing to believers all their lives. It has been robbing them of God’s best for them. But Christ will never rob us. That is why He has brought the revelation of the cross to the church. The message of the cross pays the church its full spiritual dues. That is why the Apostle Paul also would teach no other gospel than

“Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2:2)

As he also tells the Galatians in Galatians 3:1:

“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?”

As I said earlier, Christ also gives us true earthly friends. No, these are not the people that you laugh with and with whom you have a good time together. On the contrary, these are probably the people whom you would not call “friends” here on earth. They are the people who will tell you the truth, however painful or bitter it may be. That should include your wife or husband. (In fact, if you have a Godly wife, she can be your best friend on earth. Your wife knows all your weaknesses and by God’s help she can become your best helper).

True friends are the people who will rebuke you and put you on the right path of righteousness. They are people like your pastor (if he is a man whose faith is founded on the revelation of the cross). As we can see in his letters both to the Corinthians and to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul was such a man.

Sometimes you hear things that make your ears to literally tingle. I recently overheard a pastor (one of the many new ‘prophets’) tell his congregation, “We are not going to drive cars; we are going to drive machines!”

He meant God wants us to own Hummers, Bentleys, Mercedes Benzes; not the Toyota Corollas that jam Tanzanian roadways.

Such a pastor cannot claim to be your friend. In fact, he is an enemy and a deadly one. The Bible says:

And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you…” (2 Pet. 2:3)

Such a “friend” will fleece you here on earth and ultimately lead you to hell through teaching you to have the same covetous spirit that he has.

Jesus is our true friend. As iron sharpeneth iron, so does Christ us. Christ will bring in our way circumstances that will only sharpen us spiritually. He will bring in our way things that will shake our spirits to the core.

As Christ sharpeneth us spiritually, so do Godly brothers and sisters in Christ. And so do our Godly wives and husbands. And so do the men and women who, like Paul, preach no other gospel save the message of the cross – the revelation of

“Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”

[The lyrics to the following song (by Google Translate)

“There is a happiness that sings in me,

And that gives me joy.

Without which I can not live, for which I want to live.

The Prince of equity has freed me from iniquity.

Changed my identity, my name is redeemed.

Where would I go far from You,

The one we call Emmanuel.

My happiness and my joy, my all in all.

My precious and personal property

My friend, my heart, my Jesus.

 

My Jesus, I have no other than you Lord / x2

 

Your love in me remains,

Your presence in me abides, I want to belong to you.

As a seal in our hearts,

Be engraved the name of my Jesus.

Where would I go far from You,

The one we call Emmanuel.

My happiness and my joy, my all in all.

My precious and personal property

My friend, my heart, my Jesus.

My Jesus, I have no other than you Lord / x2

My Jesus Your love in me abides,

Your presence in me abides, I want to belong to you.]