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Friends for Life

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
December 14, 2022 7:00 pm

Friends for Life

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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December 14, 2022 7:00 pm

William Cowper (1731–1800), the English poet, found a friend in his pastor, John Newton (1725–1807), the former slave trader. Cowper suffered from depression and anxiety, attempting to die by suicide more than once. When Newton visited him, they’d go on long walks together and talk about God. Thinking that Cowper would benefit from engaging creatively and having a reason to write his poetry, the minister had the idea to compile a hymnal. Cowper contributed many songs, including “God Moves in a Mysterious Way.” When Newton moved to another church, he and Cowper remained strong friends and corresponded regularly for the rest of Cowper’s life.

I see parallels between the strong friendship of Cowper and Newton with that of David and Jonathan in the Old Testament. After David defeated Goliath, “Jonathan became one in spirit with David,” loving him as himself (1 Samuel 18:1). Although Jonathan was the son of King Saul, he defended David against the king’s jealousy and anger, asking his father why David should be put to death. In response, “Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him” (1 Samuel 20:33). Jonathan dodged the weapon and was grieved at this shameful treatment of his friend (v. 34).

For both sets of friends, their bond was life-giving as they spurred on each other to serve and love God. How might you similarly encourage a friend today?

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Welcome to another Daily Encouragement from Our Daily Bread Ministries.

I'm Amy Boushey Pye and I call today's reading Friends for Life. William Cowper, the English poet, found a friend and his pastor, John Newton, the former slave trader. Cowper suffered from depression and anxiety, attempting to die by suicide more than once. When Newton visited him, they'd go on long walks together and talk about God. Thinking that Cowper would benefit from engaging creatively and having a reason to write his poetry, the minister had the idea to compile a hymnal.

Cowper contributed many songs, including God Moves in a Mysterious Way. When Newton moved to another church, he and Cowper remained strong friends and corresponded regularly for the rest of Cowper's life. I see parallels between the strong friendship of Cowper and Newton with that of David and Jonathan in the Old Testament. After David defeated Goliath, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, loving him as himself. Although Jonathan was the son of King Saul, he defended David against the king's jealousy and anger, asking his father why David should be put to death.

In response, Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him. Jonathan dodged the weapon and was grieved at the shameful treatment of his friend. For both sets of friends, their bond was life-giving as they spurred each other on to serve and love God.

How might you similarly encourage a friend today? Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from 1 Samuel chapter 20, verses 26 through 34. Saul said nothing that day, for he thought, Something must have happened to David to make him ceremonially unclean.

Surely he is unclean. But the next day, the second day of the month, David's place was empty again. Then Saul said to his son Jonathan, Why hasn't the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today? Jonathan answered, David earnestly asked me for permission to go to Bethlehem. He said, Let me go, because our family is observing a sacrifice in the town, and my brother has ordered me to be there.

If I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away to see my brothers. That is why he has not come to the king's table. Saul's anger flared up at Jonathan, and he said to him, You son of a perverse and rebellious woman, don't I know that I have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you? As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die. Why should he be put to death?

What has he done? Jonathan asked his father. But Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him. Then Jonathan knew that his father intended to kill David. Jonathan got up from the table in fierce anger.

On that second day of the feast, he did not eat because he was grieved at his father's shameful treatment of David. Let's pray. Lord Jesus, help us to enjoy your friendship and your fellowship. And we pray in your holy name. Amen. Today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-18 07:20:52 / 2022-12-18 07:22:33 / 2

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