Fundamental to everything God created is the need for us to love one another.  It defines who genuinely loves God (Matthew 22:36-40), who is a true disciples of Christ (John 13:34-35), and who walks in the light and who walks in darkness (1 John 1:5-7; 2:9-10).

That love determines whether or not our prayers are answered (1 John 3:16-24); it is only possible if we are saved (1 John 4:7), and it can only take place if believers obey God (1 John 2;4-5).  It is not a feeling; it is an act (John 14:15).  It does not depend on what the other person does.  It depends on how committed we are to the One who loves us first (John 15:13).  It is a fruit of the Spirit and it is the most important attribute within the life of the church (1 Corinthians 13;3).  It is how the world knows that Christ lives (John 17:24).

“We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us.  God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (1 John 4:16-17; NASU)

In Proverbs 27:17 we read:  “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”  John Wesley was such a friend to William Wilberforce, who tried again and again – with seemingly no success – to abolish Britain’s slave trade.

In 1791 Wilberforce received a letter from Wesley which included this exhortation:  “Go on, in the power of His might, till even American slavery…shall vanish away before it.”  Though Wesley died four days after writing that letter, it remained an inspiration to Wilberforce through years of disappointment after disappointment.

Finally, after 20 years, he was able to get a bill passed which abolished the slave trade.  Shortly after, slavery was completely outlawed throughout the British Empire.  Wilberforce might not have prevailed if it had not been for the encouragement of his friend who strengthened him in the Lord.

Before you pray, “Lord, give me a friend like that,” try praying:  “Lord, make me a friend like that.”  –  Mike & Bonnie Fehlauer

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.  For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.  But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.  Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?  And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him.  A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.”  (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; NASU)

Make a friend by being a friend.

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