Monday, May 25, 2020
“The Lily of the Valley”
WHAT: READ THE TEXT: Proverbs 12:26; 27:17; 17:17; 18:24
SO WHAT: REFLECT ON THE TEXT:
1. Friends sway us (12:26)
As the old adage states, “You are what you eat,” you are also prone to behave like those you hang out with most frequently. We need to recognize the powerful influence that close associates have on our attitudes and actions.
While Jesus was a “friend to sinners” (cf. Luke 7:34; 15:2) and while we must reach out in love to the lost as well, our closest friends should be those who help guide us in godliness (cf. Psalm 1:1-2; 1 Corinthians 15:33).
2. Friends sharpen us (27:17)
None of us can reach the heights that God intends for us to attain apart from those faithful friends who will correct and console us when needed.
Sometimes we need someone to speak a challenging word to us that will redirect our attitudes or our actions (cf. Proverbs 27:5-6; 28:23). It might prove painful or uncomfortable in the moment — for both parties — but it is the loving thing to do (cf. Ephesians 4:15).
Not only will friends sharpen us through correction, they will also sharpen us in consolation. When we are walking through a tumultuous season in our lives, to whom do you turn for comfort and encouragement? (cf. 1 Samuel 23:16)
3. Friends support us (17:17)
No matter what you are facing, a true friend stands with you and supports you: He or she never turns back (cf. Ruth 1:16-17). Such a friend offers companionship in the coldest of nights and cushions the cutting blows that life deals to us.
In the movie Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Samwise-Gamgee says to Frodo at the foot of Mount Doom, “I cannot carry it (the ring … your burden) for you, but I can carry you.” Such a friend always has our highest good in mind.
4. The Friend who saves us (18:24)
There is yet one friend who can actually carry our burden (the weight of our sin) for us. He is the “Lily of the Valley.”
– He’s all I need to cleanse and make me fully whole (cf. Matthew 9:20-22).
– In sorrow He’s my comfort, in trouble He’s my stay (cf. John 8:10-12).
– He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul (cf. John 15:13).
– He will never, never leave me, nor yet forsake me here (cf. Prov. 18:24)
Do you know this Friend Jesus, the one who can alone sweep us up to glory to see the Father’s blessed face?
NOW WHAT: RESPOND TO THE TEXT:
- Do you surround yourself with noble, godly friends who serve to maximize your growth in the Lord?
- Are you a Christ-like sharpening influence and supportive presence in the lives of your friends?
- Have you turned your heart to Jesus as your closest friend?