Friday, August 2, 2013

Follow-Through, Friend

What does it look like to be a "friend?" What does it look like to have a meaningful, nurturing, fruit producing, true relationship like the one Jesus asked us to have with our friends? There's no one better to learn from than Jesus himself when trying to produce the fruit required to have a life giving friendship.  

First of all, Jesus never needed to gain anything from his disciples... He was able to have a meaningful relationship with his 12 disciples because he did not only call upon them when they could offer him something. Jesus did not have a million dollars, a fancy car, or worldly connections. He did not live the lifestyle many dream of. Although he wasn't earthly rich, He was spiritually rich. Because Jesus knew His position, he never needed to gain anything from his disciples. The friendship was pure. 

In modern day, If we were being honest--many of our friendships do not resemble that of Jesus and His disciples. We call people only when they have something to offer us... Or we talk to people if we think we have something to gain...and we don't invest ourselves into just listening to people if they can't provide us with something we need. Or Maybe we are busy?  Guess what! Jesus was one of the 'busiest' men on the earth.... Because He was a servant. He gave and gave, and then gave some more. 

“Who would you rather be: the one who eats the dinner or the one who serves the dinner? You’d rather eat and be served, right? But I’ve taken my place among you as the one who serves. And you’ve stuck with me through thick and thin. Now I confer on you the royal authority my Father conferred on me so you can eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and be strengthened as you take up responsibilities among the congregations of God’s people. (Luke 22:27-30 MSG) --SERVE BECAUSE YOU KNOW YOUR PLACE IN THE KINGDOM. 

That couldn't have been easy. I don't think the problem is that we are busy, I think the problem is we value our time and think it is more important than someone else's. I am not saying we have to make time for everyone in the world to become extremely close...Because to be honest, there really isn't enough time to make the genuine friendships we want to make. Why do you think Jesus only had 12 disciples....? Not because no one else was willing to follow him, but because he was setting an example for us. He was showing us that friendships are more important than numbers.... They are investments. 

We have to be willing to invest our time. Care about each other. If we always say yes to everyone, and we never follow through...those friendships are meaningless. You cannot be a real friend if everything you say is just lip service. Faith without works is dead. Friendships without follow through and serving is dead. 

I find it extremely interesting that Christ chose 12 people... And he served them. Christ gave us the example that serving 12 disciples, 12 close better than 100 people serving us. 

Friendship is not based on how many people we can stack into our lives that can give us things, but rather how many people we can influence to be world changers and sharpen us in the process.... The investment is worth it... So serve and watch as your friendships are not only honored by the people you become close with, but by God Himself.  

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