March 4, 2024
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OPEN HEAVEN 23 JANUARY 2024 TODAY DEVOTIONAL

TOPIC: FRIENDS STRONGER THAN BROTHERS

MEMORISE: Proverbs 18:24

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

BIBLE TEXT: 1 Samuel 18:1-4

1 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house.

Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.

And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.


MESSAGE

Friendship is a very sensitive topic to discuss, especially in these last days when many have become lovers of themselves (2 Timothy 3:1-2).

In spite of this, however, everybody still needs good friends. Some friends can be closer to you than a brother – you need one or two of such friends around you.

Such friends will challenge you to do more for God and can tell you the truth when everyone else is afraid to do so. They are people that you can have as a shoulder to lean on when the chips are down.

Acts 3:1 says that Peter and John went to the temple. You may ask yourself, after the Holy Ghost descended on 120 people in Acts 2, why is the Bible bringing only these two to our notice?

The reason, I believe, is that they were friends who were part of Jesus’ inner circle. They were three in that circle – Peter, James and John.

Out of these three, Peter and John had a close relationship even before Jesus died. If you read John 13:21-26, at the last supper, when Jesus said somebody was going to betray Him without telling them who it was, Peter beckoned to John and told him to ask Jesus.

That is an example of a friend you can ask to pray for you concerning a matter you are not clear about, and he will hear from God for you.

After Jesus died and rose from the dead, the link between them obviously grew stronger.

In John 20:1-8, when Mary Magdalene discovered that Jesus had risen and came to tell the apostles, two of the apostles ran to the tomb; they were Peter and John.

It’s interesting to note that John is the one who wrote the story, and he stressed that he outran Peter and got to the tomb first – in fact, he repeated it twice!

I always wonder, “Why are you telling us that you beat him so emphatically?” There seemed to be a friendly competition as to who loved Jesus more between them.

You need friends you can have healthy competitions with on who can pray the longest, who reads more Scriptures, who wins more souls and so on.

The link between Peter and John was strong, and it rested on their relationship with Jesus. You need friends whose link with you is majorly based on the link you both have with Jesus Christ.

REFLECTION:

Do you have a friend who challenges you to draw closer to God?

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR

Exodus 24-27

RCCG HYMN 11: I’VE FOUND A FRIEND IN JESUS

1 I have found a friend in Jesus, He‟s everything to me; 
He‟s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul!
The Lily of the Valley, in Him alone I see
All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole.
In sorrow He‟s my comfort, in trouble He‟s my stay; 
He tells me every care on Him to roll. (Hallelujah)

Chorus:

He‟s the Lily of the Valley,
the Bright and Morning Star; 
He‟s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul. 

2 He all my grief has taken, and all my sorrows borne;
In temptation He‟s my strong and mighty tower; 
I have all for Him forsaken, and all my idols torn
From my heart, and now He keeps me by His power. 
Though all the world forsake me, and Satan tempt me sore, 
Through Jesus I shall safely reach the goal: (Hallelujah)

3 He‟ll never, never leave me, nor yet forsake me here, 
while I live by faith and do His blessed will;
A wall of fire about me, I‟ve nothing now to fear; 
with His manna He my hungry soul shall fill. 
Then sweeping up to glory, I‟ll see His blessed face, 
where rivers of delight shall ever roll. 

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