Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Courage to Change: Jesus is Your 'Friend'

Friendship is wonderful. There is really nothing to be compared with it. Friendship is special.

People motivate us in many ways....and for me, Friendship...It's a big motivator.
I suppose most of us understand the feeling of donating either time, money, attention, care, on someone other than ourselves. Perhaps you are the the kind of person that gives even more, who dons love, and the qualities that love produces such as compassion, long suffering, patience, and servitude...

How are you motivated by friendship? Everyone wants a good friend. Someone they call talk to about the matters of their heart, and feel safe with. Someone they can laugh with as well as cry with. Someone they can be serious with, and yet be silly with. Someone to whom they can be themselves around, and will love them for who they are. Someone who they can love, make happy, and lend a hand to as well. As much as everyone wants someone who will love 'them'...I believe deep down inside, everyone wants someone whom they can 'love', and 'give' to. Someone they can give of themselves to. Of course there are those who are more on 'wanting to be given to' side, and then there are those who lean more to the 'wanting to give' side. But both are ends of the same string.
Love ignites more Love. When you love someone, they almost can't help but love you back. Maybe not  always to the same degree, but 'Love' does stir something in most anybody. You love them them become more confident, more encouraged...Love is what makes Friendship even more special than just having common interests. Love makes friendships last.

Personally, I think that most of the horrible friendship breakups are because there was a lack of love  somewhere in the equation. Although there are circumstances where people change, or friends drift into different relationships with each other, some beneficial, some not. Some friends remain walking with you the same pace, the same path. They are like life long friends. There are those that pop out, and then pop back in, because although they may not be 'extremely close' they do still consider you a friend and care about you. Life is busy that's all.

There are different types of so called "friendships" that people create to be sure. But a true friend is really someone who cares about you, shares with you, and prays for you. A true Friend is someone you can count on, someone who is faithful. Friendship is a broad topic, so much can be mentioned. So much can be discussed. Good friendships, Bad 'friendships...It could fit in several blog posts to be sure.

By now this might not seem to par with what I've been mentioning but, I have this question, and it is this: 'How much do you dedicate, donate, give, to those you love?' Your: "Friends".
Sometimes I feel like we can get to carried away with friends (other people) and our relationships with them, that they become like idols. Have you ever considered how much time and thought you give to friends? Don't get me wrong, friendships are good, and they are necessary...but sometimes they get out of hand. They consume us. We begin to give too much to other people, the time we should be giving to Christ perhaps? We let other people determine our level of joy. This is not how God would have it. Other People are a big happiness factor...but they should never determine our "Joy" before Christ.

 If some relationship, some friendship you are in, has caused you to take your eyes off of Christ, and/or has stolen your should probably reconsider the direction of the relationship...
Joy and Liberty are two things that we should never consider as things we get by other people. Joy and Liberty have both already been bought for us, by the blood of Christ. He has died for us, and He has risen for us. We are to be Joyful, and derive our joy from the Lord...we must not let the enemy dampen it. Liberty is what we have by Christ, we are free in Him! we must not let others determine our liberty. Yes, there are times when the Christian is held captive, but in his heart, his is free, and he must still shine the light of the Lord.
You may wonder; "What is wrong with putting so much into a friend?" After all, everyone needs someone to give to, and someone who will give back". Yes true...But when it gets overboard is when your best friend, the one you love the most, are willing to give the most to, is not Jesus Christ but _____________.

Jesus wants to be Your Best Friend. No one else is as Faithful as Him. No one else is more loving, more caring, more compassionate then Him. No one else has given so much for you, and no one else likes you better for who you are. There is no one else who sees You like He sees you. There is no one else who hopes the best for you like He does. And there is no one else who will do for You what He can and will do for you. Why? Because Jesus is the Ultimate Friend. Not only because He 'can' be, but because 'He' is. In his heart there is not yesterday, but today...for If you desire him, every day you are in the best of friendships.

The best thing is, Jesus is the same...yesterday, today, and forever. His love for you is strong, and not changing with the tide. He desires you, He wants you, and He welcome you. I can't say I'm not doing my own changing, because that wouldn't be honest. That last part especially, that Christ is welcoming me to draw near to Him is a different concept. He is not hiding for me to find Him, not locking the door, and giving me a treasure map instead...but He is always present.

There is more to being Friends with God than what our human understanding tells us. I've been thinking that in order to get closer with God, I must do certain things. And I know some of these things would be beneficial, but God is calling each of us to give our love to Him, in the ways that we individually show it. Not everyone gives gifts to show that they are thinking about someone, or they love them. Some do. But just because someone doesn't always give gifts doesn't mean that they love less, they may just have another way of giving their love. As long as they do.

Some people give creative gifts to God to pour out their love for Him. They write songs, they play instruments, kind of like King David...some paint pictures...some do not creatively show their love for the Lord. This does not mean they love the Lord less....Now, there is truth that not everybody knows how to be a true friend to the same such a way, not everybody has the same relationship with the Lord. We all differ.

 But the fact is, no matter who we be, we need to be focusing on God more. We need to make Him the center of our Universe. We need to sweep our the other cares, and the idols we place before him, we need to set Christ back where He should, and wants to go. He loved you first. Remember that. And so it is, we love others, 'because', he first loved us.

Lord, I pray that we would care deeply about others, and be true friends. Show us what friendship really means. But teach us not to let friendships determine our livelyhood. May be remember that it is by You that we move, live, and have our being. I know that you want us to care for others, so that we may make differences in their lives. And I know that you search all hearts. But, Lord I just pray that we would draw even closer to You. That we would be in awe of You. That we would look at Your sacrifice on the cross, and we would look to your ressurection, and would realize that that is what should motivate us the strongest of all.

Forgive us for when we are destracted. Lord, I know that you realize, even more than I realize right now that we are not yet face to face. And until that day, we are not so close as to touch your hands your day we will be face to face, one day you will walk with us, talk with us, and we will hear your voice like running waters, and run into your arms, and let you swing us around. We do not have that yet.

You know that we are yet awaiting that. You are awaiting your bride groom. You are awaiting your dear friends. Until that day Father I pray we would keep prospective. You would teach us how to have a friendship with You, and realize that you truly are our friend. For there is a Friend closer and truer....and It is You.

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