Sometimes, I jokingly say that if it wasn’t for my relationship with God, I would be quite happy to live in a home with large, tall walls around it and never let anyone in.
If you haven’t guessed, I am an introvert.
I became a Christian when I was in my late teens, and so the distinction in my life and friendships between my life “before” and “after” Christ is memorable and quite clear.
All my relationships “before” were about me, and I was never satisfied. They were never enough.
Most of my relationships “after” are marked by my own relationship with God, by service, sacrifice, and love. Mind you, none of these come from me alone but rather from the Creator of relationship, God.
God is all about relationship. In the very beginning, even before the earth was created, filled, and given shape and life, God was in communion. Genesis 1:2 says, “Now the earth was without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep, but the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water.” John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God.”
God exists and functions in and out of fellowship – He is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
When He created the earth, creating humans on the sixth day, He said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26). Let us.
Thankfully, God did not close in His kingdom in heaven with tall, thick walls, keeping everyone out, quite happy to exist alone. I am created in His image, but thankfully God is not anything like me.
The Lord knows how sweet communion is, and in His love and mercy, He doesn’t want us to live isolated and alone.
But friendship can feel so hard!
Friend, I know. You have been hurt before and you hesitate to be vulnerable again.
Sometimes we feel like we could never trust again, so we keep our distance. We like the idea of having close friendships, we attend church services and programs, small groups and Bible studies. But the truth is we never truly invest ourselves in friendship, with the good and the bad that comes with us.
But it is worth it.
Oh my, it is worth it.
Do you know why?
Because you and I were created for this.
Even if it feels impossible right now, we can engage in true, life-giving friendship. What a long season of a world pandemic, at-home church services, and not living life as we know it, right? We may feel like we have no energy left to invest in anything but getting out of bed in the morning.
I want to remind you and encourage you today: you can do this.
You already have everything you need in and through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
As we invest in our own personal relationship with God, we are reminded of His character, and we cannot help but share it with others.
1 John 1:3 says, “What we have seen and heard we announce to you too, so that you may have fellowship with us (and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ).”
You, sister, have seen and heard. You have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, and you have an incredible testimony of His faithfulness and salvation.
We are called to announce it to others – to share with others and point them to the Lord, so they too can experience fellowship with Him. And in all this, we are to share fellowship also with one another.
What a magnificent, caring God we serve! A God who says it is not good that we should be alone, and puts a need for friendship right in our DNA, so we may bear His image.
Let’s praise Him today for His Son Jesus Christ in whom we have the perfect friend. Jesus calls us His friends and He is our example of how to be a friend to others.
What can you do this week to imitate Jesus in friendship?
Let’s commit to coming out of our shells just a little more as we study together, become prayerfully vulnerable with others, cultivate friendship, and invite God to move as we follow Him faithfully.
Week 1 Challenge:
How do the friends of the paralyzed man in Mark 2 display great friendship? How do they display the importance of community? What can you do for your friends this week to display this level of commitment and dedication to your friendship?
Week 1 Reading Plan
Week 1 Memory Verse
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