Summary: Last week I asked what love had to do with my relationship with my family, my spouse and my kids. Today, I’ll be looking at what love has to do with my relationship with my friends, the church and the lost.
WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?
INTRODUCTION: Two Sundays ago I asked what love had to do with salvation, my relationship with God, my relationship with others and my service to God. Last week I focused on what love had to do with my relationship with my family, my spouse and my kids. Today, I’ll be looking at what love has to do with my relationship with my friends, the church and the lost.
What’s love got to do with my relationship with…
1) My friends?
Friends rejoice with one another. Luke 15:8-10, “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
When something good happens to us we like to tell our friends. And if I’m a true, loving friend I will rejoice with you. It’s easy to be jealous of a friend who receives a blessing and we don’t feel too enthusiastic about sharing their joy. But that’s why love is so important. Love will allow me to be happy for you. Love will enable me to rejoice with you instead of being resentful toward you. Instead of viewing your joy as excessive celebration I’ll be high-fiving right along with you.
And, as the last verse says, we especially rejoice with our friends when they come to Christ! That’s definitely some cause for excessive celebration! That’s the greatest thing that could ever happen to one of our friends and being a loving friend means we are sharing with them the treasure of finding Christ.
But here’s something we need to watch out for. We might spend a lot of time talking to our friend about Christ and it seems to not be doing any good and then along comes someone else who talks to them about Jesus and all of a sudden they are receptive and want to get saved. We can feel slighted over that and if we’re not careful we can lose focus on what’s most important. However, if we’re a loving friend we will push that aside and rejoice with our friend because it doesn’t matter whether it’s because of our work with them or someone else’s; what matters is that they become born-again.
We pray for our friends-even if they haven’t been a true friend to us. That’s what job did. His friends did little more than add to his misery. However, at the end of it all, Job prayed for them. Job 42:7-10, “After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer. After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.”
It’s not too hard to pray for our friends when they are loving towards us but how easy is it to pray for them when they’ve wronged us? I would think that it was probably very difficult for Job to pray for these three so-called friends. If it were me I would’ve been tempted to pray for God to turn the tables on them and see how they liked it. But, we see just what kind of friend Job was-he was obedient to God’s will. We may have a friend who gets us upset, lets us down or even betrays us. If we love them we will pray for them. That doesn’t mean there won’t be damage to the relationship but even if there isn’t reconciliation I still need to forgive and pray-that’s what a loving friend does.
Prov. 17:17 says that a friend loves at all times. Loving at all times means that in good times or bad a true friend doesn’t stop loving. There’s a saying that goes, a true friend is the one who walks in when everyone else is walking out. A loving friend is not a fickle friend; a fair-weathered friend. Loving you at all times means I’m willing to be there for you when it’s inconvenient; like when I’m watching the Giants game. Actually, the way they’ve been playing lately I would welcome the interruption.