Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Oh how God continues to be growing me in my great faith adventure. Nothing bad is happening in my life. Yay! What He is doing is teaching me and showing me how to be a friend to my friend here at school. For that I am very grateful. It is not easy at times, but I am learning. I shall share with whoever reads this what I am learning.

Back in October I heard a sermon at my church called Living the Gospel in the Lives of Others. I remember the part of the sermon where I prayed for God to bring someone into my life for me to live out the gospel in their life. It was one of those prayers that right after I prayed it that I said wait what the heck did I just pray God, Maybe I do not mean it. What are You going to do? Enter my friend a few days later. It all started with me running into him in the stairwell talking to him and telling him I had covered in his classes and what I had done and that I had been praying for him while he was out, He thanked me and gave me a hug and we parted ways. Little did I know that he would be out for a while starting the following week and that God would start using me in his life and what would come in November. The thing that made me glad that Nashville had never worked out because if it had then I never would have been able to help my friend out at a time when he really needed it,

Something that stood out to me in that sermon that was preached back in October is that Jesus stepped into the lives of people whose lives were messy. My friend's life is certainly messy. I let my friend know last week that he has a friend in me and I have started praying each day for God to show me how to be a friend to him and to teach me how to be a friend to him, God is helping me to lower the walls and the awkwardness that I know were there when we got back from break. I do not know why they were there, but they were. I should have known better. But they were. I can see that God is developing in me a heart that is tender for my friend. Helping me to listen and ask questions. To be sensitive to when he might not be feeling well. To keep quiet when he asks me not to say anything. To love him like Jesus did. To know when the time is right to share Christ with him (it is not yet the time, but in time it will be and I will be there to share the hope that is found only in Christ because I want to see his life turned around and transformed). I am learning to love him like Jesus loves him. I am learning to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit in his life. All nine of them - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. 

I am looking more at how Jesus was a friend to others. Especially to those who were considered the unlovable and outcast of society. Not that my friend is that. But as I get to know him a little bit better, I find more and more out about what he is going through (and add to my prayers for him). One blog I looked at had three ways on being a friend like Jesus. First is to be okay with marginal. Second is to aim to love, not be liked (I have seen this first hand in my friend's life. There are times that he has not exactly been happy with me and I have still shown him love. Because he needs to know that no matter what, there are people that will love him and accept him just as he is - Jesus does). Third is to put the gospel to work. Being upside-down, inside-out, and forward-back. Being upside-down means that our lives are marked by a relentless pursuit of servant hood. In my friend's life (and in the life of whoever God sends my way) I keep my eyes and ears open for how I can be a help to him. It is not that I am co-dependent, I am not. But I am asking God to help me to keep my eyes and ears open in his life. Inside-out means that I extend grace to my friend right where he is at. I do not care what all is going on in his life or how some might think he has issues. Someone has to accept him and love him right where he is at. Jesus does. Forward-back means I love my friend who is lost and when the time comes tell him of God's great love story for mankind.

I do not do this because of some obligation. Because I feel it makes me a better Christian. I do this because I want my friend to know the hope that is found in Jesus Christ. I care about him and I do not want to see him suffer one day in eternity. I want him to know the love of God. To know that God loves him and does not care what he has done. That God has a better path and plan than how his life is currently going. It is not easy, but  I will persevere on this journey. I love my friend and want to see the best for his life.

Today's video is Friends with Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant. I feel it is appropriate.

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