A Friend Who Sticks Closer Than A Brother

 

Nothing compares to having a friend with the same driving purpose in life that you have. I recently had the distinct privilege and honor to travel to Frisco Texas with a wonderful group of friends from my church. I was among a group of men from Enjoy Church in Alton, Illinois that attended The Ultimate Warrior Men’s Conference that was recently held at Elevate Life Church in Frisco Texas. Frisco is a suburb located just outside the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  The conference which was held over a weekend was one of the most refreshing, fun, and inspirational church related experiences that I have ever been involved in.

The experiences that I shared while attending the conference with the men’s group from my church not only left me inspired, but it reminded me of a very important truth when it comes to my Christian walk.  It reminded me that I need the comradery and friendship of other Christian like-minded friends to serve as a support network as I navigate the journey of living the God-first life that I have set out on. The group of men that I was with during our time in Frisco is a group of guys that are truly men with a heart after God.  Spending the weekend fellowshiping, worshiping God, sharing our hearts, and praying together reminded me that friends are a gift from God to us, and that God has a way of placing the right people in our path of life.  During the men’s retreat to Texas, I had the opportunity to get to know some of the men that I had not really become all that acquainted with, and I also had the chance to cement the friendship of some of those that I had already come to know. As I fellowshiped, laughed, dined out, prayed, and worshiped with our group over the weekend that we shared together, I found myself thanking God on several occasions for good friends. No one in life was meant to be an island.

One night while on our trip, as we were all gathered around a table at Pizza Hut, God began to speak to me. As I sat among my friends and ate pizza, relishing in the great fellowship and laughter that we were all absorbed in, I realized that these men were more than friends. The reality that these men were my Brothers in Christ was in a fleeting moment ingrained in my mind and spirit. Even as God spoke to me and reminded me of the kindred spirit and the brotherhood in the Spirit that we all shared, I was also reminded by God of another truth. All of these men that I was surrounded by as we stuffed our faces with pizza and laughed that night are outstanding men, and all of them would do anything for any of the others or me. I was, and still am completely convinced that the men I was with would give the shirt off of their back if they needed to in order to help another among the brotherhood. As these reflections and thoughts flooded into my mind, at that very same moment  I was reminded that these men were my Brothers, and I was also reminded of something else.

I was reminded that I’m human, that my friends are all human, and that we are all subject to fail. Because we are all prone to make mistakes, we are also prone to disappoint each other and let one another down from time to time. None of us are perfect. We get moody sometimes. We get selfish sometimes. We get insensitive sometimes. There are days when we are too tired or stressed out to care about anything other than getting through the day. It’s on days like this that the “Brotherhood” that I was sensing among us all would from time to time temporarily lose the luster and become tarnished.  I was reminded at that very moment that I would without a doubt fail my friends occasionally and that they would fail me as well. None of us would ever want to do anything to disappoint any of the others or to violate the unspoken codes of our brotherhood and friendship. Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that we are all imperfect beings with a propensity to make mistakes occasionally and to fail. As I sat among my friends and began to realize that I would from time to time fail my brothers, and that they would fail me, God spoke to me very clearly. God reminded me of a truth that is written in his Word. God reminded me of something that is written in the Book of Proverbs. In Proverbs we are told, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24 English Standard Version) When God reminded me of this I felt an overwhelming peace filter into my mind and heart. It reminded me that we have the ability to have a personal and intimate friendship with Jesus Christ; a man who came to earth, lived as a mortal man, endured every type of trial and temptation that we could ever face, and He never failed. Jesus never failed and He never will because He is literally God. Jesus, just like God His Father is perfect. Jesus can do many things, but unlike you and me, He is unable to fail. Reflecting on this truth encouraged me because it reminded me that even when my brothers might fail me, and even when the bonds of our friendships may wane, Jesus would never fail me. In the same respect, there may be times that I will disappoint my brothers, and my effectiveness as a supporter for my friends may be diminished, but there is one who they have full access to that will never fail them. That one is Jesus Christ. I’m happy knowing that because I want nothing but the very best for my friends and brothers, and I want to see them fulfill their God intended destiny. I may not always be strong and supportive for them along their journey, but Jesus will never fail them.  Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He never changes. He never changes because He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and The End, The Bright and Morning Star, The Way, The Truth, and the Life, and He is the Author and Finisher of our Faith! Jesus never fails!

As you read this, I want to encourage you that no matter what you will ever face in life, and no matter how alone you may ever feel during your journey through life, there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother and He is indeed your friend. His name is Jesus. Jesus loves you like no other! Your friends may occasionally fail you, your family may fail you, the government may fail you, but Jesus never will! The Bible tells us, “Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13 King James Version) Jesus did that for us…while we were yet sinners He loved us enough to consider us His friends and lay his life down for us on a cruel rugged cross. Jesus died so that we may live. Never forget, there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother, and his name is Jesus.

Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

Mark

 

Share

1 thought on “A Friend Who Sticks Closer Than A Brother”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *