Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Friendship Devotional

This is the devotional that I gave at last night's Ladies Salad Supper. I chose to talk about Friendship, because relationships are so important to us as Christians. I did find the devotional of the Web. Why reinvent the wheel? I started with a poem...about friends, of course! Enjoy!
I believe in angels,
The kind that heaven sends,
I am surrounded by angels,
But I call them friends.
A Recipe For Friendship
Julia Bettencourt

Friendships are wonderful gifts to our lives straight from God. There are several references to friendship in the Bible. There’s the relationship of David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18-20, 2 Samuel 1). Those chapters in Samuel are great reading. Jonathan and David had a great love and respect for each other.God called Abraham, "friend" (James 2:23). Moses also comes to mind. Remember how God spoke to him, "face to face, as a man speaks to his friend" (Exodus 33:11)?
When it comes to our sisters in Christ, friendship takes on a special quality. Friendship between Christians is especially sweet because of the bond of Christ. We are enhanced by those special friendships. Building those friendships is a wonderful way to encourage and lift up others in the Lord.

Now the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to beof the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus: So that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5,6
Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
Ointment and perfume make the heart glad: so a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend. Proverbs 27:9

Friends are one of the ways God takes care of us. We need all the things friendship blesses us with from other human contact such as encouragement, companionship, love, honesty, loyalty, understanding, and so many more things friendship offers.
Our friendships with our sisters in Christ are like recipes of goodness for us. They bake up something special. You may have heard that saying, "In the cookies of life, friends are the chocolate chips". Friends are that sweet extra in life and even sweeter is friendship among believers in Christ. Why is a recipe for fellowship and friendship with our sisters in Christ so important? Let's check out the ingredients and see what they do.

Sisters in Christ Friendship Recipe

  • Shortening - Provides texture. Our fellowship and friendship with our sisters in the Lord can add much depth and texture to our lives. We blend together in unity as part of the body of Christ.
  • Sugar - Adds sweetness. Our fellowship with our sisters adds such a sweet taste to our lives. If we didn't have sugar in our cookies, we'd sure miss it. The same is with our fellowship with our sisters. We can't leave it out of our lives.
  • Eggs - Holds ingredients together. Sisters in the Lord are someone to lean on. We are held together by fellowship with them. We are stronger because of them, their prayers, and their love in the Lord. We have a special bond in Christ.
  • Vanilla - Adds flavor. Sisters add that flavor we need. They give us that extra sensation. Without friends and fellowship we become kind of bland.
  • Flour - Adds substance. We need the substance a sister in the Lord can add. They give us many things by way of mentoring us when we don't even know it. When we share stories about how the Lord has worked in our lives and setting an example of how we live our lives, this has an impact on each of us.
  • Baking Soda - Leavens. Leavening agents in baking helps to lighten the dough. Friendship with our sisters in Christ lightens our burdens through their prayer and encouragement.
  • Salt - Enhances flavor. We know that friendships add flavor and just when we need it, they help improve the tastefulness and quality of our lives. Friends are the type of people that know just what we are going through and are there when we need them.
  • Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips - - The kind of chocolate chips we normally add to our cookies is semi sweet. Our sisters tell us what they feel and think and that's okay. We can be honest and truthful to each other. Remember "Iron sharpens iron" (Proverbs 27:17).
  • Nuts...Optional - Just a little craziness in a Christian friend is great! Sometimes a little laughter and zaniness in our friends. This can be just the ingredient we need.

Conclusion: Friendships take a lot of time and effort to bake up, but they are worth it. We know this when we sense that sweet aroma and special bond that they bring. Friends that have Jesus in common will have lasting relationships, not just here on earth, but will live with Christ together for all eternity.

"A man of too many friends comes to ruin: but thereis a friend that sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24.

What this scripture tells us is that if we do not choose our friends wisely, it will lead to our destruction. But, wisely choosing a few friends, we will find friends that will be closer to us than perhaps our own family. I think we make wise choices when we build our friendships in Christ.

I wonder often if I'm the type of friend that I should be to others, especially to my sisters in Christ. Am I doing all those things that I should be doing, like lifting burdens, adding flavor, helping hold things together with my prayers, and all those other things? I hope I can continue to grow and improve in this area.

So, ask yourself, is your life a good recipe for friendship?

Now, I will close with one more poem.

The Miracle of Friendship

There is a miracle called Friendship

that dwells within the heart

and you don't know how it happens

or when it even starts.

But the happiness it brings you

always gives a special lift

and you realize that Friendship

is God's most precious gift.

Now, I'd like to ask for your prayers.

Last year about this time, Allyson had tubes put in her ears. She didn't have ear infections for a long time after that. At Christmas, as I put on that post, she got one again. And, apparently, it has not gone away. Even after weeks of eardrops and antibiotics.

She started wheezing today. She started coughing yesterday. She is just sick and not getting better. We started breathing treatments today for the wheezing. She has not had much of an appetite, either.

Some of you know that we could not go out of town for the day this past weekend because she had to have antibiotic shots. She had to have one a day for three days.

We know that one of the tubes is out. The other, we're not sure because the infection is built up too much to tell.

We go back to the doctor on Thursday afternoon. Hopefully, the antibiotic shots worked and the infection will be cleared up.

As I type this, I hear her coughing in her bed.

Please pray that her health will be restored and that she will not have to have surgery to have tubes put back in her ears.

Thank you and God bless!


Melissa Lester said...

What sweet thoughts you shared in your devotional! And I will be priveleged to pray for my friend, Dawn, and for her sweet daughter to get better.

Ben and Tabby said...

That was a really sweet devotional! So sorry to hear that Allyson is so sick...I will definitely be praying for her and her Mommy!

Stacia said...

Hope Allyson is getting better and you all don't have to go through the tube surgery again. If you do though just know that the doctors know what they are doing and maybe this will keep her from getting sick so much. I had to have the temp. tubes twice and then permanent ones all before I was 4 or 5. I will be praying for her!
Loved your little devo by the way! You did a really good job and I'm sorry I didn't get to tell you that night...we kind of left right after you got done. Meshaun had to get home to watch her Jack on TV :-)

Amber said...

We'll be keeping Allyson in our prayers. Enjoyed your devo@

Sarah said...

It sounds like you did a good job at the salad supper. I'm sorry I missed it. I'm planning to go to the next one. I hope Allyson is doing better. If there is anything I can do, give me a call.