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As he loved his own soul

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As he loved his own soul

“…for he loved him as he loved his own soul.” 1 Samuel 20:17

Dear brothers and sisters,

This text shows us the depth of true friendship between the people of God. Jonathan and David have just struck a covenant between them. Their solemn bond obliged these two men of Israel’s court to mutual love and defense. Jonathan, the king’s son, would faithfully report to his friend if Saul’s anger kindled against David, and the son of Jesse would show kindness to Jonathan’s descendants. These two had developed a spiritual bond; David served in Saul’s court as an aid and soldier, while Jonathan was the son of the king. David honored his end of this covenant bond in future years, showing tenderness to Jonathan’s crippled son, Mephibosheth, recorded in 2 Samuel 9.
The friendship between David and Jonathan illustrates the sweetness and depth of Christian friendship. It is truly a fellowship of the soul. The souls of believers are bound one to another. We bless one another through words, gestures, prayers, and deeds. We are concerned for one another, weeping with those who weep, and rejoicing with those who rejoice. All of this affection is birthed from a heart made new. We are born again, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, are united to Jesus by faith, and cemented to his people with bonds of affection. The early Christians, “the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.” (Acts 4:32) When bidding farewell to the Ephesians elders, Paul “kneeled down, and prayed with them all. And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him.” (Acts 20:36-37) Read the close of nearly all of Paul’s letters, and he is sending personal greetings and expressing his love for spiritual kinsmen.
The strength of any congregation can be measured by its zeal for truth and love for all the saints. The standard of Biblical spirituality is set at the mark of doctrinal faithfulness and soul-deep affection. We “love one another with a pure heart fervently” because we have been “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (1 Peter 1:22-23) Pray that the Holy Spirit would quicken us, bring us to new life, open our eyes to the glories of the cross and worth of the soul! Pray that as the servants in Christ’s court, we might love one another as we love our own soul.

Yours in Christ,

Chris