Enjoy this guest post by Tim Lale, our Prayer Ministries Coordinator at Spencerville Church. Tim is a great writer and has edited many of our global church’s publications. We’re pleased to feature his writing here on the website. —Pastor Jason
Several years ago, I quit using Facebook after ten years of activity. I deleted my account completely, and I have not missed it. One reason I don’t miss it is that my friends are still my friends.
Allow me to explain. Facebook created a strange phenomenon: the connection with people on my “friend” list whom I had never actually met. Are they my friends? In the general Christian sense, they are my “neighbor” in how I look at fellow human beings. I wished them God’s blessings and a place in His kingdom. Who is my friend? Who is your friend? How do you decide?
The friendship I could spend more time working on is my friendship with Jesus. Long ago, I thought of Him as someone I had “friended” but never met. I used to think of Him as the One who lived long ago and died for my sake. He was the One who kindly sent the Holy Spirit to be present here, to provide for and guide and enable me to get through this life.
He is the One who’s taking my prayers to the Father, mediating for me in the matter of my sins in the heavenly sanctuary.
Someone said to me years ago, “You can’t make old friends.” We love our old friends because they’ve been there so long. We trust them and value them, and they are still fixtures in our lives. We seek them out often. “A friend loves at all times.” (Proverbs 17:27)
Ellen White says in The Acts of the Apostles that after Pentecost, the disciples could preach about Jesus with such intensity and certainty because they were His friends. After Jesus had left them and delivered on His promise of the Holy Spirit, they understood exactly what kind of friends they were to Him. He had become their old Friend, their trustworthy Friend—the Friend who would save them and deliver them into His coming kingdom. They finally understood His perfect, loving intentions for them.
Jesus is not someone I “friended” because He’s just a friend of a friend, or He seems okay because of the friends we have in common. He reached out to me and acted like a true friend. He’s setting up a place for me and anyone who wants to be His friend, a place to be with Him. We are going to meet soon. He’s got it all planned out. All of the plans He has in mind for us—they tell me how to live now. I anticipate our friendship getting better and better, and it will be an eternally happy friendship.