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"Naked and Not Ashamed"

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"A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."

Proverbs 18:24

No, this isn't a devotional about marriage or even love as much as it is about friendship. Reading C.S. Lewis, something he said caught my eye, not physically, but much deeper, as his quote caught my eye relationally. The C.S. Lewis quote I'm referring to said, "Eros will have naked bodies; Friendship naked personalities."‚Äč The C.S. Lewis quote brought to mind another quote, one by Tim Redman who said, "Many things will catch my eye but few things will capture my heart." There is nothing like friendships that capture our hearts and for good reason.  

True friends are as rare as finding buried treasure and their value is priceless. A true friend is someone you can bare your heart and soul without hesitation nor reservation knowing that they can be trusted, even to the point of death in that they would rather die than betray you. This is exactly the kind of friendship we read about in 1 Samuel 18:1-4 between David and Jonathan where we are told, "Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Saul took him that day, and would not let him go home to his father's house anymore. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt."

I believe that is why David wrote concerning his friend Jonathan upon hearing the news of his death in 2 Samuel 1, "I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; you have been very pleasant to me; your love to me was wonderful, surpassing the love of women." What made the friendship between David and Jonathan so special was that came at a high price for each of them. For David, he was chosen of God to replace Jonathan's father as the king of Israel so to trust the son who would be the natural heir to the throne of a rejected king could and would cost David his very life if Jonathan were ever to turn against him.

For Jonathan, to befriend the man who would replace his father on the throne would be viewed as an act of treason and the consequence for such an act would be no less than death as well. Both men had much to lose in forging a friendship but both were willing to take the risk out of the mutual love and respect they had for one another. Friendship has a way of doing that as David and Jonathan discovered. True friendship knits you together beyond the surface; deep friendships knit you heart and soul. Even at the risk of losing ones life. Oh to have a friend who would give their very life for you! The good news, loved one, we do have such a friend.

Everyone desires a friend they can trust, someone they can open up too, be vulnerable with and without holding back out of fear of rejection or betrayal. David and Jonathon shared this special bond of friendship. Jesus is that kind of friend and He invites you and me into this type of relationship with Him for it was Jesus Himself who said in John 15:15 to His disciples, "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you." 

That's what Jesus does in and through His Word, again and again. He reveals Himself, His purpose and plans for our lives. Jesus doesn't hold back from us but He makes known to us the Father's will. Jesus even takes friendship even further and to a level few people would even begin to understand when He said in John 15:13, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."

Yes, loved one, oh what a friend we have in Jesus! To think, Jesus willingly took the nails for us, His friends, when He went to Calvary's Cross and died in our place. Jesus laid His life down so His friends could live! Sadly in life, people use people in a vain attempt to find life, so its no strange thing when someone seeks to lay our life down in hopes that they can live and yet when we study the life of Jesus we see He chose to lay His life down for us so that we could live. That's what a real friend does and its exactly what Jesus did for you and for me. Jesus died so we could live! Oh what a friend we have in Jesus!

The book of Ecclesiastes tells in chapter 4 verse 10 regarding friendship, "For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up." I like a paraphrase of the verse that says, "Friends will pick you up when you fall, and if they can't, they'll lay down beside you." Not only did Jesus lay down beside us, better still, He laid His life down for us so He could take it up again for us too! Yes, its true! Oh what a friend we have in Jesus! 

"A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity."

Proverbs 17:17

I LOVE YOU!

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