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A Friend Indeed! Living In Abundance (Jn. 10:10b), October 2013

In human nature we have diverse described relationships. The exact meaning(s) of such relationships often become embedded in the names that they bear. We have brothers, sisters, cousins, fathers, mothers, child/children, mates, colleagues. Then we have friends and enemies. I have come to realize that of all those, with respect to exclusivity, it is only friendship and enmity that tend to describe the presence or absence of love. This means, for instance that you can still describe someone as somebody’s father, even where love doesn’t exist between father and child. The fact that a mother hates her daughter wouldn’t make her any less the biological mother to the daughter; a mother would be the mother no matter what. In other words, that you hate your child doesn’t in any way change the fact that, you are the child’s parent. However, the same cannot be said to be true of friendship. It must contain love. You must pass simple, litmus, test to be considered another person’s friend; you must love your friend. There must be something about that individual that you tend to like or would like to be associated with. If that attribute is not there, friendship may not be said to exist.

You may say to me “Well pastor, can that be true in all cases? What of a pretender; a fake friend or a friend who is now an enemy?” Friendship must be true and real at all times for it to be considered as friendship. The moment it ceases to be true, it instantly becomes another relationship which could better be described as enmity with hate as an inherent characteristic. Consider this scenario; Jack had a childhood friend called Jill who supported and loved him at all times. Jack loved his friend Jill so much that he practically trusted his whole life with his friend. However, Jill took advantage of that and betrayed Jack. Can a real friend do that, you may ask? Let’s reason together. If we understand the concept of friendship we would realize that Jill didn’t really betray Jack’s trust as a friend. The very moment Jill decided to betray his friend, he instantly stopped being a friend and became an enemy. In other words the moment Jill decided to betray Jack, that major irreducible characteristic of friendship; love disappeared and was instantly replaced by hate. That implies that Jill betrayed Jack, not necessarily as a friend but as a ‘friendly’ enemy. This is what happens in all cases where there seems to be betrayal by friends. They don’t exactly betray others as friends. Rather they act instantaneously, as true and active, new-convert, on-the-moment enemies. This is not the case with the other naturally biological relationships. Your father is your father no matter what. If I am a brother to someone, I will remain the person’s brother for life, no matter what; whether he loves or hates me. The effect is that we may have brothers and sisters, who are very closely related but yet they are not our friends. In fact some brothers are strong enemies of each other. In the same way, the fact that someone is another’s son doesn’t make both father and son friends.  The world is full of stories of enemy- children and enemy- parents. Yet it is better to have relatives who are friends than to have those who are enemies.

I would rather want to have a father who is a friend; a mother who is a friend; a brother who is also a friend. This means that friendship is at a much higher level of relationship than just being someone’s brother or sister; father or mother. A brother or sister or anyone else may forsake you, but a true friend will never leave you; a true friend will never abandon you, no matter what. True friendship is not based on the availability or lack of earthly, mundane things such as money, power, beauty, status etc. True friendship is based on love; pure agape love. A true friend will be with his friend at times of surplus and at times of lack; at times of health and times of sickness; at times of joy and at times of sadness. False and fake friends don’t have such understanding and patience. There must always be something for them in the relationship to make them stay. It is either money, or power, status or health etc. The moment that connecting ‘commodity’ is no longer there, an untrue friend would become an enemy. This is automatic. There are no uncertainties about it. The instant the earthly fleshy attraction or attribute fades away or ceases to exist in a relationship to a friend, who was never true, that fellow turns into an enemy. You don’t know who your friends are at seasons of abundance and prosperity. No you don’t. Wait until lack comes. You don’t know who your real friends are when you still have a job and an effective means of livelihood; wait until there is no more job. By extension, you don’t know who your real friends are in health and peace. Wait until there is ill health and trouble.

David had a friend in Jonathan who was a son to Saul; David’s enemy. Jonathan loved his friend and refused to betray him no matter what. David was a man from another family and yet Jonathan rather preferred to help his friend to live instead of supporting his father to do evil (1Sam. 18:1-4, 19:4).Elisha displayed what friends do for each other when he bluntly refused to leave his master; Elijah to travel alone. (2 Kgs. 2:1-2). Mortal Man can fail; a mother can betray her daughter; a son can fail his father and vice versa; an earthly friend can decide to turn into an enemy. However, there is a real friend who cannot fail. He has been our friend for over 2000 years. He is the hope of the hopeless; a father to the fatherless; a husband to the widow; the hope of the poor; the strength of the powerless; He is peace to the restless and troubled. He is Jesus Christ of Nazareth. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In Jn 15:15. Jesus calls us His friends. He gives us the assurance that he will never forsake us. When we pass through fire we have the assurance that we will not be consumed because Jesus is with us. Whatever situation we find ourselves in, Jesus will be there with us (Isa.43:1-2). Jesus is a friend indeed!

Friend, I don’t know about you, but when I look back at my life; when I look back at the life of my family on this planet so far, I give Jesus the Glory. He has been a true and caring friend every inch of the way. I don’t know what would have become of me if not for Jesus Christ. I probably would be physically dead, if not for Jesus Christ. But I found Jesus and he saved my life; both literally and eternally. Jesus has never deceived me; He has never disappointed me. Never! He has never forsaken me and my family; He has kept every promise; He has indeed been a true father and above all He has indeed been my true friend. There is no lying in Him.

I thank my Lord and Savior, for remaining a true friend indeed. As I look back, I want to thank every individual that Jesus used as a vessel to draw me closer to Himself. They are too numerous to mention here. I mean, at the early stages, I will not forget my Course mate in the University. He would run after me at the end of class and invite me to Christian fellowships on campus. Even when I wouldn’t honor Frank’s invitation to attend those student fellowships on campus, he kept hope alive, he continued, without any success until, we left the University. Little did he know that several years later, just as he predicted, I would not only become a believer in the gospel of peace, I would now become a humble preacher of the same word that he preached on campus; the same word that he was chasing me about with. The same word that sounded foolish then, is now the source and power of my salvation, redemption and existence. I remember the very first day; we attended the Redeemed Christian Church of God.  Pastor Adewunmi, the parish pastor of that local church, took us in, not only as his children but as his friends. He told us the truth. He later took us to the Redemption Camp of the church for the very first time. He made sure that I heard one of the best teachings and preaching ever; a preaching that changed my life. A preaching that brought me closer to God. I heard that preaching of the General Overseer, in the Camp for the first time. I will ever remain grateful.

Friend, who is God to you? What is Jesus to you? Is he just a source of your anointing; your assurance for life tomorrow; your ticket to the next meal; your open door to the next prosperity and abundance; your source of power? Is he just a father to you? Or is He really your friend? I encourage you to rather make Jesus your friend today. When you do, you will discover that what you have, is a friend indeed.

If you have not given your life to Christ please do so now for tomorrow might be too late.

God bless you.

Pastor Fidelis Nwachukwu

RCCG Throne of Grace Parish

317 Woodpoint Ave.,

Hagerstown MD 21740, USA

Email: rccgthroneofgraceparish@ymail.com

Website: http://www.rccgthroneofgraceusa.org


Posted on Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 07:31am