During my college years I was on the sports team, the sport, well, it was bowling, yah it was the eighties and bowling was a popular sport. One of my teammates’ last name was Friends. His parents took it one step further at his birth and gave him the first name of Welcome, his full name, "WELCOME FRIENDS ". I never got his middle name, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was "My”. Coincidentally he was probably the nicest guy I ever knew. His personality always gave you a warm welcome feeling whenever you were in his presence.
He was also very smart and a dedicated student in his studies. Unlike myself, I attended college for the social life. I never spent much time studying, but I always managed to maintain a mid-eighties average. One semester I dedicated the time to study and made the Dean's List, but I sure did miss the social life and next semester I was back to the party. Being two totally different people had no impact on him, he never judged and was always so accommodating, always having a “you’re welcome” attitude. He treated everyone with a gracious, "glad to know you" disposition.
We all desire that more than a welcome feeling, we all want to join the club. A good feeling comes instantly when your friend request is accepted. When accepted are you a fair-weather friend or an all-weather friend? I'm an all-weather friend as long as you want to be in fair weather with me! Are your specifications friends with benefits only? I'm just asking for a friend, inquiring for one. They say diamonds are a girl's best friend, but I'm not going to comment on that, so I don't get caught in friendly fire. I try to have feathered friends, but I seem to wear out my welcome and they fly away. Then there was that likable teacher that came back, and everyone loved him, they made a television show complete with a song about him, Welcome Back Kotter. One day a remake will be coming, the classroom will be the world and it will be about a teacher, and the song will be Welcome Back Jesus.
The most desirable though is friends in high places. I'm talking about a man's best friend. You're thinking dog, but you have the word backwards, turn the word around, yah it's God, the dog comes in second. That's right, you're a friend of the most high God, your right and honorable friend. Jesus always laid out the welcome mat to whoever he encountered. His welcome was for his disciples and everyone he ever encountered, so since you are a disciple and part of the everyone equation, that means you. Just a simple gesture of telling you welcome aboard on the friendship. So maybe it's time for you to accept your friend request for a royal welcome and strike up a relationship. Jesus is your best friend in case you are confused, so stop studying about it and come to the party and join the club. I'm so, so thankful for the life God has given me and He says, "your welcome". Just like my old college teammate, Jesus has laid out the welcome mat for you, and since His birth, His greeting has always been "WELCOME FRIENDS ".
LUKE 9:10-11 ESV
10. On their return the apostles told him (Jesus) all that they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida. 11."When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing "
PROVERBS 22:11 ESV
He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend
ROMANS 15:7 ESV
Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God
JOHN 15:15 ESV
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing: but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.