Better is a friend who is near, their friendship is sweet to us

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Proverbs 27

9      Ointment and perfume delight the heart,

And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.

10    Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend,

Nor go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity;

Better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.

We, here at JIBC, lost a dear friend yesterday.  Miles would have turned 30 today, he went to be with the Lord yesterday.  (His death was not Corona virus related.)  For the past two Sundays, Miles braved the COVID 19 threat and came to church with me to lead music for our livestream programs.  As one who understood the sound board, he also set that up for me.  This past Sunday, after the service, we went to a local South American restaurant where we were the only customers and enjoyed a couple hours of really good food and sweet fellowship only as brothers in Christ can enjoy.  We knew the sweetness of a man’s friendship as we talked heartily back and forth about life, about God, and about living for Christ.

Both my family and his are back in the US so Miles would have considered the people of JIBC as neighbors that are near.  Many of us had serious life-conversations with Miles for his passion was to point people to Christ.  It was easy for Miles to move from talk about work or motorcycles, or drones, or music to talk about Christ, what He was doing, and how He was using us here.  In so many ways, Miles was a neighbor that was near to us.  He lived far enough away, in Tangerang, that the trip here could take anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour and a half. On his motorcycle, Miles often got here wet from the rain. Last Sunday, his shoes were so wet that he took off his shoes and socks for the service, but never did he complain about any of that for he was happy to serve the Lord as a part of this church.

No one is perfect so this is not to say that our friend had no faults; this is only to say that he was an example of a friend whose sweet counsel many of us enjoyed and he made himself to be our close neighbor even when our physical brothers are far away.  We need men and women who because of Christ in them are our close neighbors.  We need close neighbors who provide us their sweet counsel and comfort and service.  We need those neighbors who loving Jesus serve even when that service is inconvenient and even a bit risky.

Because of the Corona restrictions in Jakarta, there will only be a few at Miles funeral tomorrow.  We plan to livestream the funeral over Facebook so more of you can participate.  Pray for Miles wife, now widow, her name is Ella.  Pray for her to know the Lord’s great peace in the valley of the shadow of death.

Be careful and be safe. Share the love of the Lord with one another in new and creative ways.

Have a great day in the Lord,


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