Good morning everyone:
Remember your driver’s test at the DMV? Were you convinced that you were a good driver, but still nervous that you might not remember all the rules or that the examiner might not have the same opinion you did about your skills? Tests are often eye-openers which tell us the truth about what we know and how well we really perform.
So what if there were a test for friendship? Would you pass? How tough can it be? Most of us would probably say with some confidence that we are “friendly.” We generally try to get along with others. We don’t pick fights. We enjoy conversations and activities with others.
But then take a look at Proverbs 17:17: “A friend loves at all times.” Think of it as a one-question friendship test: Do you love at all times? “Love” here does not mean “like,” but rather is a determination to freely and completely give of oneself for the good of another. “At all times” is not an exaggeration. It doesn’t allow for an exemption when the other person doesn’t agree with you or when you just happen to be in a bad mood. “At all times” means just that: all the time every day.
None of us can pass that test. Our sinful nature often shows itself in jealousy, impatience, selfishness, and anger toward others. Even in the best of circumstances, we often set limits to our friendship and say things like, “I can’t help now. You’re asking too much. This is the last time.” Our failures at being friends condemn us before the holy God.
There is one, though, who has passed the test with a perfect score. Jesus came to be the friend we are not. He never turned anyone away and never even had an unkind thought toward anyone. He loved the world at all times. His perfect keeping of the law is our righteousness before God. He passed the test, and we get the “A” credited to our account. His sacrifice on the cross erased the guilt from our record.
Now Jesus is not only the example of true friendship for us to emulate, He is the motivation and strength for being true friends to others. To whom can you be a friend today?
Tomorrow is our annual Friendship Sunday. With the sermon text (Phil. 2:1-8), St. Paul encourages us to put Christ’s friendship into practice in our lives.
Remember, there is only one service tomorrow–9:30 a.m. The VBS children will be singing.
We hope that everyone will be able to join us, as well, tomorrow after church for the congregational picnic at Calhoun Park in New Berlin (5400 S. Calhoun Rd.). Bring along a main dish and a salad or dessert to share.
In Jesus’ name,