14th Sept 2012 , Robin Piong , CM –
There must be a reason why this church Sunday service starts at 11.15 am and not 11 am like my previous church. Even that I was late for about 10 minutes but I was just in time to soak in a worship song where the Levites (musicians) were building up the tempo of this particular song to a crescendo over and over again. Thank God for Hillsongs and their style of worship. We are nowhere near Hillsongs in terms of the number of musicians, equipments or lightings. Neither do we have any big screen LCDs but I sure felt the anointing from the worship team . When our lead guitarist Jude went solo with his Fender, you would not hear a Gretsch guitar tone, but I surely felt my spirit lifted up with just the sound of humming from the congregation accompanied by the weeping rift of the guitar. We were exalting our Lord Jesus as His presence was felt in our praises.
Pastor Timothy Loh, the Senior Pastor of Eagle Point spoke today. It was rather interesting as the subject was on Friends. I could easily relate to him as our friends of yesteryears were defined by Michael W. Smith’s song Friends with the lyrics that sang, “…and friends are friends forever if the Lord is the Lord of them”. However today he mentioned, that Facebook has redefined the meaning of “friend”, where all we want to do is to add as many friends to feel popular and in order to get out of this loneliness. We know in the real world, there are not many people that we can really call our friend.
Pastor spoke from Proverbs 22:24,25, about making friendship with an angry man lest you learn of his ways. He told a story of how a bride-to-be came to him for counselling and told him about her fear of her fiancé as he has a very bad temper. The biblical advice would be that, “with a furious man thou shalt not go”.
He also spoke on Proverbs 6:16 to 19 about “Six things the Lord hates and the seventh an abomination, a person who sows discord among brethren”. To me it is like modern day office politics that can breed hatred and bitterness.
In Proverbs 20:6, many will say they are loyal friends but who can find one who is truly reliable? He spoke further on friends who claimed to be loyal or seemingly loyal and how easily we will become disappointed.
Pastor then acknowledges the close friends he has today, those who are in the ministry and those who play badminton with him regularly. He also emphasizes on having Christian friends and how having regular fellowship with these friends are important. Proverbs 12:26, speaks about the Godly giving good advice to their friends.
Personally for many years in my adult life I remember having no close Christian friends especially when I started my business career, also when I hardly attended Church. My friendship with the world drove me far away from God and having no Godly friends to be around me was indeed detrimental to my spiritual life. I Praise the Lord that all my siblings today have all accepted the Lord into their life in their own ways. My daily fellowship nowadays are mostly with Christian friends and that have strengthened and revived me.
Finally, Pastor spoke about examples of friendship especially between David and Jonathan . According to 1 Samuel 23:16, Jonathan went to David and strengthened his hand in God. True friends are there to refresh and assure you about God’s love and power and are not there to condemn you. Besides Apostle Paul’s friendship with Timothy, the other example that he mentioned is about this man Onesiphorus, a close friend of Paul as found in 2 Timothy 1:16, where it states that the Lord gave mercy to the house of Onesiphorus ; for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chain .
Now that is what I call a true friend . When you are down in the pits or the dungeon, a true friend like Onesiphorus will go all out to look for you and refresh you. A true friend will also not be ashamed of you even if you are poor and in chains.