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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Learning to Make Friends to Help Make Disciples

In review of Romans 12:16 it says, “Be friendly with everyone. Don’t be proud and feel that you are smarter than others. Make friends with ordinary people.”

Bottom Line:
Be friendly and treat others equally, do not be proud and wise, be willing to associate with and make friends with all people.

What this means to me:
I am to be friendly with everyone I come across. I am not to be proud or feel that I am smarter or more important than others. I am to make friends with ordinary everyday people that are already around me.

I believe that everybody is looking for a true friend, not just an acquaintance but someone who will be there with you when you need them most. God wants me to build true friendships with the people that are already in my life so that I can share the Gospel with them. God has put these people, my co-workers, neighbors and casual acquaintances in my life specifically so than I can share with them about the most important decision they will ever make. If I don’t tell them about what Christ has done for them, then who will?

Today’s verse in Romans 12:16 reminds me, “Be friendly with everyone. Don’t be proud and feel that you are smarter than others. Make friends with ordinary people” (CEV).

Unfortunately if I’m not careful I can fall into one of two extremes: isolation or imitation.I don’t want to get polluted by the world, so I’ll just isolate myself. I’ll build a wall and my own little world. But, this isolation won’t work! How would I hope to every build any friendships this way.

The other extreme is imitation, which says, “just like the world. Follow the latest fads, and adopt whatever values and goals popular culture tells me I should have.” Unfortunately in this extreme, I’ll be no different from the world. This is not what God wants me to be.

The best answer is to have insulation and infiltration. The Bible says I’m to be salt and light in the world, so I’m to penetrate the world with God’s goodness.

I need to be in fellowship with God and take guidance from the Holy Spirit so that I can insulate myself. It’s encouraging to know that If God can take a fish such as a sea bass and keep it in salt water its entire life and not have the salt permeate it, then He can certainly put me in the world, and keep me from being corrupted by the wrong values.

What I’m learning is that God wants me to be holy (set-apart) and secure in my faith. He also wants me to walk out my door into the world and get to know the people he’s placed in my life. As I build relationships with people around me and share Truth with them, I’ll be in the world but not of the world.

The Holy Spirit, God’s gift, does not want you to be afraid of people but to be wise and strong and to love them and enjoy being with them” (2 Timothy 1:7 TLB).

The isolation that I tend toward today does nothing to make me more secure. I’m actually less secure without others around me. God asks me to be light into the world, this means to be different, but in a positive way. I shouldn’t just follow the crowd because it is easier.

I am to make friends in this life. When I do so, I can share and be witness to what God has done in my life. This will ultimately help me to make disciples who will want to follow him as well.

I will need to risk myself and be friend who can be there when someone needs me the most. God has put people around me, my co-workers, neighbors and casual acquaintances, specifically so than I can share with them about the most important decision they could ever make.

Overall, I need to keep in mind that I may be the only representation of Jesus Christ that someone has in his or her life. If I don’t tell them about what Christ has done for them, then who will?

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