Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Friends are Friends Forever

     In 1987, Michael W. Smith sang this song and it touched my heart.  I had close friends that I was away from, and those that I had lost.  The song lived long in me.  It always melted my heart and made me cry.  Well, just last month, one of my nieces graduated high school and they someone sang this song, and it touched my heart again.  We have have our families for a lifetime, but too, can have lifetime friends, if the Lord is in them.

     From the memory I first have of friends, I had a friend named Mark when I was about 4.  I thought of him as my boyfriend at the time.  Oh, young love, right?  I lost touch over the years and still wonder whatever became of Mark.  For many years I moved from one school to the next and it felt like I had just a few friends.  One in particular was Angela, who I thought of as my best friend in the 3rd grade, but we soon lost touch.  We met up again when I moved back to my hometown.  Since my teens I have had a constant best friend, Karol, who was part of our Youth Ministry in our church.  We have been best friends for over 30 years and not once lost touch, unless I took awhile in writing or calling.  I moved from California to Arizona to Montana and to Illinois, and had the best of friends all around.  I have been truly blessed to stay in contact with them through Facebook and reconnect with old high school friends through Facebook, and coming home.  I was even graced by God to meet friends on a cruise ship!

     For many years, I took advantage of my friends, and only called on them when I needed them.  Then Jesus changed me.  Now, a friend is someone who I cherish and take care of any way I possibly can.  God has given me opportunity for friendships from all over to minister to.  I love all who I meet.   I want to give back what I have taken.  I want to be the kind of friend that will lay down my life for them.  When they cry, I'll be there and cry with them.  When they rejoice, I'll be there to rejoice.  God has called me to minister to people's needs, because at one time, I needed to be ministered to.

     One thing is for sure that I have learned in my journey through life, is to never take friendship for granted, and never take advantage of your friends.  Be there for them as they are there for you.  Love them as Christ loves them, and as Christ loves you.  Friends are friends forever, if the Lord's the Lord of them.  If that is the case, it will last a lifetime.  Cherish everyone, because someday they won't be there.  Life is too short to fret over petty stuff.  Forgive and love your friends.  And if I call you a friend, even on Facebook, you are my friend, and I love you.

Love with the friendship that Christ gave to us,

Saturday, June 6, 2015

My Grace is Sufficient For You

                                                               2 Corinthians 12:9
                                                                 "My grace is sufficient for you,
                                                                   for My strength is made perfect
                                                                                  in weakness".

     Paul had something in his life that he called a thorn in his flesh.  It most likely was an ailment he was suffering from.  Paul prayed 3 times for God to take it away, but He didn't.  Jesus made it perfectly clear that His grace was sufficient for Paul.  Paul later stated in the verse that he would gladly boast in his infirmities that the power of Christ may rest on him.  Paul's journey through the Christian life was tumultuous at best, but he was willing to persevere and run the race to the end, for his reward in heaven.  He was once a brutal persecutor of Christians and now is a fervent follower of Christ. 

     How are we then, to accept God's grace being sufficient for us?  When illnesses arise?  When trials of any come?  Grace is undeserved favor that we can't do for ourselves.  Jesus died on the Cross for our sins with His grace.  We all deserved eternal death, separated from God.  But God gave His only Son to save us.  Paul prayed for his thorn to be removed, and Jesus told him His grace was sufficient.  His grace is sufficient with our sins as well.  The price has been paid once and for all.  It's not by our doing, but by Jesus' doing.  We cannot boast in our salvation, but we can boast in Christ.

     How are you handling God's grace today?  Do you have a "thorn" you want to get rid of?  Are you handling your problems on your own, and not turning to Jesus?  Do you think you are not good enough for Jesus?  Do you think you are not doing enough to get to heaven?  No worries, Jesus' grace has got you covered.  No problems are too big or too small.  You may have an illness that He won't release from you, but rest assure, His grace is sufficient in all ways of life. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding".  Proverbs 3:5.  We don't always understand God's ways, but His ways are always best.  God gave us grace not because it was deserved, but because He loved us enough to spare us from hell.

                                                               In God's sufficient grace,