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Daily Bible Devotion-The Value of Friendship

LADIES LAUGING

 

 

 

 DAILY BIBLE DEVOTION 

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.  Proverbs 27:17

Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.  Proverbs 27:9

That is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.  Romans 1:12

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

It is so important for Christians to be connected not only in church, but in life.  Medical studies have been done that prove people who have lasting friendships, are social, play games, and love to laugh with others cut their chances of developing Alzheimers and Dementia by half!  Being a friend and having friends actually extends your life and the quality of it!

I know better than to get depressed!  I know it is a spirit from the enemy and how it feels when it tries to oppress you.  I had begun to feel it trying to come on me in recent weeks.  I am going to be very honest about this.  I try not to air any negativity on my site, but at the same time sometimes just telling the truth is necessary! 

In my lifetime I have had three extremely close friends.  Friends who have been there with me and for me in the good and the bad!  Friends I knew I could count on and could count on me!  In the past year, I had two friends go through horrible times!  They both lost their fathers very close together and my third friend is so busy in ministry she can almost see herself going and coming!

As I began to write, I too became extremely busy.  I had no idea God had me writing a book and that He had another planned!  Writing began to consume my mind (in a good way) as God began to tell me what to write and what to write about!  I didn’t think a great deal on the fact I wasn’t talking on the phone, going out to eat with other couples, or playing games and having socials at our house the way we used to.  It was a different phase and a necessary phase.

One day as my schedule began to ease up I began to miss my sweet friends fiercely!  I knew the grief of their loss was still fresh and business and health issues were an item for them, too!  I knew my friend in ministry didn’t have time to slow down, much less stop and piddle with me!  I felt so lonely, so I dug even deeper into the writing.  Still that nagging void was there. 

Yes, as women we have our husbands and I thank God for that, but ladies need other ladies!  We never outgrow the need to relate to one another or have that girl talk time, shopping time, or just exchange recipes, or talk about the latest good book we have read.  We need sisters in Christ to talk about the goodness of God to, tell all that He has done in our lives and the lives of our families, and all that He has promised to do.  Oh, how I was missing that.

As I began to think more about this, I reminded myself to have friends you must show yourself friendly.  I began to go through the list of all the precious ladies I knew.  They either worked, had children still at home, or lived too far away just to have a short time of “fellowship”.  For one reason or another, I didn’t know of anyone who COULD be a close friend. 

I had written on the prayer of agreement and I decided to ask hubby to agree with me about this.  I had made a list of what I wanted in this friend (I decreed it…yes, I know!  I am laughing, too).  I told my husband I wanted her to be around my age, have my interests, it would be nice if she had a husband that could connect with him so we could do things together, but more than anything, I wanted her to love the Lord and wanted her love to talk about the Word as much as I did!!  I prayed it would be someone who needed me as much as I needed her!

We agreed, presenting all my requests to God, and then I waited.  Every time I thought about her, whoever “her” was, I thanked God for her.  I would praise God our paths would cross and everything I had asked for would be there!  I don’t know exactly how it happened, it was so slight at first, but God brought her!!  We found out little by little we liked the same things, we are close in age, and (get ready) I have known her since I was a child because we are RELATED!!!!  She is a cousin I had not seen in years, but I have always loved!  Her husband is as precious as she is, and we felt right at home with them from the start! 

God is concerned with every area of your life.  There is nothing too small or too large for God.  Don’t let the devil tell you not to bother God with something “so small” when He has bigger things to do.  God is everywhere and knows how to multi-task!  If it concerns you, it is something He is more than ready to help you with and give you everything that is necessary for your joy to be complete…even if it means bringing a faithful friend just like you “ordered”! 

Blessings to you, precious reader!  We now have a “Contact Us” section.  If you have a prayer request we can agree with you on, please feel free to use it!  We look forward to hearing your praise reports!!  Simply,  Juliana

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My Friend, My Treasure

My friend my jewel

Proverbs 18:24

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

24 A man with many friends may be harmed,[a] but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.

Just because someone calls you “friend” does not mean they are one.  Just like the prodigal son, he was very popular until his money ran out.  Sometimes people are “friends” as long as you have something they need, and that need can be anything, not necessarily money!  I am so thankful that I have been blessed with friends that are true!  Friends that, when I really needed something, dropped all to be there for me. 

In our scripture we know this friend who “stays closer than a brother” is Jesus!  He is there with you, never leaving or forsaking you!  But there are friends in human form who have a Christ filled heart!  They to stay closer than a brother.  Jesus has to have a body to work through on the earth, and  friends are one of them! 

Yesterday, I had a dear friend call me and we talked for three hours on the phone and then we met for lunch!  This friend could literally light a darkened room with her presence!  You cannot help but like her, not only because her personality is hysterical, but she is literally a living illustration of Jesus!  When you tell her something in confidence you know it is going no further, she is full of wisdom, and she is THERE for you!  When you talk to her, she doesn’t turn the conversation back to herself while you are still pouring out your prayer request.  She is one who truly listens, understands, never judges, and is full of Godly wisdom and advice! 

When our lunch was over yesterday, I hated to see her go.   I felt like the weight of the world (it has been a tough week) was literally lifted off my shoulders!  I knew she would be praying for me and I would see the results of her loving prayers!  My friend can only be described as one thing…a jewel.

When you have expensive jewelry, you take care of it.  You don’t just let it lay around where someone can take it and sell it as though it was nothing but a means to momentary satisfaction.  You take that jewelry and you put it in a safe place.  You make sure you know how to take care of it, keep it clean (some cleaners are too abrasive and will harm your jewelry), and you don’t give just anyone access to it.  I don’t mean you get jealous of your friend’s friends, but you don’t tell your friend someone can be trusted and they will be a wonderful friend when you know they won’t!  You guard that jewel (friend) from gossiping tongues, being treated harshly, exposing them to things that would cause hurt, or abrasion so to speak!  You give that jewel of a friend great consideration and you appreciate who they are as your friend, literally your gift from God!

Determine to be this type of friend, too!  Be a friend that doesn’t speak of things said in confidence!  Oh, that breaks trust that can NEVER be regained!!  Friendship is ALWAYS built on trust!   Truly listen!  Don’t sit and think about what you want to say midway through your friend’s sentence.  DON’T EVER turn the subject back to you!  They are talking to you about something that is truly a weight in their lives, they don’t need your weights at the time, too!  This is selfishness!

I had a friend one time that told EVERYTHING I told her in confidence, was jealous and competitive with me, never listened to me, always turned the conversation back to her and how much worse her life was than anyone else she knew, would say she wanted to talk about God, but five minutes of “God talk” was more than enough and she would then change the subject!  This went on for so long, I could not turn to her because the trust had been broken many times, it was all about her no matter what, and she didn’t have enough depth to truly advise me in a Godly way!  It became a gripe “festival” for her.  I finally had to face facts and I could no longer be around her anymore!  I loved her, but she pulled me down emotionally and spiritually!  This is another time, you have to “let go”.  If you didn’t read my article “How to Know When to Let Go”, this article will explain in more depth what I mean!

We don’t just throw people aside when they aren’t giving us 100% attention.  We are ALWAYS there to help them, if possible.  But when it begins to drain you, make you ill, leaves you without God’s peace, demands time that is unfair to you and your other relationships,  it is time to evaluate boundaries within that relationship!  God came to give you peace and lighten the burden, not to add to it!

I am determined to be the friend a friend should be!  I am determined to be more and more like Jesus and love others as He has loved me!  Love is a firm foundation and God can build mighty things on it!  Loving as God loves, is the greatest thing, and I think one of the hardest things we can do in life!  You can’t love selflessly without God’s help!  You must let Him do it through you, because we are human and if we let natural human ways dominate, we won’t be able to love and flow supernaturally! 

Have a blessed and wonderful day, precious reader!  Meditate on the love of God!  Think about how He loves you and shows it and be an imitator of that!  What a fulfilling life that brings!!  I will see you soon!  Juliana


Are You Causing Your Friends to Feel They Really Don’t Count?

Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable?  (NLT) Proverbs 20:6

I have called this frog ”the excuses frog” because he is full of them!  It is obvious from his posture everything he is saying is simply because he doesn’t want to do anything but what he is doing now.

A true friend will not purposely let you down and make excuses for it.  They are quick to apologize, quick to make amends, and quick to put others first.  Have you ever had a friend that made you feel second, third, or even fourth?  You know who a true friend is when you are the one that has the need!  Just as I would never deny my family help in time of need, nor would I deny a friend if I know there is a need.

Jesus went through this as well.  In Luke 14 we find this parable:

“A man was giving a large banquet and invited many.  17 At the time of the banquet, he sent his slave to tell those who were invited, ‘Come, because everything is now ready.’

18 “But without exception[a] they all began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. I ask you to excuse me.’

19 “Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m going to try them out. I ask you to excuse me.’

20 “And another said, ‘I just got married,[b] and therefore I’m unable to come.’

21 “So the slave came back and reported these things to his master. Then in anger, the master of the house told his slave, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the city, and bring in here the poor, maimed, blind, and lame!’

22 “‘Master,’ the slave said, ‘what you ordered has been done, and there’s still room.’

23 “Then the master told the slave, ‘Go out into the highways and lanes and make them come in, so that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will enjoy my banquet!’”

What is Jesus saying?  Those who give Him second place in their lives will not enjoy the blessings of this life and many are in danger of missing heaven altogether!  In this passage Jesus was talking in types and shadows about the Jews that would reject Him.  The ones that were in the byways, lame, blind. hopeless then were given the opportunity to enjoy and have the blessing that was intended for the Jews.

There is a blessing through Jesus and the acceptance of Him and His “friendship“, and there are blessings that come in human form God has brought to be a friend in times of need for you.  There is a scripture that says in order to have friends you must show yourself friendly.  Do not look and think you have nothing in common or of worth to share with those God brings into your path.  A friendship is nurtured and a friendship is not one-sided.  They are not there to just listen when you need to vent, they are not there to be the only one who gives when help is needed, you are not the only one who needs companionship.  You need to give a listening ear, you need to give what is needed in time of help, and you need to give attention and love when someone says, “I just really need a friend right now”!

If you are a true friend you will listen, have patience, look deeper than what is being said to the heart, and love regardless of circumstances!  Jesus is the epitome of what friendship should be.  Has He ever interrupted you to say, “I am too busy to listen to this.  I’ll get back with you later….love you!”  Has He ever said, “I am tired and I just really don’t feel like messing with you today?”  Has He ever interrupted you to say, “Yeah, I hear you and I have been through the same thing, let me tell you!”  Has He ever talked about you behind your back?  Has He ever told others all your faults?  Has He ever disrespected you and how you felt about something?  Now, the big question….have YOU?

I run from people who say, “I don’t know why but I just cannot ever seem to keep a friend!”  If you will notice these people will blame EVERYONE but THEMSELVES!  When someone says this, there is a reason why so many have run from this person.  People do come in and out of our lives, but when you have never had a lasting relationship, it is time to stop blaming others and do a deep and very honest SELF CHECK!

Don’t be an “excuse” maker, dear reader!  Be honest with yourself and ask God to help you be the friend others need just as He has been and always will be the friend you need!  Blessings in abundance!!  See you next time!


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