Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "At Thy Feet Our God And Father"1 (Lyrics)
My brother is five years my elder. Later in life, five years doesn't seem like much of an age difference, but when one is young, it's quite a difference. When I was young and going through the changes and growing that take place in a young man's life, I had some difficult times. I travelled on wrong roads and took wrong side roads, with seasons of rebellion and wickedness. I will never forget how my faithful brother and friend was there during those times when I needed a place to stay. He has helped me through times of need on many occasions.
Although my brother is my "best friend", I have an even closer friend!
Proverbs 18:24 – A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (NKJV)
This One Who sticks closer than a brother is Jesus Christ.
Just as my brother was always there for me, so Hebrews 13:5 says that the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us. My brother's sticking with me through my seasons of rebellion and wickedness makes me realize more than ever that God's love is not based on any goodness of our own but on grace alone.
Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (NKJV)
In times of bitterness, brought on by myself, expressing words from anger in my heart, my brother never criticized me or put me down, never retaliated or held it against me. In the same way, God forgives and forgets our sin, not holding it against us.
Colossians 2:13-14 – And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. (NKJV)
God has blessed me richly in giving me a brother who is such a great model for my life! I learned far more by his example than he will ever know. I love my brother dearly! The righteousness of Christ is an even better example for us to live by.
2 Peter 1:1b – To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. (NKJV)
Romans 8:16-17 tells us, as Christians, "that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ" (NKJV). Seeing as this is so, may we all live in the righteousness of Christ and seek always to be a credit to the holy name that we bear.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank You for family. We thank You for brothers and sisters who are faithful friends, in both our families of origin and our adopted Christian families. We thank You for our Lord Jesus Christ, the One Who is closer than our earthly siblings, because Your Spirit indwells us and Your Word lives in our hearts, with the promises that Your Word reveals to us regarding our standing in our heavenly inheritance through Christ. Help us to be living examples of brotherly love to all we meet in our journey through life. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.