My heart’s desire is that this is the start of a beautiful new friendship: Berea Baptist Church and the Doiel family. We thank you for all that has gone into the remodeling of the parsonage; it is a beautiful house and we appreciate the labor of love that has gone into it. We look forward to using it as a place of hospitality and fellowship. By now you have heard the sermon on the Marks of a True Friend; let me remind you of some of the major points:
A friend gives hearty counsel. Proverbs 27:9 states, “Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.” Hearty counsel is counsel that is from the heart, counsel that is earnest and full of life. It is biblical counsel that comes from a heart of love and concern; it is offered in a state of humility and confidence. This type of friend says “I love you and I want to help you be more effective for the Lord.” It desires a life of spiritual fruitfulness. We welcome and encourage that type of friendship. A friend who gives good counsel will keep you on the right path when you have many options from which to choose.
A friend gives good correction. Proverbs 27:6 declares, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” A friend who will not correct me when I am wrong is no friend at all. Since no one is perfect and it is sometimes hard to see past our blind spots, it requires others to see our faults and shortcomings. A friend who gives good correction will help you get back on the right path when you have strayed onto the wrong path. Proverbs 17:7 declares, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” We should be able to influence each other to have the character and attitudes of Jesus.
A friend gives continual comfort. Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” The bumps of life need the shock absorber of true friends. Fair-weather friends are no friends at all. We should be there for each other in good times and bad times. We should love each other at all times. Jesus said in John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” The truth is, our heart’s desire is also God’s desire for us. We love Him and then we love each other.