First, then, beloved, we assert that CHRIST IS “A FRIEND THAT STICKETH CLOSER THAN A BROTHER.” And in order to prove this from facts, we appeal to such of you as have had him for a friend. Will you not, each of you, at once give your verdict, that this is neither more nor less than an unexaggerated truth? He loved you before all worlds, long ere the day star flung his ray across the darkness, before the wing of angels had flapped the unnavigated ether, before aught of creation had struggled from the womb of nothingness, God, even our God, had set his heart upon all his children. Since that time, has he once swerved, has he once turned aside, once changed? No. ye who have tasted of his love and know his grace will bear me witness, that he has been a certain friend in uncertain circumstances.
You fell in Adam; did he cease to love you? No; he became the second Adam to redeem you. You sinned in practice and brought upon your head the condemnation of God; you deserved his wrath and his utter anger; did he then forsake you? No!
He sent his minister after you you despised him; he preached the gospel in your ears you laughed at him; you broke Gods Sabbath, you despised his Word. Did he then forsake you? No!
And at last he arrested you by his grace, he humbled you, he made you penitent, he brought you to his feet and he forgave all your sins. Since then, has he left you? You have often left him, has he ever left you? You have had many trials and troubles, has he ever deserted you? Has he ever turned away his heart, and shut up his bowels of compassion? No, children of God, it is your solemn duty to say “No,” and bear witness to his faithfulness.
True friendship can only be made between true men, whose hearts are the soul of honor.
Faithfulness to us in our faults is a certain sign of fidelity in a friend.
And how long has Christ loved you? That you cannot tell. When the ages were not born he loved you, when this world was an infant, wrapped in the swaddling clothes of mist, he loved you; when the old pyramids had not begun to be builded, his heart was set upon you; and ever since you have been born he has had a strong affection for you. He looked on you in your cradle, and he loved you then, he was affianced to you when you were an infant of a span long, and he has loved you ever since. Some of you I see with grey hairs, some with heads all bald with age, he has loved you up till now, and will he now forsake you? Oh! no, his friendship is so old that it must last; it has been matured by so many tempests, it has been rooted by so many winds of trouble, that it cannot but endure, it must stand.
But our Lord Jesus never can forsake those whom once he loves, because he can discover nothing in us worse than he knew, for he knew all about us beforehand. He saw our leprosy, and yet he loved us; he knew our deceitfulness and unbelief, and yet he did press us to his bosom; he knew what poor fools we were, and yet he said he would never leave us nor forsake us. He knew that we should rebel against him and despise his counsel often times, he knew that even when we loved him our love would be cold and languid; but he loved for his own sake. Surely, then, he will stick closer than a brother.
Oh that you might get Christ for your friend, he will never be your friend while you are self-righteous; he will never be your friend while you live in sin. But do you believe yourselves guilty? Do you desire to leave off sin? Do you want to be saved? Do you desire to be renewed? Then let me tell you, my Master loves you! Poor, weak, and helpless worms, my Masters heart is full of love to you; his eyes at this moment are looking down with pity on you. “Oh! Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Jerusalem!” He now bids me tell you that he died for all of you who confess yourselves to be sinners, and feel it. He bids me say to you, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.” He tells me to proclaim salvation full and free full, needing nothing of yours to help it; free, needing nothing of yours to buy it.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible