Tuesday, January 03, 2006

inspiring friends

Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near. Heb. 10:24-25

What would life be like if you had at least two maybe three people thinking about how to stimulate you spiritually? What if you had others cheering you on in living a life of love and doing good to others? Would your life be different if you could get together regularly and simply be encouraged by a group of friends? If that could really happen, what changes could be possible for you? No friendship is as satisfying as one in which Christ is mentioned often. I don’t know about you, but I need some people to help me grow, to inspire me to really live out this amazing life in Christ.

Inspiring friends pray with and for one another. Friends who never pray together miss one of the finest ingredients of a Christian friendship-an ingredient that is thoroughly established in Scripture. Jesus taught that prayer is both private and corporate-alone and with others. "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven" Matt. 18:19 When did you last pray with a friend or a smaller group of Christ-followers?

Having fun is what inspiring friends do as well. They seek to enjoy one another and create situations where laughter is common and gentle teasing can take place. Real joy is only found in the context of relationship. God created us to give and receive enjoyment from one another and our joy is made full as we lighten up, laugh a bit, and allow our God-given senses of humor to develop with our friends. I think this is far too undervalued in Christianity today. We need to laugh more-until our faces hurt and tears come to ours eyes kind of laughter. We need this badly!

At our church we have an environment designed to do all of this. It is called a life group. Our groups are reforming over the next few weeks and will be meeting through Easter until our Spring Break. If you attend our community, let me strongly encourage you to join one. Groups meet weekly, discuss life issues, pray, and build faith in each other’s lives. If you do not attend our church, I hope you can find an atmosphere that offers these things. People who commit themselves to groups like these find the support, encouragement and inspiration to face life and overcome obstacles. I don’t know, maybe you don’t need friends like these, but I do. May God give you some great friends. May your life be lifted and new wind be at your back. And may you know the joy found in one of God’s special gifts-inspiring friends!


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