Webster Dictionary defines a friend as one who holds another in high esteem, respect, and affection; a friend is one whose happiness and prosperity you desire to promote.
Jesus says, ““Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” John 15:14.
What greater treasure could a human being have than to be told by Jesus Christ that you are His friend? What does that mean? It means that I desire to entertain His pleasure because He is my friend. That means He holds me in esteem and has a desire for my affection. It means that He will promote my happiness and prosperity.
1. Show friendship to those who demonstrate hatred toward us – being a friend at all times . Why? In so doing we heap coals of fire, coals of burning love, upon their head for the purpose of melting that hatred and rebellion, so winning them with love. Jesus has laid down His life for His people. Now he wants us to love His friends, i.e., our brothers, love one another, with that same love wherein He has loved us.
2. We must respond in love as Jesus loved us even if our brother sins against us. Are we prepared to obey Christ, and shelter that sin or do we go out to see if we can destroy that brother? Our answer is vitally important. We are to show self-denying love to one another.
3. Do not speak bad about our brother. Have we carelessly spoken evil of our brother even though it may not have been with the intention of hurting him? It could have been just a loose tongue, gossip, instead of covering that sin. The Lord Jesus Christ used His blood to cover our sins. “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” James 3:8. Are we loose tongued in speaking of Jesus’ friends for whom the Father has given His Son and the Son has given His life’s blood ? That is not in keeping with the commandment of love. We violate God’s clear commandment of love which we find in Proverbs 17:9, “He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.” James 3:5 “ Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark “.
4. Forgive – When we forsake our sin and, by God’s grace, exercise a change of attitude in our hearts toward our brother at that time, we become more forgiving. We see their weaknesses and faults, but we go to him when he is alone. We speak to him in a way that heaps coals of love upon his head. We try to win him and convince him to come away from that fault rather than blare it to the world.
It is the Lord’s greatest delight when we repent. When we become renewed in the spirit of our mind, Ephesians 4:23-27, our whole desire is to do whatever we can to help our brother.
What will convict a man of his sin more than to respond with love? When we see the coals of fire our Saviour pours upon our head, to melt all our rebellion against His commandments of love and then melt our rebellion and hate against our brother and neighbor, we must follow His example to overcome evil.
It is those who do what He commands, who delight the Lord. Are you His friend?