Sunday, 10 October 2021
Title: Jesus, Man’s Best Friend
By Elder Yu Chin Shie
“I no longer call you servants, 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”
I can’t imagine what our lives will be if we are deprived of friends. Friends come in all shapes and sizes. They could be our spouses, our kids, our church friends, school mates, colleagues, neighbors, our relatives, including in laws. They could be of different background, temperament and interests.
Good friends are those who stand by us, accept us as we are, are patient and kind, rejoice with us in good times and share our sorrows when we are down.
In February this year, I lost a good friend who succumbed to Covid. That was before we could get our ourselves vaccinated. Many had prayed for him. We thought he could pull through and when I heard of the news, I had a good cry.
At the wake service, I had the honor to give the eulogy for my good friend and to thank God for our friendship.
Let’s call my good friend, SY (his initials) whom I had known for more than 40 years.
Below is an excerpt from the eulogy
“I would like to share some fond memories I have of SY.
And thank God for our friendship and for his life well lived to honor God.
SY was a faithful friend, trustworthy and caring. Permit me to share some nostalgic memories.
SY was one of the few friends I had when I first started work in KL and attended FBC, PJ in 1977. He helped me adjust to life in the city and the church when I started my career in KL, after having been away studying and working overseas. We had a lot of good times together, attending a bible study group in a rented bachelor house then. We are of the same age and our kids are nearly of the same age group. That added to the close bonding between us and the kids as well. We had gone for holidays together with our families. We visited one another.
Let me share why I treasure our friendship
When we first shifted to our current house more than thirty years ago, we didn’t install an alarm system. Our house was burgled twice when we went out for dinner. You can imagine the traumatic experience of having your house burgled and ransacked. Each time, I called SY, he and his wife would come immediately to see how they could be of help to us. Their presence had a calming effect on us as we assessed the loss and did the police report. At the time, I couldn’t think of anybody else for help but SY, knowing he would be there for me. What a faithful, trustworthy and caring brother in Christ.
SY and family left our church some years back and we have missed him dearly. However, God has enabled us to meet quite regularly before he retired. We had lunch together quite often as his office at KLCC is quite near mine. From my fellowship with him I know he was very involved in his church in the CG ministry and also in evangelism.”
Thank God for SY and my other good friends. There is one other friend who means more to me than all my good friends. He is Jesus, Man’s best friend!
Jesus is God and Savior (Titus 2:13 & 2 Peter1:1), Master and Lord (Jude 1:4) and yet He called us His friends (John 15:14). It is mind boggling that the King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev 17:14) called us His friends! He loves us enough to lay down His life for us for the forgiveness of our sins (John 15:13). He is a friend that “loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17); He holds us fast and “no one will snatch us out of His hand” (John 10:28); He is a listening friend: “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). He will be with us in our darkest hour: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)
Jesus desires us to be His friend. There is a condition though. “You are My friends IF you do what I command you.” (John 15:14).
Friends of Jesus listen and heed His commands.
One of my favorite hymns is “I’ve Found a Friend, O Such a Friend” written by James G. Small in 1862. The first verse says:
“I’ve found a friend, O such a friend!
Christ loved me ere I knew Him;
He drew me with the cords of love,
And thus he bound me to him;
And round my heart still closely twine
Those ties which naught can sever,
For I am his and Christ is mine,
Forever and forever. “
Have you found such a friend?
I have and He is truly “Man’s best friend!”
Thank you for your son, Jesus who is not only our Savior and Lord but also our friend who will never leave us or forsake us. Help us always to honor Him in obedience to Your will. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
In Jesus name,
星期日 2021 年 10 月 10日
约翰福音 15:15 我是葡萄树，你们是枝子。常在我里面的，我也常在他里面，这人就多结果子；因为离了我，你们就不能做什么。
让我称呼这位认识了 40 多年的好朋友为SY（他的英文名字的缩写）。
“我想分享一些我对 SY 的美好回忆，并为我们的友谊和他为荣耀上帝而活出的生命感谢上帝。SY是一个忠实的朋友，值得信赖和充满爱心。请允许我分享一些令人怀念的回忆。
1977年我刚开始在吉隆坡工作并参加FBC, PJ时，SY是我为数不多的朋友之一。当我在海外学习和工作后开始在吉隆坡工作时，他帮助我适应了城市和教会的生活。 我们在一起度过了很多美好的时光，当时我们在租来的单身汉房子里参加了一个圣经学习小组。我们同龄，我们的孩子几乎同龄。这也增加了我们和孩子们之间的紧密联系。我们和家人一起去度假。我们互相拜访。
三十多年前，当我们第一次搬到现在的房子时，我们没有安装警报系统。我们的房子在我们出去吃饭的时候被盗了两次。你可以想象你的房子被盗和被洗劫一空的痛苦经历。每次我给 SY 打电话，他和他的妻子都会立即赶来，看看他们能不能为我们提供帮助。当我们评估损失并提交警方报告时，他们的出现都让我们感到平静。除了SY，我想不出还有谁能帮助我，因为我知道他将会在我身边。他是一个多么忠诚、值得信赖和关心人的主里弟兄。
SY 和家人几年前离开了我们的教会，我们非常想念他。然而，在他退休之前，上帝使我们能够经常见面。我们经常一起吃午饭，因为他在 KLCC 的办公室离我很近。从我与他的团契中，我知道他非常活跃地参与他的教会关怀小组事工和传福音“。
感谢上帝赐予我， SY 和其他的好朋友。还有一位朋友对我来说比我所有的好朋友都更重要。祂是主耶稣，人类最好的朋友！
耶稣是上帝和救主（提多书 2:13 和 2 彼得 1:1），主人和主基督（犹 1:4），但祂称我们为祂的朋友（约翰福音 15:14）。万王之王和万主之主（启 17:14）称我们为祂的朋友，这真是令人难以置信！祂爱我们到足以为我们舍命，以赦免我们的罪（约翰福音 15:13）。祂是“时常亲爱”的朋友（箴言17:17）；祂紧紧抓住我们，“没有人能把我们从祂手里抢走”（约翰福音 10:28）；祂是一个倾听的朋友：“你求告我，我就应允你，并将你所不知道、又大又难的事指示你”（耶利米书 33：3）。在我们最黑暗的时刻，祂将与我们同在：“我虽然行过死荫的幽谷，也不怕遭害，因为你与我同在；你的杖，你的竿，都安慰我。” （诗篇 23:4）
主耶稣基督希望我们成为祂的朋友。但有一个条件。 “你们若遵行我所吩咐的，就是我的朋友了。” （约翰福音 15:14）。耶稣的朋友们倾听并听从祂的诫命。
我最喜欢的赞美诗之一是 James G. Small 于 1862 年创作的“我有一友，何等良友”。第一节说：
祷告:天父，感谢祢的儿子耶稣，祂不仅是我们的救主和主，也是我们的朋友，永远不会离开我们或抛弃我们。 帮助我们时常顺从祢的旨意来荣耀祂。 愿祢的国降临，愿祢的旨意行在地上，如在天上。奉主耶稣基督的名，阿门。