Saturday, December 10, 2016

December 10, 2016 ... A True Friend

Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 345

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube video of images and lyrics from Wayne Watson, singing his song … The Friend of A Wounded Heart … longingly and lovingly singing of our True Friend, Jesus, Who’s always there to lift us up when we’re wounded.

Highlight Verse: Proverbs 27:5-6 [NKJV] …  
5 Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. 
… But how often are we unwilling to be a true friend by lovingly sharing the hard truth with our beloved ones.
Highlight Passage [context]: Proverbs 27:5-10 … USE THIS LINK
… God, thru Solomon, tells us of the essence of true friendship, … which may, at times, offer painful rebuke instead of the kisses of untruth.

Reference Passage #1 [NKJV] : ... Psalm 147:3 … 
3 [The Lord] He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. 
… Our Lord is our true friend, Who heals our brokenness.

Reference Passage #2 [NKJV] : ... Ephesians 4:15 … 
… 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ …
… The truth, spoken in love, may be painful but it helps us grow in the image of our Savior.

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Poh Fang Chia, makes reference to a telling article which shows us that God’s tough love is often necessary to bring us closer to Him and be shaped in His image. He writes: Charles Lowery complained to his friend about lower back pain. He was seeking a sympathetic ear, but what he got was an honest assessment. His friend told him, “I don’t think your back pain is your problem; it’s your stomach. Your stomach is so big it’s pulling on your back.” 
In his column for REV! Magazine, Charles shared that he resisted the temptation to be offended. He lost the weight and his back problem went away. Charles recognized that “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted” (Prov. 27:5–6). 

When a real, loving friend speaks truth, which may be hard to hear because of its pain, we often get defensive and may even bolt from the rebuke or honest appraisal. Anybody been there in the past? … I certainly have; and too often I’ve turned away from the love being expressed in this honesty, even turning my back on the true friend who shared truth with me.

I hope all Christians reading here know that Jesus is our TRUE Friend. He is what Wayne Watson sings (linked above), … the “Friend of a Wounded Heart.” And all too often our Lord speaks through the honesty, love, and even the rebukes of someone very close to us, … like a spouse or a “BFF” (our closest friends). It’s really tough to be a loving friend and speak truth into the life of one who needs to hear the hurt that heals. … But we must ... IF ... we’re really friends.

That’s what Jesus will do for us; … because of His love for us; and we must do it for those we love as well. I pray we will.

My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, … Lord, help me to be a real friend and speak Your loving grace and truth into those who need Your healing friendship. ... Amen

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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