PART 11. A GOOD FRIEND IS AMBITIOUS...FOR OTHERS! (16/1/20)
Please ensure you’ve read ‘INTRODUCTION TO WEEK 8’ included in Monday’s blog. Link:
A GOOD FRIEND IS AMBITIOUS...FOR OTHERS!
1 Samuel 18:4. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.
After David returned from killing Goliath, Jonathan does this extraordinary act of encouragement. In giving David these emblems of royalty he is showing generosity, but, more than this, he is enacting a prophecy (a prediction about the future) that David, not he, would be king. Jonathan must have been inspired in this moment by the Holy Spirit to behave in this way. Later, when David is being pursued by Saul, his father, Jonathan reminds David that he will be king,
“Don’t be afraid,” he said. “My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you.” (1 Samuel 23:17)
A good friend is ambitious for their friends
When we love someone, we have ambitions for them. Often, parents will want their children to go to a good school, succeed, prosper in life, and will do what they can to support them in this. Love is to lay one’s life down for the good of another - this is seen in Jonathan and, most perfectly, in Jesus.
To be a good friend, we must seek the best for others. We actively look for ways to help them to flourish. We are good listeners as well as advisers. We pray for them, we rebuke them.
A good friend, like Jonathan to David, reminds other Christians of their royal destiny. The secular world is hopeless and disheartening, there is much to dispirit us. God has put you in church community to be a good friend - to be ambitious for their encouragement. We are to remind one-anther of our royal destiny - when Jesus comes, we will reign with Him in glory. John puts it like this, and may these words ‘dress’ your heart with the ‘robe, tunic, sword and belt’ of royal dignity,
“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.” (1 John 3:2-3)
A good friend of Jesus is ambitious for Him
Jonathan’s act of giving David his royal dress can be seen as Jonathan saying to David “You are my King”. Jonathan shows us how we are to relate to Jesus every day. We are to say to Jesus, “I give you my rights, my ambitions, be the King of my life”.
Are we ambitious for Jesus? Do we want His rule over us and over all to increase? Will we pray as Jesus taught us,
“your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
Today, we continue to meditate on and memorise Matthew 22:37-39
(If you’ve not done so, please ensure you’ve read Monday’s response section where I’ve included notes and questions to help you).
Matthew 22:37-39. “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”