“I’ll Be a Friend …”

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16). What a beautiful verse! As Christians, we have the commandment to, “Give diligence to pre- sent thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth” (2 TImothy 2:15) and it is that word that we study that we “teach and admonish” each other with. We are to have the wisdom to know what we are teaching one another. One song that we sing is called “I’ll Be A Friend To Jesus.” This is a beautiful song, but do we really live according to its message?

“They tried my Lord and Master, with no one to defend; Within the halls of Pilate he stood without a friend. The world may turn against Him, I’ll love Him to the end; And while on earth I’m living, my Lord shall have a friend.”

What power are contained in these verses! Jesus’ trial is mentioned and the fact that he had no one stand with Him. During this time is when His very own disciples forsook Him and Peter denied Him three times. He was truly on His own in the trial. The second verse, that we all sing, states that we will fill that void. Where is the void? The void is with Jesus in His trial. In 1 Peter 3:15 we are charged to, “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” Do we have the Lord sanctified in our hearts and are we ready to answer every man that asks us the reason for our hope? When asked about our faith do we stand up and defend Jesus? Or do we deny Him with our silence? Or do we deny Him openly like Peter did?

“I’ll do what He may bid me; I’ll go where He may send. I’ll try each flying moment to prove that I’m His friend.” The third verse brings us deeper into our confessions of allegiance to Christ. How much do we love Christ? Christ tells us that, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Are we willing to do ALL that is asked of us, such as, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Matthew 6:19-20) or “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:39)? Can the world tell that we are Christians? Do we stand up and defend the words of Jesus when they are attacked? Brethren, if there is no difference between us and those around us then we are in one of three conditions: alone, among Christians or in danger of Hell’s fire. If those of the world cannot tell there is a difference between you and them, there is a problem. We are not teaching like we should be or we are not living like we should be. The third verse also states that, “I’ll try each flying moment to prove that I’m His friend.” When a brother or sister in Christ in being persecuted for the faith, do we come to their aid or watch in cowardice? Our place is by that Christian’s side boldly being a friend to that person and our Lord and Saviour who is watching us from Heaven. I pray that everyone of us will unite together for every cause of Christ! In the classroom, workplace, home or wherever the Devil presents Himself. We are assured that if we, “Resist the devil, and he will flee” from us (James 4:7). If we idly watch as a brother or sister is under attack for the Faith, the devil is fleeing from them, but He has you!

I leave you with the last verse of this beautiful song and ask that we all, “look into the perfect law of liberty, and continue therein” (James 1:25). “To all who need a Saviour, my Friend I recommend, Because He bro’t salvation, Is why I am His friend. I’ll be a friend to Jesus; my life for Him I’ll spend! I’ll be a friend to Jesus; Until my years shall end!”

Jeremy Ferguson

Bible Lectureship

(March 17-20, 2024)

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