A Friend loves at all times
“…the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” ~ 1 Samuel 18:1
The story of friendship between David and Jonathan is a great example of the responsibility we have to those God has entrusted to us. You may have that someone in your life that you would do anything for, without hesitation, even to the point of death. Jonathan did this for his friend David, by sparing his life from the clutches of King Saul (Jonathan’s father).
It is very important to exercise discernment in who you connect yourself. Here’s what it comes down to: Do your friends keep you accountable? Do they correct you when you do wrong? Do they encourage you in the Lord? Do they protect you when you are in danger of sinning, or pull you out if you are caught up in it? Do you reciprocate? Are you there for them? Do you go to them in time of need, hurt, and prayer? Do they come to you? God has entrusted you with the heart of another. Don’t take that responsibility lightly. James 4:4 tells us, “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” As was mentioned in Stewardship (part 2), you can not serve two masters. You will either love one and hate the other. You can not have both. As a Christian, you have a responsibility to keep sin from your life and those close to you. In fact, my pastor spoke to this concept from 1 John 3. We should be at a point in our faith that sin in our life and those we love is unacceptable! We serve an amazing God and the acceptance of anything that does not honor Him, including our relationships, can be considered enmity toward Him. My pastor put it very clearly, “Sin is the work of the devil. If we accept sin as a part of our lives, to whom have we truly committed our lives?” If we don’t guard our God-honoring relationships, we are bound to fail and fall flat on our face. We can not live this life on our own. Surround yourself with like-minded friends whose ultimate goal is to serve God and others, not themselves.
“Order all my ways by thy holy Word and make thy commandments the joy of my heart, that by them I may have happy converse with thee. May I grow in thy love and manifest it to mankind. Spirit of love, make me like the loving Jesus; give me his benevolent temper, his beneficent actions, that I may shine before men to thy glory.” ~ Puritan Prayer
The Articulation of the Gospel
I have written about this on a couple of occasions (see previous posts, So much to say, yet nothing’s communicated, and Sorry Francis, it’s time to use words). Being able to articulate and proclaim faith in Jesus Christ to a world increasingly hostile to Him is vital. There is no better time than NOW to let people know why you believe what you believe. Why now? Because you have a responsibility given to you by your risen Savior. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20, ESV)
Here’s the short of it. By your actions and by your words Jesus should emanate from your entire being. Confession time: This is why I am having a difficult time with Facebook and other social networks as of late. I admit, I’m on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. They are fantastic ways to communicate. However, people tend to forget that social networks are also identifiers. By what you post, people with label you. That is why I take great care in what I say on these networks. I want people to know me as one who loves Jesus in all respects. Whether through the words on this blog, my posts on Facebook, tweets, or photos. People have almost complete access to my world. I choose to let them in to my world, but in so doing, I have a responsibility to let them see Jesus and the work He’s done in my life. It is my prayer that is the case. If not, I need someone to let me know ASAP! It is important to show love by who we are and what we do. It is just as important to tell them of the love of Jesus. This life we’ve been given is not a game of charades. Don’t just act the part. Know your lines, and live your God-given life for Jesus Christ!
It has been my goal over the last three posts to show you that Stewardship has many facets. It is not just about how you look after your finances. Being a just steward over all aspects of the life God has given you is important. A key word in this series has been ‘responsibility’. Think of any representative, manager, superintendent, director, or officer. Each and every one of them have responsibility over something or someone. Do you feel as if you haven’t been given much? Consider how you’ve managed what you do have. Feel as if you’ve been given a bad lot in life? Now’s the time to show God that you are appreciative of all He has given to you and blessed you with. Do you desire more? Manage your life properly for His glory, and you’ll see how He decides to bless you more abundantly than you could ever imagine. That is the ultimate key: For His glory and the benefit of others.
God bless you!!