As I mentioned last week, this week I am sharing a writing from my friend Shylethia Brown Williams. She’s done a great piece of work on “Friendship” and I shall say no more…looking forward to hearing from some of you and have a GREAT WEEK!
“Debra called me when I was doing my daily reading and normally I do not answer the phone but knew if she was calling me it was for a reason. When she asked me if I thought about doing the blog for Fast Wednesday I really had not as I had so much going on, but I knew if my FRIEND needed me I must sacrifice because I know she would for me. Then the Lord spoke and said this is the topic, the same topic I was reading about I was to write on. So here I am sharing on what He ministered to me.
You are my friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:14-15.
How awesome it is for Jesus to call us a friend. Now this is something I had to ponder on for a while because when I think of Jesus I think of HIM as my Lord, My Savior, My Teacher, My God, My Protector, My Provider, My Healer, My Deliver, My Redeemer, My Righteousness… but friend. It just seemed too small to put him there. However, when I pondered on it and really allowed the Holy Spirit to minister to me I could receive it because friendship is not a small or minor relationship. A friend is someone who knows you, who you spend quality time with and someone you share personal details about your life with who will not share it with anyone else. A friend is someone you can turn to when you are down and then after speaking with them you feel a weight lifted. A friend will tell you the truth about yourself and love you for who you are as a person, a friend will take time out of their already full schedule to help you when you need it. NOW, this is JESUS and whole lot more. He is truly the center of my Joy and HE has called me friend.
The next time I sing WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS I will be able to personalize it a lot more.
Today as we fast let’s pray for our friends and take the time to let our friends know how much we appreciate them and love them. Friends are jewels and we can learn a lesson from Jesus on how to be a friend. I know we have brothers and sisters in Christ too so lets us pray for them also because I have some strong sisters in the Lord who I also call friends. Our friends can also be our husbands or wives so let us pray for relationships with the Lord and relationship with anyone we consider our friend.
The Nelson’s Three-In-One Bible Reference Companion defines friend as –acquaintance; one highly esteemed.
Proverbs 18:24 – A man who has friends must himself be friendly.
I want to end on this footnote reading I was reading from Daniel when Debra phoned. I pray it is a blessing to you as it was for me.
Friendships make life enjoyable and difficult times bearable. Friendships are tested and strengthened by hardships. Such was the relationship between three young Jewish men deported to Babylon along with Daniel. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego help us think about the real meaning of friendships. As much as these friends meant to each other, they never allowed their friendship to usurp God’s place in their lives—not even in the face of death. Together they silently defied King Nebuchadnezzar’s order to fall down and worship the image of gold. They shared a courageous act, while others, eager to get rid of them, told the King the three Jews were being disloyal. While this was not true, Nebuchadnezzar could not spare them without shaming himself. This was the moment of truth. Death was about to end their friendship. A small compromise would have allowed them to live and go on enjoying each other, serving God, and serving their people while in this foreign land. But they were wise enough to see that compromise would have poisoned the very conviction that bound them so closely—each had a higher allegiance to God. The rest was victory. When we leave God out of our most important relationships, we tend to expect those relationships to meet needs in us that only God can meet. Friends are helpful, but they cannot meet our deepest spiritual needs. Leaving God out of our relationships indicates how unimportant he really is in our own lives. Our relationship with God should be important enough to touch our other relationships—especially our closest friends.
Shylethia Brown Williams
WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS
What a Friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge,
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you;
you will find a solace there.
Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to
Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there
will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship
will be our sweet portion there.
Words: Joseph Scriven (1857)
Love, Joy and Peace,
Debra J. Ellis
The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.”
Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (firstname.lastname@example.org), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog https://fastwednesdays.wordpress.com
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