The Need for Friendship

  • July 20, 2015
Monday 20

2 Timothy 4:9-22

Independence is a prized attribute in our culture, but biblically, it isn’t a worthy aspiration. Nowhere in Scripture will you find the erroneous quote, “God helps those who help themselves.” The very fact that the Lord formed the church—a community of believers—should tell us that He did not create people for self-sufficiency or isolation.

When we place faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit indwells us so we can have a fulfilling relationship with the Lord and satisfying friendships with one another. In God’s design, a close, committed biblical friendship between two believers serves to build both toward Christlikeness. Over and over in Scripture, we find evidence of God’s followers relying upon a close friend or confidante for support. Paul, in particular, spoke freely and often of his dependence upon dear companions and encouraged others to form intimate partnerships as well (2 Timothy 2:22).

It’s interesting to me that our modern culture seems to be headed in the opposite direction. The farther we drift from God, the more pervasive our self-sufficient attitude becomes. Neighbors treat each other with suspicion instead of congeniality, and that mindset has even invaded the church. We’re hesitant to give to others, which in turn makes us reluctant to receive.

Scripture tells us to love one another, bear our brothers’ burdens, and confess our sins to fellow believers (John 13:34; Galatians 6:2; James 5:16). In other words, we’re to give ourselves away to others and receive from them in return. That’s how church members can encourage one another to Christlikeness.

Bible in One Year: Song of Solomon 1-4 

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9 Make every effort to come to me soon;

10 for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.

11 Only Luke is with me. Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service.

12 But Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus.

13 When you come bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments.

14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.

15 Be on guard against him yourself, for he vigorously opposed our teaching.

16 At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them.

17 But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was rescued out of the lion's mouth.

18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.

20 Erastus remained at Corinth, but Trophimus I left sick at Miletus.

21 Make every effort to come before winter. Eubulus greets you, also Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brethren.

22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.

22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

2 Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

1 The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's.

2 May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine.

3 Your oils have a pleasing fragrance, Your name is like purified oil; Therefore the maidens love you.

4 Draw me after you and let us run together! The king has brought me into his chambers." We will rejoice in you and be glad; We will extol your love more than wine. Rightly do they love you."

5 I am black but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, Like the tents of Kedar, Like the curtains of Solomon.

6 Do not stare at me because I am swarthy, For the sun has burned me. My mother's sons were angry with me; They made me caretaker of the vineyards, But I have not taken care of my own vineyard.

7 Tell me, O you whom my soul loves, Where do you pasture your flock, Where do you make it lie down at noon? For why should I be like one who veils herself Beside the flocks of your companions?"

8 If you yourself do not know, Most beautiful among women, Go forth on the trail of the flock And pasture your young goats By the tents of the shepherds.

9 To me, my darling, you are like My mare among the chariots of Pharaoh.

10 Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, Your neck with strings of beads."

11 We will make for you ornaments of gold With beads of silver."

12 While the king was at his table, My perfume gave forth its fragrance.

13 My beloved is to me a pouch of myrrh Which lies all night between my breasts.

14 My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms In the vineyards of Engedi."

15 How beautiful you are, my darling, How beautiful you are! Your eyes are like doves."

16 How handsome you are, my beloved, And so pleasant! Indeed, our couch is luxuriant!

17 The beams of our houses are cedars, Our rafters, cypresses.

1 I am the rose of Sharon, The lily of the valleys."

2 Like a lily among the thorns, So is my darling among the maidens."

3 Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest, So is my beloved among the young men. In his shade I took great delight and sat down, And his fruit was sweet to my taste.

4 He has brought me to his banquet hall, And his banner over me is love.

5 Sustain me with raisin cakes, Refresh me with apples, Because I am lovesick.

6 Let his left hand be under my head And his right hand embrace me."

7 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, By the gazelles or by the hinds of the field, That you do not arouse or awaken my love Until she pleases."

8 Listen! My beloved! Behold, he is coming, Climbing on the mountains, Leaping on the hills!

9 My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, he is standing behind our wall, He is looking through the windows, He is peering through the lattice.

10 My beloved responded and said to me, `Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, And come along.

11 For behold, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone.

12 The flowers have already appeared in the land; The time has arrived for pruning the vines, And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land.

13 The fig tree has ripened its figs, And the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance. Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, And come along!'"

14 O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, In the secret place of the steep pathway, Let me see your form, Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, And your form is lovely."

15 Catch the foxes for us, The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, While our vineyards are in blossom."

16 My beloved is mine, and I am his; He pastures his flock among the lilies.

17 Until the cool of the day when the shadows flee away, Turn, my beloved, and be like a gazelle Or a young stag on the mountains of Bether."

1 On my bed night after night I sought him Whom my soul loves; I sought him but did not find him.

2 I must arise now and go about the city; In the streets and in the squares I must seek him whom my soul loves.' I sought him but did not find him.

3 The watchmen who make the rounds in the city found me, And I said, `Have you seen him whom my soul loves?'

4 Scarcely had I left them When I found him whom my soul loves; I held on to him and would not let him go Until I had brought him to my mother's house, And into the room of her who conceived me."

5 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, By the gazelles or by the hinds of the field, That you will not arouse or awaken my love Until she pleases."

6 What is this coming up from the wilderness Like columns of smoke, Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, With all scented powders of the merchant?

7 Behold, it is the traveling couch of Solomon; Sixty mighty men around it, Of the mighty men of Israel.

8 All of them are wielders of the sword, Expert in war; Each man has his sword at his side, Guarding against the terrors of the night.

9 King Solomon has made for himself a sedan chair From the timber of Lebanon.

10 He made its posts of silver, Its back of gold And its seat of purple fabric, With its interior lovingly fitted out By the daughters of Jerusalem.

11 Go forth, O daughters of Zion, And gaze on King Solomon with the crown With which his mother has crowned him On the day of his wedding, And on the day of his gladness of heart."

1 How beautiful you are, my darling, How beautiful you are! Your eyes are like doves behind your veil; Your hair is like a flock of goats That have descended from Mount Gilead.

2 Your teeth are like a flock of newly shorn ewes Which have come up from their washing, All of which bear twins, And not one among them has lost her young.

3 Your lips are like a scarlet thread, And your mouth is lovely. Your temples are like a slice of a pomegranate Behind your veil.

4 Your neck is like the tower of David, Built with rows of stones On which are hung a thousand shields, All the round shields of the mighty men.

5 Your two breasts are like two fawns, Twins of a gazelle Which feed among the lilies.

6 Until the cool of the day When the shadows flee away, I will go my way to the mountain of myrrh And to the hill of frankincense.

7 You are altogether beautiful, my darling, And there is no blemish in you.

8 Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, May you come with me from Lebanon. Journey down from the summit of Amana, From the summit of Senir and Hermon, From the dens of lions, From the mountains of leopards.

9 You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride; You have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes, With a single strand of your necklace.

10 How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than wine, And the fragrance of your oils Than all kinds of spices!

11 Your lips, my bride, drip honey; Honey and milk are under your tongue, And the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.

12 A garden locked is my sister, my bride, A rock garden locked, a spring sealed up.

13 Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates With choice fruits, henna with nard plants,

14 Nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, With all the trees of frankincense, Myrrh and aloes, along with all the finest spices.

15 You are a garden spring, A well of fresh water, And streams flowing from Lebanon."

16 Awake, O north wind, And come, wind of the south; Make my garden breathe out fragrance, Let its spices be wafted abroad. May my beloved come into his garden And eat its choice fruits!"

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Publish Date November 21, 2017
Causes of Rebellion

Believers are not immune to the dangers of doubt and pride.

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