Friendship...the Wrong Kind
“It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher.” Matthew 10:25 ESV
No one will dispute this statement, for it would be inappropriate for servants to be exalted above their Master. When our Lord was on earth, what treatment did He receive? Were His claims acknowledged, His instructions followed, His perfection worshipped by those He came to bless? No, “He was despised and rejected by mankind” (Isaiah 53:3). His place was outside the camp; His occupation was bearing the cross. Did the world offer Him comfort and rest? “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head” (Luke 9:58 NLT). This inhospitable country afforded Him no protections; in fact, it cast Him out and crucified Him. If you are a follower of Jesus, maintaining a consistent, Christlike walk, you must expect similar treatment for the part of your spiritual life the unsaved world can see. They will treat your faith as they treated the Savior—they will despise it. Don’t imagine that worldly people will admire you, or that the more holy and Christlike you are, the better people will act toward you. They didn’t prize the polished Gem, so why should they value the diamond in the rough? “Since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, the members of my household will be called by even worse names!” (Matthew 10:25 NLT). If we would be more like Christ, we will be more hated by His enemies. It would be a sad dishonor to a child of God to be the world’s favorite; it portends bad things when the wicked world claps its hands and shouts, “Well done!” to a Christian. When the unrighteous give us their praise, we may want to review our own character and see whether we haven’t been doing wrong. Let us be true to our Master and have no friendship with the blind and ignoble world that scorns and rejects Him. Far be it from us to seek a crown of honor where our Lord found a crown of thorns. - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening
Most have either experienced or have seen the ill effects of hanging with the wrong crowd or people. Watch a TV show that takes an unexpected turn in the on-screen relationship and the fallout that ensued.
It's ugly. We watch things like that like watching a slow motion train wreck. For whatever reason we just can't take our eyes off of it.
Every drama show or movie has used that plot twist. Why? Honestly it's because it has its roots in the earliest parts of the Bible. Although most would dispute that.
We all like sheep have gone astray, each one doing what is right in their own eyes.
We don't like to lose nor like to be made a fool of. Yet in most every instance Satan loves to throw that at us to goad us into making poor decisions, especially in relationships.
Ruining relationships is a primary focus of Satan outside of the other evils he is involved in. The biggest being anyone's relationship with Jesus. However great or small that relationship is, he looks for anything to use to disrupt or destroy that relationship. From private to public embarrassment to the same with humiliation. Perverse thoughts and actions up to and including mutilation of the body into something that God never intended. Seemingly trapping people in a life that they think they cannot get out of.
Hope. I have long said this, and with all my heart believe, that as long as a breath of life is in someone hope exists for Salvation. Many disagree. They won't admit it but the reason to disagree is that it would mean work on their part to continue in prayer for those lost souls.
Consider the ones that are recorded in the Gospels. Brought to Jesus in order to cast out the demons from that the Disciples couldn't. What did Jesus say? More importantly was His answer just an answer or was it a set of instructions?
The only lost souls, truly lost, have no breath of life in them. Once you die your decision to come to Christ or not is finalized.
If you are in wrong relationships with this world then you will indeed struggle.
If all the world does is praise you and you claim to be a Christian then you need to look in the mirror. If your rights are more important than what obedience to God to you then you have a problem.
Your relationship with Jesus should always be more important than your friendship with the world.
You indeed may never be called upon to give up everything. However you may be positioned to help someone who was put before you on purpose by God to guide on their way towards Salvation.
Your relationships may indeed stink in regards to others. Early on in my life I got burned by many a bad relationships with others in school. It caused me to turn away from fostering any friendships. To this day I still remember bad decisions in trying to be accepted by my peers.
If you are thinking that liberty in Christ means all sunshine and rainbows you aren't reading your Bible. If you are thinking that it should all be blessings then you aren't reading your Bible. If you are thinking life should mirror those wholesome 1960's TV shows, then you aren't reading your Bible.
Jesus spelled out what struggles the believers would have. Yet He didn't leave us alone nor abandon us to 'fate'. Look at His life on Earth from the beginning of His ministry to the cross. He always was working the Father's Plan. When it says that we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that He has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them, He is working His plan in our lives. Take it to the heavenly bank. There's never been a moment when He isn't working in our lives. We should never keep grasping at the world for answers to the life Jesus is working out in us. Mistaking His efforts for a change with a need to be supplied by the world.
Friends are often hard to come by. A great many people mistake acquaintances as friendships. A true friend lets you into their hearts not just their lives. They know the ugly side of you and stay anyway.
Jesus knows all your ugly and wants a relationship anyway. But as people try to do, claiming that Christians are hopelessly single minded and against them, realize that's Satan talking. There's nobody who was ever touched by Jesus that regretted it. Including Judas. Judas didn't have the indwelling Holy Spirit. So it wasn't much for Satan to get to a greedy man.
Look at what you write about on social media. Look at your conversations in your day. Is it or any part of it all about you and your rights? Are you looking for peace in this world by compromising your beliefs?
Prayer is central to a right relationship with Jesus. Worry is expecting the world to save you and you see that it isn't and it compounds the problem. Prayers go to the Throne of God. Worry goes in circles away from us and back to us. Prayers are always heard from the believer.
Look at your life and just what you consider important. Before you take another step look at what you are holding onto. Before you make another decision to lash out about your rights, consider if it's about you or your fighting what God wants to do in your life.
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