Our theme for this month: “Life on this side of the cross”
Our Bible verse for today: “And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.” 1 Samuel 23:16 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Good friends in Christ help each other to be strong in their faith.”
This morning I want to continue our discussion from yesterday about how we are to help each other to be strong in our faith. In yesterday’s devotional we considered two passages from the Old Testament (Proverbs 27:17 and Ecclesiastes 4:9-12), and two from the New Testament (Romans 1:11-12 and Hebrews 10:24-25). Today we will look at another from the Old Testament and one more from the New Testament.
In 1 Samuel chapters 18 through 31 we read about the close friendship between David and Jonathan, the son of King Saul. As we follow that story of their friendship, we find that they loved each other like brothers. 1 Samuel 23:16 is especially insightful and revealing. There we find that David has been on the run in the wilderness, being chased by the armies of Jonathan’s father King Saul. Saul was intensely jealous of David and had determined to kill him, so David was running for his life. Jonathan left the comfort and safety of the palace and went on a long and dangerous trek out into the wilderness in search of his friend, for the specific purpose of encouraging him and helping him to find strength in the Lord. What an inspiring example of true friendship!
In 1 Thessalonians 5:11 the Apostle Paul urges us, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” He wrote that in a directive tense. It’s an instruction intended to move us to act. We are to be intentional in our efforts to encourage one another and to build each other up. And whereas in the Old Testament, in situations such as the friendship between David and Jonathan, they had to depend entirely on their feelings for each other, on this side of the cross, in the New Testament age, the followers of Jesus have the Holy Spirit living in our hearts and uniting us in Spirit. David and Jonathan loved each other as true friends do, and that was certainly admirable. But the followers of Christ have a connection that goes far deeper and way beyond simple feelings of friendship. We’re united with other believers by the Spirit.
I encourage you to spend a few moments in prayer right now and ask the Holy Spirit to bring to your mind a brother or sister who needs to be encouraged and strengthened. Somebody out there needs to hear from you. There is someone who you can help to find strength in the Lord today.