REPOST Today’s AMI Devotional, provided by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego, was first posted on April 10, 2015. Peter is a graduate of University of California, Riverside (BA) and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“The Worth of Friendship”
1 Samuel 23:15-18
While David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, he learned that[a] Saul had come out to take his life. 16 And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God. 17 “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.” 18 The two of them made a covenant before the Lord. Then Jonathan went home, but David remained at Horesh.
How much value do you place in a friend? Like many of us, you probably value some friends more than others. So how much value do you place in your Facebook friends? Researchers calculated that a Facebook friend is worth $174.17 (in 2013). It turns out that every time you “like” or “friend” a brand or a business, your actions are worth exactly $174.17 to that brand. Do you believe that is your worth to your friends? In an age of social networking hysteria, have you made some meaningful friendships—the kind where there is mutual giving and receiving of care, concern, and love? Do you have friends where you are not merely held accountable for your weaknesses, but where you are covered and given grace when that weakness shows?
David and Jonathan shared a deep friendship that was defined by a covenant before the Lord. One can imagine how exhausted and discouraged David must have been as he sought refuge from King Saul. David had to live in caves and the wilderness, fleeing from one place to another, never knowing rest. But on this day, though brief, refreshing encouragement came to David through his friend Jonathan (King Saul’s son). Technically, Jonathan should have been the next rightful heir to the throne and all of its power and wealth. Yet, Jonathan knew that David would be the next king over Israel, and he would be David’s second. Jonathan was a loyal and trustworthy friend—a friend that would stick closer than a brother who would have laid his own life for David. I hardly think that David saw Jonathan’s estimated worth as being $174.17. I’m certain that David truly valued Jonathan.
Generations later, Jesus said a few words about what it means to be a friend. Jesus shared, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Soon afterwards, He laid down his own life so that we might be forgiven, strengthened, and become His friends. As you would with a good friend, spend some time deepening your friendship with Jesus today.
Prayer: Jesus, I would like to spend this day deepening my relationship with You. In everything that I do today, whether at home, work, or school, allow me to sense Your living presence, thoughts, and affections. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Ephesians 4
Lunch Break Study
Read Prov. 17:17: A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity; Prov. 18:24: One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother;
Prov. 27:6: Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
Questions to Consider
- What are some qualities that define a biblical view of friendship?
- How can the absence of meaningful friendship affect your life negatively?
- Think of a person at your school or work who may need a friend. Pray about reaching out to that person.
- True friends can be counted on when faced with adversity. They remain loyal, even more than some family members. And even if it hurts, they will tell you the truth.
- You may have to face adversity alone. On the other hand, having unreliable friends land you in ruin. Also, without meaningful friendships, you may live in self-delusion.
- Personal response
Think about a few friends that you truly value. Spend some time communicating your gratitude for their friendship. If you know a friend who is in need of strength, pray for and share some words of encouragement.