Psalm 119:63 I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts.
The Hebrew root from which the word ‘friend’ comes means ‘to be UNITED’. We should never take for granted the richness of the blessing that comes from fellowship in Christ. There are so many things in the world today that divide us – our political leanings, our views on climate change, our views on sexual orientation and marriage, etc. But when our thinking is solidly based on God as the Creator and Source of all things, the One who remains absolutely Sovereign over ALL he has created, and the One who has revealed himself truthfully and reliably in the Scriptures and in his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, there is something that UNITES us in way that nothing else can Even if we have different understandings of some parts of the Bible, the fact that we HAVE the Bible and treat it as our infallible starting point gives a deep sense of unity that nothing else can.
The term the Bible uses for this worldview, and for making it the benchmark of all our thinking and behaviour, is ‘the fear of the LORD’. The Bible tells us that “the fear of the LORD is the BEGINNING of KNOWLEDGE/WISDOM” (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7; 9:10; cf Ecclesiastes 12:13). This is why there is so much blessing and value in our meeting together regularly to read and study God’s Word, and to sit under faithful preaching of it.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Colosse: “I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:1-3).
Do we take whatever opportunities we can to ENCOURAGE our ‘FRIENDS’ in Christ, and to BE encouraged BY THEM?
– Bruce Christian