Sunday, August 5, 2012

Be  Friends of God and be friends with your brothers and sisters in Christ; Romans 16:3-4
"Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles."

Paul not only won souls but also made friends. Throughout his ministry, Paul demonstrated great kindness toward others and exhorted others to treat one another well. He gathered around himself some true friends... friends who were not only willing to exchange kindness one-for-one with him, but they were willing to lay down their time, finances and even lives sacrificially to help Paul. These were not 'here today gone tomorrow friends,' but were true friends in every meaning of the word. We should be like that with one another.

I am reminded of a story about a young Private First Class in the United States Army during the brutal fighting of World War II. In the midst of a skirmish, the unit had been forced to retreat due to heavy gunfire and was pinned down in the trenches. His best friend had been hit in the exchange and the unit retreated so fast he was left behind lying in the field. The young soldier could see his friend and began to climb out of the trench to get him. His Sergeant stopped him saying, "Son, your friend is gut shot. That means he is going to die. There is nothing you can do for him, and if you go out there, you will die as well. We do not need to lose two soldiers today." The private looked his Sergeant in the eye, set his jaw and scrambled out of the trench. Reaching his buddy, he too took a bullet in the belly but managed to pull his friend back to the trench. His buddy was dead. The Sergeant looked at his friend and looked at the private and said, "Son, your friend is dead and now you are going to die. Was it worth it?" The young soldier looked down at his own wound then looked up and said, "Sir, yes sir, it was worth it, because when I got there, my friend looked at me and said, 'I knew you would come.'"

Church is not a building; it is a group of people who are serving side by side in the army of God. Sometimes we get wounded, and sometimes we see another get wounded. The battles can be heavy and at times, the potential for hurt can be great. Are you the kind of friend that soldier was?

Life Lesson: We should want to treat other people better than we do now.

Dear Jesus,
Thank You for loving me. Thank You that Your love was so great for me that You died for me. Lord, give me the courage to step into the gap for others. Putting aside all fear and selfishness, allow me the opportunity to come along side of someone in their time of need. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee

Senior Pastor
The Bridge

My Comments: Many times we hear of people who come into a church and see believers who are not mature and even nonbelievers who attend because they just want fellowship and have not found salvation; they see and hear them and leave thinking "If this is a Christian I want nothing of what they say they believe". Sad isn't it. First sad because they judge based on those who either do not know the Lord or who have not walked with Him long enough to know or show His love in how they behave or talk.

I think often we are like that. We go to someones home and judge the "friend" based on what the family is like and if we like them. Each person is an individual responsible for their own behaviors yet we look at the whole. We do this with whole groups of people and they do it of our groups. When we go to foreign countries and behave like we own the world or are the smartest on the planet we leave a sour taste in the mouths of those who are inflicted by us.This happens in churches and that is a shame. A shame on those of us who are mature and should reach out and make sure new people tie into more mature Christians or get into the studies they need to grow or accept the salvation of God through His Son, Jesus.

The Bible tells us to love one another. Paul lived this truth and we should as well. Love does not talk behind others backs or spread words not okayed by the person themselves (this is gossip and it damages), one forgives and helps the person to have a stronger walk with Abba, one reaches out when another is in pain and comes along side of them even to crying with them. I have been very blessed to have mature Christians come along side of my hubby and myself during this challenging time in our lives. We have been prayed over, offered emotional, spiritual and physical and monetary help from the love of God in their hearts. This is as we should all be to our brothers and sisters around the world and especially where He has planted us.

The preceding writings from Cross the Bridge said we are an army of God and yet with the Olympics just finishing I am reminded of the times many of our American team stood back so another could shine, or how they worked together even when competing against eachother. We are not in competion yet we can learn to work together to make it so all can win the race.

Abba You have blessed us with Your love and we pray we will love as You loved, live as Your son lived totally for others. May we be willing to give up so others may have, may we not seek to judge but to  build up, and may we sacrifice so others my live. In Jesus' Name, Amen

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