Iron sharpeneth iron…

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Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.  Proverbs 27:17

On our trip to Houston this past weekend, we were blessed to be able to stay at the home of some dear friends of ours.  (You know who you are!)  I cannot begin to count the ways the Lord has blessed us through them.  With loving kindness, they have brought a message from God to us on many different subjects.  And to top it off, they surprised us with another great blessing – another dear couple from our old church joined us for dinner!  It was a joyful reunion, and a gift and blessing that means so much to me.  Friends have always been very important in my life, and these two sweet couples simply define friends.  I have learned much from both, and look forward to spending eternity with such as these. 

This verse from Proverbs proves that we can learn from our friends and that having friends can definitely improve our attitude.  God uses our friends to show His grace, His comfort, His mercy, and His heart – sometimes.  No man is an island, is the saying.  A man with no friends is a very lonely man, indeed.

But be warned:  But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.  Then all the disciples forsook Him, and fled.  Matthew 26:56. 

Friends are wonderful gifts from Jehovah, but we must be sure to keep our friendships in their right place.  They are a gift FROM God, not an idol to be placed on a pedestal.  Our friends are human, and therefore, completely fallible.  They will fail us on occasion.  There will be times when we call, and they will not be there.  There will be times when they don’t listen and grieve or mourn with us.  They will not always take our side in a battle, and we will have disagreements. 

But, there is hope!  There is One Friend we can always count on…One Friend who will never leave us nor forsake us. 

Isaiah 54:10  For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.

John 14:18  I will not leave you comfortless:  I will come to you.

Hebrews 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have:  for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

No matter what the circumstance…no matter if everyone else around us has fled the scene, Jesus remains.  When it seems no one is listening, He is.  And, it is my contention that sometimes He causes our human friends to forsake us so that we have to turn to Him.  He longs for us to run to Him first, every time.  He is waiting, with open arms, for the chance to comfort, to teach, to grieve, or to praise with you! 

I can honestly say that my best friend on earth is my husband.  I love him more than I can express with words (and I can talk – a lot!).  But, there are times when he can’t give me what I need.  Only Jesus can help at those times.  It is not a cause to be angry at or blame my husband for a shortcoming, because in doing so I am condemning the entire human race. 

We can’t be everything to ANYONE.  There is a void that only Christ can fill, and there is a limited time to ask Him to do so. 

So, I implore you this day, right now, if you have not asked the Lion of Judah, the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ to be your Best Friend – to save you from your sins and the wrath to come, do it now, while there is still time.

Standing on the Rock of Ages,

Toni

Faith and Works

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Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith

by  my works.  (emphasis added)  James 2: 17-18

 

Faith & Works. How often do we confuse, or worse, separate the two? We are told in 3 John verse 5 to “do faithfully” – and yet many times we don’t want to do. We have our kids’ tee-ball practice, supper to cook, or something else we must do instead of doing to serve God & His Eternal Kingdom. We become complacent. We begin to take our own salvation for granted, without trying to ensure we lead as many as possible to the LORD as well. As God-fearing Christians, we should look at every opportunity to serve as a blessing, not a burden. Doing is fun! And exciting! Works without faith is possible – faith without works is not.

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like a man beholding his natural face in a glass. For he beholds himself, and goes his way, and immediately forgets what manner of man he was.  James 1:22-24

Are you “doing” or just hearing?

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