Points to Ponder: Something New That's Been Around Forever
Points to Ponder
Something New That's Been Around Forever
Do you have a friend who can read you like a book? Over time you have gotten to know this person, appreciating and sometimes surprised by the wise perceptiveness that only this friend seems to have; particularly about you. Some friends like these seem to have "been around forever." Being in their company adds a spark to your life, an uplift to your day.
I meet with my old friend who's been around forever, most days in the morning. We have gone back once again to the early chapters. Each time we go back and review it again; it's fresh even though it's familiar. New insights are revealed. My friend has patiently helped me to grow into them.
I understood just a little differently, maybe even better than before; details I had missed, an insight that jumped out of the story. Sometimes there is a truth about myself I'd not realized til we reviewed the matter again.
Best of all, this "been around forever" friend continues to draw closer to me. The understanding we share deepens. And when I think I know so much about this friend, I find something else; another angle from which to see the wisdom of this great friend who always knows me better than I know myself. I never get bored during our times together. I find myself wishing there was more time for our interactions.
Have you ever had a friend whose friendship has compelled you to become a better person? The Bible speaks of this on one level:
"As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend" (Proverbs 27:17).
Then there is a deeper level, with the Ultimate Friend.
I opened to the first chapter of Genesis, beginning for (I think) the seventh consecutive year a cover-to-cover journey through the Bible. I have been there before in my devotions, as well as in Bible study groups and in producing sermons; yet I meet my old friend there and it's new again. It's the relationship, not merely reading words on a page.
Relationships take initiative and work in order to thrive. Who are your BEST friends. Why? Who initiated the relationship?
"A man who has friends must himself be friendly. But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother" (Proverb 18:24).
Relationships develop as we open ourselves to them. And there is ONE relationship we would do well to seek, that One who sticks closer than a brother.
Jesus tells us that there is a deeper relationship we can have with God through Him. We find it and grow in it as we spend time with Him in His word.
"You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you" (John 15:14-15).
Do you think that Bible reading, having "devotions" in the morning, sounds boring? Yes, it does. If you come to the scripture without a desire to know the Author, the pages are just mere words before you. If you have tried this before and given up, I invite you to consider your attitude.
When you make time to meet a valued friend, you look forward to the appointment. You anticipate good things; pleasant conversation, insightful sharing of thoughts and perspectives, a relief of stress because you can "unload" when you're together. God wants to be that Friend for you.
Notice how Jesus tells His disciples how they went from "servants" to "My Friends." The deeper status came from their approach to His word. If His word bores you, well, what then are you saying about Him?
* You read the newspaper? But not His word.
* You read your favorite magazine? But not His word.
* You read fiction, novels, the Classics? But not His word.
What are your choices telling you about your faith?
Your priorities speak plainly of your values. You do what is important to you and you put off what is not. Right?
Why not start off this new year fresh and deal with this? Insanity is doing the same things and expecting a different result.
If you want this year to go differently than the previous year(s), then face what needs to be different in you.
Be honest with yourself. Invest time in the Best Friendship you will ever know.
Points to Ponder is a series of occasional articles written by Rev. Dennis Whitmore, Pastor of Hilltop Christian Fellowship of Clear Spring, MD. These articles (and sermons) are also found at www.hilltopchristianfellowship.com. Listen to Pastor Dennis on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs, at 10:45am and 7:50pm, both days.