God has all the qualities of a true friend. He is faithful, kind, just, tender, wise, forgiving, gracious and loving. And if our goal is to be more like Him and His Son Jesus, what prevents us from being a true friend of God?
Today’s Devotional Scripture
“Don‘t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again, that if your aim is to enjoy this world, you can’t be a friend of God…the Holy Spirit, whom God has placed within us, jealously longs for us to be faithful…He gives us more and more strength to stand against such evil desires.” (James 4:4-6, New Living Translation)
Some of the contributing factors that work against our friendship with God and with the Lord Jesus Christ are the most marvelous inventions of mankind.
On October 17, 1958, NBC rolled out a program called “An Evening with Fred Astaire” on a station in Wichita, Kansas. It was the first field test of a color television program.
Its quick acceptance lead to a cultural change. Suddenly, families of various sizes and ages were sitting with “TV trays” watching their favorite shows in color. The Cleavers, who sat around a dining room table to eat dinner, were being unseated by the antics of singers, dancers, comedians and dramatic actors performing in living color on TV.
I have seen us go from the phonograph to tape players to iPods. Being professionally invested in information technology, I remember the old dual floppy drive personal computers that used 5.25-inch disks to load software. Now we have iPads and ultra-thin portable computers.
My point is that as humanity graduated from clunky inventions to portable technological wonders, we may have sacrificed something - an intimate relationship with God.
Sadly, this sacrifice is not unique to this generation or the previous generation. It has been happening for thousands of years.
Survey the Old Testament sometime and look at the number of incidents that occurred because a group of people replaced God with a false idol. Or you could search through the New Testament and see how many warnings are issued about being corrupted by the “things of this world.”
Ignore the Competition
One of the most difficult tasks for each of us is laying aside the lesser things and the distractions that compete for our attention as we seek to share Christ’s message of salvation with others in Detroit and the surrounding suburbs.
To be a true friend of God, you are going to have to sacrifice your time and energy as you never have before. A wise elder once told me one of the greatest challenges in The Bible is found in Philippians 2:12-13: “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
You Can Be A True Friend of God and Jesus
I believe you can succeed in Jesus’ name and I offer this verse of encouragement penned by King David in preparation for Easter Sunday and the days that follow it:
“Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.”
(Psalm 55:22, New International Version)
Heavenly Father, thank You that You have called me friend. The Holy Spirit, whom You have placed within me, jealously longs for me to be faithful to You. Help me to pay attention when the Holy Spirit is whispering a warning to me. Enable me to respond immediately and seek your strength. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
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