John Hartley - May 2019

Post date: May 29, 2019 4:26:24 PM

Dear Friends

The hymn ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’ quite plainly has, as its theme, the friendship of Jesus. Strangely enough there are few hymns that deal with this subject and what’s more, the title ‘friend’ is never directly given to Jesus in the NT. His critics, in contempt and derision, did refer to him as ‘the friend of sinners’. Even so, the title is true. Jesus was, and is, the friend of sinners, which means He is our friend.

Now a friend differs from a relation. We have no choice as regards our family – bound by blood ties, by birth. But we are free to choose our friends and such a choice is very important one. The bond of friendship is a spiritual not a physical bond. Such is our relationship with Jesus. His love draws us to him and we are bound to him for life. As such he is a friend for everyone.

Jesus is also the friend in time of need. Don’t we say “a friend in need is a friend indeed”. Times of need prove the worth of friends and the quality of their friendship. Friends mean so much to us when things go wrong. Not only is Jesus a faithful friend, He is a sympathetic one – sharing our sorrows and knowing our weaknesses.

Jesus is the friend always on call – 24/7 ! Our human friend is not of much help if they are far away, out of reach, inaccessible. In contrast He is always accessible, always available. He is there at all times and in all places – though the gift of prayer. It is a great privilege to have instant access – by prayer. Furthermore, we must remember that prayer isn’t a spiritual chore. Prayer is more than a religious duty. It’s a glorious privilege. Do we make a habit of taking everything to God in prayer? Remember! Nothing is too big to pray about, nothing too small. What’s more, our ‘big’ things are all small to God’s power and our ‘little’ things are all big to his love. If we fail to pray, how much we lose. Pray without ceasing, pray about everything, pray with confidence. Never underestimate the power of prayer !

With every blessing

John Hartley