1 Sam.18:1,3 - “…Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself…And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.” There is something very special about old friends we share history with. Not that new friends aren’t a treasure too, but old friends know you in a way that only comes through years of shared experiences. Friends are instrumental in the development of our character (1 Cor.15:33). Friends encourage us (Heb.3:13), hold us accountable (James 5:16), rebuke us when needed (Pr.27:6), help us back up when we fall (Ec.4:10), help carry our burdens (Gal.6:2), sharpen and develop us (Pr.27:17), share wisdom and advice with us (Pr.27:9) and love at all times - they are always there for us (Pr.17:17). We’re told not to forsake a friend (Pr.27:10) and to keep on loving each other as brothers (Heb.13:1), being devoted to each other in brotherly love (Rom.12:10). There is a synergy between friends, especially when God is present in that relationship, that is found nowhere else. Ec.4:12 tells us that, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” New friends are great but there is a unique depth found in old friendships. I’ve been blessed with many close, old friends. My brother Dave is both my brother and closest friend (outside of Erin and Jesus) who I’ve shared more history and experiences with than anyone else. Josh is visiting right now, from Michigan; he and I have been friends for 15 years, having grown up in Romania as missionary kids together. This week with Josh has encouraged me in a way that could not have happened any other way. Austin, my accountability partner has been a friend, confidant and ministry partner for almost a decade. Tom has been a friend and my companion in many adventures (fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, etc) for years. Daniel was my first best friend and he continues to be an encouragement to me in many ways. Marius is a friend I’ve known for many years in Romania; he and his wife are still very close to us. These are just a few of the close, old friends God has given me who speak into my life with that depth only old friends can. Of course my best friend is Erin and I thank God for the treasure she is to me. Beyond each of those relationships though, Jesus is the friend that sticks closer than a brother (Pr.18:24) and it is through my relationship with Him that I become the friend I need to be. Thank you God for giving us friends!