There is a saying that to have a friend, you have to be a friend. Have you ever had a friend who constantly cancels at the last minute, makes promises they don’t keep, just in general forgets about you? These people would fall into the category of “fair weather friends” – they are there when they need you, but in the end you just can’t count on them. Suffice it to say these are not fulfilling relationships. Lorraine Hill teaches us that with God, in order to be His friend, we must commit to Him our time and our loyalty. She uses the scripture: “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (NIV Matt 6:24) She talks about serving other masters in our lives, the “little gods” that usurp God’s place in our lives. I think there is another verse from the same chapter that also applies: For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (NIV Matt 6:21). Have you ever been asked to make a pie chart of your time? Does God get decent sized a slice, compared to your other activities or relationships? How does He fare Monday-Saturday? You could say, where your time is, there your heart is also. If your life was bookmarked, like your computer is, is God in your “Favorites”? I wanted to highlight some of the statements from today’s reading that jumped off the page at me:
- One of Satan’s techniques is not to make us hate God, but rather to help us “forget” [about] Him…
- In the end, our choices either draw us closer to God or take us farther away
- The little gods of this life make an awful master. [We can never satisfy them]
Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” (NIV John 15:13-14). So there are two important ideas in this scripture. One ideas is that if Jesus was willing to lay down His life for us, what are we willing to lay down for Him, that we are holding too tightly too (our cell phone? the remote control? the idea that we are the one who controls our life?). The second idea is that all friendships are conditional. Here are some conditions we might have with our friends, whether we know it or not: You are my friend if you make time for me, if I can confide in you and you can keep it to yourself, if you can be trusted with my heart, if you can honest without being mean, if you don’t have an agenda for yourself when you deal with me. Jesus’ condition for friendship here is simple: we must do what He commands. We can know Him and His commands by studying His Word. But in the end, disobedience to those commands will drive us away from Him and we will not feel the warmth that comes from friendship with Him. That is sure to steal our joy.
JustaGirl…just like you!