Saturday, April 23, 2016

Intimacy With Our Heavenly Father

John 1:12-13
12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. RSV

  From the very beginning, God intended to have an intimate, loving relationship with His children. What evidence do we have that this is His desire?
   His Son. One reason that Jesus Christ came to earth is for us to know and relate to God the Father. The Bible tells us that Jesus is His exact representation; His words and works were the same as God's (John 5:19; 12:50). Therefore, when we look at the Son, we are seeing the character of our heavenly Father.
   Invitation. Through the Scriptures, God invites us to join His family. He took care of all the arrangements; the only thing we have to do is say yes (3:16).
   Adoption. The closest tie we can have with one another is family. At salvation, we are adopted into the Lord's family. This relationship with our heavenly Father lasts for an eternity and provides us with support, encouragement, and love.
   Friendship. By calling His disciples "friends" (15:15), the Lord revealed a new aspect to their relationship, which applied to future followers as well. Jesus is a forever friend - one who will never desert or turn away from us.
   His Presence. From the moment of our salvation, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. He is even closer to us than any earthly kin can be.
   The heavenly Father invites us to join His family through faith in Jesus. This is our highest calling - to believe in Christ and to live for Him all of our days (20:31). Once we become God's children, His Spirit will work in us to make our family resemblance stronger in thought, word, and deed.
Stanley, Charles F., In Touch: Daily Readings for Devoted Living. March 2016. Atlanta. page 48.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Developing Godly Friendships

A man who has friends must himself be friendly.
Proverbs 18:24 NKJV

   The Lord desires for you to have an intimate relationship with Him, but He doesn't stop there. He wants you to have enriching fellowship with other people as well. When you are lonely, you are to turn first to the Father. But you can also rely upon the people He has placed in your life.
   Friend, God has given you people to love. They may not be the ones you wish you had a relationship with, but the Lord has placed them in your life for a purpose. And your loneliness will be remedied by interaction with them rather than by an escape into fantasy or other addictive behavior.
   One of the greatest blessings in life is a godly friend. So don't be reluctant to call upon your loved ones when you experience moments of loneliness, grief, debilitating loss, or profound despair. He has placed other people in your life to love you, spend time with you, and help you break through the wall of separation you feel from the world.
   Therefore, don't remain isolated. Reach out to others and thank God for your friendships.

Father, lead me to godly friends who
demonstrate Your love and faithfulness. And
help me to be that friend to others, amen.

In His presence. . . turn toward godly friends.

Stanley, Charles F. "Developing Godly Friendships." Every Day in His Presence: 365 Devotions. Nashville: Thomas Nelson. page 381.