Last year I wrote an article called "Christ Cry - Covenant Love" . I spent a lot of time praying and thinking about what’s really dear to the heart of Jesus. We can see this in Jesus’ prayer life. His cry in prayer was for believers to love one another in such a way that they would be one like He and the Father. (John 17:20-21). An amazing cry, since very few marriages in America have this kind of relationship. This sad statistic is true even in the Church in America with a 50% divorce rate. Nonetheless, this oneness is true covenant love and being a true friend is the Lord’s desire. This is the very petition that Christ cried out for in prayer right before His death. I have been meditating on what kind of a person I should be in Christ - a person that actually brings a delight to my Lord’s heart. He wants us to relationally fulfill His prayer. I am convinced that very few ministers experience this kind of fulfillment with others in the Church. Ministers really need friends, too. It should be true in our marriages, with our children, and even with extended family members. The Lord desires this kind of truly deep-level committed friendships to become more of a reality in our lives instead of something that is a rarity. This must begin with our own motivation to be a covenant friend, like Him:
- A covenant friend who really loves you by covering your sin.
- A covenant friend who really helps you by overcoming sin.
- A friend who loves you for the rest of your life and will always be there for you.
- A friend who is there for you when you are going through life’s hardest times.
- A covenant friend who will give you wise counsel and tell you the Truth instead of manipulating you.
- A covenant friend who will listen to you when you need to get the pain of your heart out in the open even when you’re wrong.
- A real friend who is a source of comfort in times of grief and pain.
- A real friend who is a source of challenge to you to be like Christ in your emotional pain.
- A faithful friend who gives the grace of God to strengthen and encourage your soul.
- A faithful friend who has the mercy of God to give hope to your soul.
- A caring friend who is able to truly share life’s deepest emotions with you.
- A caring friend with whom you are able to share your life’s deepest hopes, dreams and desires without rejection.
- A compassionate friend who weeps with you when you are weeping.
- A passionate friend who laughs with you when you are laughing.
- A reliable friend who has the capacity to be a secret keeper with your deepest secrets.
- A trustworthy friend with whom you are able to share your life’s deepest secrets and feel confident that he or she will always love you.
To be a covenant friend you MUST love Christ first, – And a covenant friend, is willing to lay down his life for you because he has truly known the love of Christ.
Are You Really A Covenant Friend?
Are you a real covenant friend like Christ desires? "He who desires friends, must himself first be friendly." Proverbs 18:24a A true friend loves at ALL times. Proverbs 17:17 "There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24b This friend will never fail you, His name is Jesus. JESUS CHRIST will always be your friend, even when you are not friendly, or when others fail you. However, HIS goal for our lives is that we would bless His life by answering His prayer in John 17 for Covenant Love to be manifested – "We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And He has given us this command: Whoever loves God MUST also love his brother. 1 John 4:19-21 NIV Do we really believe - "No greater love than this, than a man lay down his life for his friend." John 15:13?
Please read the first article in this series -"Christ's Cry - Covenant Love!"
Look back to find the next article in this series - Living Out The Covenant Life####, part 3 of 3.