Will You Be My Friend? Radical Grace from the Book of Romans (5:5b)


Making friends isn't always easy!

When we were still newlyweds, my wife’s best friend invited us over to spend the evening with them. We had no idea that someone else was also invited, someone who would explain to us the multi-level marketing opportunity of the century. Unsure what to do, we thought, “Why not?” After all, we could stand to supplement our meager salaries!

Unfortunately, neither of us are good at sales. We didn’t make any money, and before long we left that multi-level marketing golden opportunity of the century to enjoy life as it should be enjoyed.

And even more unfortunately, this brought an end to my wife’s friendship with her best friend.

It would seem that friends aren’t always for life anymore.

The only true friendship that will stick with us no matter what, is our friendship with our Heavenly Father. Who else could claim: “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Rom 5:5b, NIV2)

I wonder why indifference is so prevalent in today’s society? And why has this kind of lukewarmness also invaded the church?

“For many others, the overwhelming spread of evil will do them in—nothing left of their love but a mound of ashes.” (Matt 24:12 ,MSG)

We have become indifferent because wickedness has spread so fast that we find ourselves in a position where we need to protect ourselves. We have to think of our own security first! Swindlers are on the rise, thieves in disguise, trying to rob us from anything we may have, no matter how small. Before we know it, love disappears from our lives and we become indifferent, playing right into the hand of the evil one.

What can be done?

“Staying with it—that's what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won't be sorry, and you'll be saved.” (Matt 24:13 ,MSG)

If we “stay with it”, walking in the steps of Jesus Himself, we won’t be able to stop ourselves from genuinely loving those who hurt, those who feel lost, those who need help. “All during this time, the good news—the Message of the kingdom—will be preached all over the world, a witness staked out in every country. And then the end will come.” (Matt 24:14 ,MSG)

Sadly, many don’t even believe in God’s Holy Spirit. They think He is a kind of force and have no clue who He truly is. But for those who know Him, God’s love is pertinent in our lives, for His love reigns in us as He lives in us. Wow! What a gift God has bestowed on us, a gift that has sealed our friendship forever!

“The Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:17 ,NIV2)

It’s time that we wake up from our stupor and see what truly matters in this world. Real friendship does not depend on what we can get out of it. It’s about unselfish love, a love that Jesus clearly portrayed when He willingly died on a cross, so that we could experience eternity with Him. We don’t need to be strangers with our Heavenly Father any longer. He has re-established our communication with Him, and oh, what a friend He truly is! His Holy Spirit is a gift of His love, as we never have to face anything alone any more. God is with us and within us! Thank you Lord for loving us so much!

Afterword: Just after writing this devotional, my wife and I went to church. After the service, I heard someone say, “Rob, is that really you?” As I turned, I met a colleague who works not too far from me who does an outstanding job with the Christian club at her local high school. Excited to see me, she quickly introduced me to her husband, saying: “He is my friend!”

There is real friendship out there, friendship that goes beyond human norms. It comes directly from our Forever Friend. We can’t help but be excited with such friendship.

Thank you Lord for providing real friends who have our best interest at heart. Bless each one of them, that they may fully know You intimately. In His love. Amen!

The golden opportunity of all ages is, after all, discovering our Forever Friend who resides in us. Wow!

Will you be my friend?

Rob Chaffart

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