A FRIEND is one of the greatest blessings on earth. Tell me not of money: affection is better than gold - sympathy is better than lands. He is the poor man who has no friends. This world is full of sorrow because it is full of sin. It is a dark place. It is a lonely place. It is a disappointing Place. The brightest sunbeam in it is a friend. Friendship halves our troubles and doubles our joys.

Does any reader want a real friend? I write to recommend one to your notice this day. I know of One “who sticketh closer than a brother” (Prov. 18: 24). I know of One who is ready to be your Friend for time and for eternity, if you will receive Him. Hear me, while I try to tell you something about Him.

The Friend I want you to know is Jesus Christ. Happy is that family in which Christ has the foremost place! Happy is that person whose chief friend is Christ! Do we want a friend in need? Such a friend is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Man is the neediest creature on earth, because he is a sinner. There is no need so great as that of sinners: poverty, hunger, thirst, cold, sickness, all are nothing in comparison. Sinners need pardon, and they are utterly unable to provide it for themselves, they need deliverance from a guilty conscience and the fear of death, and they have no power of their own to obtain it. This need the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to relieve. “He came into the world to save sinners.” (I Tim. 1: 15).

Do you want a friend in deed? Such a friend is the Lord Jesus Christ. The true extent of a man’s friendship must be measured by his deeds. Tell me now what he says, and feels, and wishes; tell me not of his words and letters- tell me rather what he does. “Friendly is that friendly does”.

Jesus Christ laid down His life to pay the price of our redemption: He died that we might live; He suffered that we might reign, He bore shame that we might receive glory. “He suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.” “He was made sin for us, who knew no sin: that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” (1 Peter 3 :18; 2 Cor. 5: 21).

Do we want a mighty and powerful friend? Such a friend is Jesus Christ. He is able to pardon and save the very chief of sinners. He can deliver the most guilty conscience from all its burdens, and give it perfect peace with God. He can wash away the vilest stains of wickedness, and make a man whiter than snow in the sight of God. He can clothe a poor weak child of Adam in everlasting righteousness, and give him a title to heaven. In a word, He can give any one of us peace, hope, forgiveness, and reconciliation with God, if we will only trust in Him. “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin.”

(1 John 1: 7).

Do we want a loving and affectionate friend? Such a friend is Jesus Christ. Love shines forth in His reception of sinners. He refuses none that come to Him for salvation, however unworthy they may be. Though their lives may have been most wicked, though their sins may be more in number than the stars of heaven, the Lord Jesus is ready to receive them, and give them pardon and peace. There is no end to His compassion: there are no bounds to His pity.

Turn to the great Friend of sinners, and see how different a thing is His friendship from that of man. Listen to Him as He walks by the way with His disciples, mark how He comforts, reproves and exhorts with perfect wisdom. Observe how He times His visits to those He loves, as to Mary and Martha at Bethany. Hear how He converses, as He dines on the shore of the sea of Galilee: “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me?” (John 21: 16). His company is always sanctifying. His gifts are always for our soul’s good; His kindness is always wise; His fellowship is always to edification. One day of the Son of Man is better than a thousand in the society of earthly friends: one hour spent in private communion with Him, is better than a year in kings’ palaces. Never, never was there such a wise friend as Jesus Christ.

If you really want a friend, Christ is willing to become your friend. He has long wanted you to join His people, and He now invites you by my hand. He is ready to receive you, all unworthy as you may feel, and to write your name down in the list of His friends. He is ready to pardon all the past, to clothe you with righteousness, to give you His Spirit, to make you His own dear child. All He asks you to do is to come to Him.

He bids you come with all your sins; only acknowledging your vileness, and confessing that you are ashamed. Oh, come and be wise! Come and be safe. Come and be happy. Come and be Christ’s friend.