Monday 16th August 2021
BE THAT FRIEND
Pastor Soong Kok Kee
John 15: 13-15 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servant, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
An English publication offered a prize for the best definition of a friend, and among the thousands of answers received were the following:
“One who multiplies joys, divides grief.”
“One who understand our silence.”
“A volume of sympathy bound in cloth.”
“A watch which beats true for all time and never runs down.”
But here is the definition that won the prize: “A friend – the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out.”
There is also a Chinese saying that says if you have one true friend in your life, you can die without any regrets. Albrecht Durer found one.
From childhood Albrecht Durer wanted to paint. Finally, he left home to study with a great artist. He met a friend who also had this same desire and the two became roommates. Both being poor, they found it difficult to make a living and study at the same time. Albrecht’s friend offered to work while Albrecht studied. Then when the paintings began to sell, he would have his chance. After much persuasion, Albrecht agreed and worked faithfully while his friend toiled long hours to make a living for both of them.
The day came when Albrecht sold a wood-carving and his friend went back to his paints, only to find that the hard work had stiffened and twisted his fingers and he could no longer paint with skill. When Albrecht learned what had happened to his friend, he was filled with great sorrow. One day, returning home unexpectedly he heard the voice of his friend and saw the gnarled, toiled, worn hands folded in prayer before him.
“I can show the world my appreciation by painting his hands as I see them now, folded in prayer.” It was this thought that inspired Albrecht Durer when he realized that he could never give back to his friend the skill which had left his hands.
Durer’s gratitude was captured in his inspired painting that has now become world famous – the praying hands. And, we are blessed by both the beauty of the painting and the beautiful story of gratitude, friendship and brotherhood. (The Bible Friend)
As a Pastor, our family has received many gifts, big and small. Except for the piano in our living room, all the rest were blessed by brothers and sisters in the Lord. When my children were young, they would always say how they wish when they grow up, they pray they too would have friends like those Uncles and Aunties who have blessed us so bountifully. I told tell them NOT to pray to have friends like those uncles and aunties but rather pray to BE FRIENDS like those uncles and aunties. The Bible teaches us that its more blessed to give than to receive – obviously our Lord has blessed those uncles and aunties physically, materially and spiritually and thus they are able to bless others. The giver and the receiver are both blessed but the giver is more blessed.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, our Lord will continue to bless and reward all those who have given so sacrificially and generously to the Covid Aid Fund so that those in need may be blessed during this pandemic and indeed so many have been blessed. Our Lord has made that ultimate sacrifice of giving his life for us so we may have forgiveness of sin and eternal life. Indeed – What a Friend We Have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear.
So let us not pray to have friends that will bless us but rather let us be friends that would bless others – like Durer’s friend, like my children’s uncles and aunties who have blessed our family all these years and like our Lord who had even given His life for us – His friends.
I went out to find a friend,
But could not find one out there,
I went out to be a friend,
And friends were everywhere!
PRAYER: Father God, thank you for sending your one and only Son to be our truest FRIEND who was willing to suffer and die for our sins. With that example He has set, help us to be like Him, reaching out and giving sacrificially all that you have blessed us with, to be Friends to those who are in dire need in this difficult times, so that your name may be blessed and honored and glorified. In our Lord Jesus precious Name we pray AMEN.
【约翰福音 15:13-15 】 13人为朋友舍命，人间的爱没有比这个更大的了。14你们若行我所吩咐你们的，就是我的朋友了。15我不再称你们为仆人，因为仆人不知道主人所作的事；我已经称你们为朋友了，因为我从我父那里听见的一切，都已经告诉你们了。
但这是获奖的定义：“朋友 – 整个世界都消失了，他仍在你身边。”
作为牧师，我们家收到了许多大大小小的礼物。除了我们客厅的钢琴，其余的都是主内弟兄姐妹的祝福。当我的孩子们还小的时候，他们总会说他们长大后的愿望，他们祈祷他们也能有像叔叔阿姨这样慷慨地祝福我们的朋友。我告诉他们不要祈祷有像那些叔叔阿姨那样的朋友，而是要祈祷成为那些叔叔阿姨那样的朋友。圣经教导我们施比受更有福 – 很明显的，我们的主在身体、物质和心灵上祝福了这些叔叔阿姨，因此他们也能够祝福别人。给予者和接受者都受到祝福，但给予者更受祝福。
所以让我们不要祈求有祝福我们的朋友，而是让我们成为祝福他人的朋友 – 像杜勒的朋友，像我孩子们的叔叔阿姨，这些年来一直祝福我们的家人，像我们的主，甚至为我们 – 祂的朋友 – 付出了生命。