Bill Tipton and I had a number of interviews with our friends from Brasil. I think these discussions will be a great blessing to you. I am very grateful that the Lord has allowed me to have met some of the most wonderful people around the world. My friends in England, Wales, South Africa, India, Brasil and the many folks at Berean and all over the US has been a great source of encouragement to me. True friends are a rare treasure. I have learned that God sends people into our lives to bless us. We must be willing to humble ourselves and to learn from them. May the Lord enable all of us to be good friends to those the Lord sends our way. Shakespeare said, "Those friends thou hast by their adoption tried, grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel."
Solomon wrote in the Proverbs, "A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Of course Solomon is referring to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But this is also true of those unique friends that the Lord allows into our inner circle to be a blessing to us. A true friend will not over look our faults or sins but will with love and gentleness correct us and help us to see the errors of our ways. Love desires to be a spiritual help to those we fellowship with and with whom we share the great burden of serving the Lord. Love will be willing to forgive and forget if true repentance is given. Love will pick up those who are fallen and cast down. love will not forsake a friend because of a misunderstanding. Love will always seek to be a peace-maker. Love will be loyal in the good times as well as in the hard and tough times. Love does not grow weary with well doing. Love does not desert a true friendship when it appears that there is nothing more to be gained from that friendship. Love does not seek personal benefits in order to have or maintain a friendship. Love remains faithful even in the most difficult of times. Love does not take offense and allows nothing to divide the bond that ties two friends together.
I have also learned that a true friendship cannot exist or be maintained when deceit, lying, dishonesty, selfishness, pride, self-promotion, jealousy, and denial exist. These sinful attitudes not only poison relationships but eventually will destroy them.
May we all be worthy of our friends. And may we show true friendship to those whom the Lord has providentially placed in our life.
In the bonds of Calvary Love,