We want to send you Thanksgiving greetings…that you will have a wonderful time as family gathers to give thanks to Him…from whom all blessing flow!
Recently, we have been reminded of Jesus great earthly ministry…though he was rejected by the establishment…he accomplished the goal of preparing workers to continue his worldwide ministry.
Before leaving he shared the approach he had used in recruiting and training his workers. He told his followers that he did not recruit them and treat them as servants…but as friends. They were loved as they had never been...Jesus had given his entire earthly life to them…to help them develop their personal life and faith. Through their close personal relationship with Christ and through his teaching, these men would be prepared for an amazing mission to the world.
Jesus began his ministry with prospecting…seeking people who would become kingdom workers…but more than this, he was actually choosing his friends…those who would become closer to him than any other human beings on earth. If we are to follow our Lord’s example we must see this key element. True discipleship is up close and personal…we must become a committed friend if we are going to reproduce disciples of Jesus.
Learning Friendship Ministry
Jesus relationship with his disciples was 24/7. He was in their lives…they were in his life. They became a part of his world. He became their most important friend. So how in this complicated world of busyness and nonstop activity can this happen? The only answer to this is that there is no human way for it to be accomplished. It is totally supernatural. As Jesus said, “The flesh accomplishes nothing.” Jesus said, “you must abide in me”…”without me you can do nothing.” We must become a part of a divine work…we must become an instrument in God’s hand…we must research the very nature of supernatural friendship…we are told that it cost us much…it involves laying down our lives for others.
Learning The Love In Friendship
Jesus gave his followers a “new commandment”…and that was to love one another as He loved His disciples. The quality of this love (as Jesus loved) is what makes this commandment new. Only with this kind of (supernatural) love will true disciples be reproduced and multiplied. Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, because you love one another (as I have loved you.”) John 15:12.
Time Together…Starting and Continuing Friendship
Weekly we spend hours in homes sharing our time with many of the newer followers as we teach the New Life study series. Time is essential to building relationship…as we share our personal lives, Jesus becomes personal and real…and friendships are built which will result in the reduplication of more committed workers. Without giving our time neither friendship nor discipleship will occur. Time must be spent in real life as well…not in just the scheduled meeting times.
Personal Interaction…Developing Friendship
Through time and commitment a trust level develops that opens our lives to one another and allows us to share personal things…the issues of our lives. When we apply the truth to these issues they are resolved over time and we begin to grow in our faith. We must be involved beyond the surface…at the heart level.
Prayer and Learning and Living…Using Friendship
When we pray together for our problems and when we learn together wisdom to solve our problems and when we are there to support one another through our problems…friendship and discipleship become blended. And the goal of our lives will be obtained…to live like Christ and to serve with Christ.
Through The Week Ministry…Exercising Friendship
Each Sunday has become the kick off for our weekly ministry which takes place in the community and in the homes and work place…where we connect with people one to one and in small gatherings. This is where real life spiritual business is transacted, personal decisions are made, and life is challenged to become more committed to the King and his teaching.
At this Thanksgiving season…we are especially grateful for all the new friends God has put in our lives. We are growing in our friendships each week. We are learning more about friendship as we practice living like Jesus. May God bless us all in a special way as we commemorate all that He has done!