Sunday, April 28, 2013

Knowing Someone

"Instead, I have called you friends…" -John 15:15 Knowing someone, I mean, really knowing someone is awesome. Proverbs 18:24 states that, “A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” Translation in 2013, "Having a thousand Facebook friends means little, but having one true brother means a lot!" True brother/sister friendships are rare. They are rare because they are risky. The hurdles jumped on the way to true friendship are high, but the prize at the end of the race is a life-long friendship. Certainly we need friendships as we journey through this life, but there is no "friend that sticks closer than a brother" like Jesus. Steering our kids and loved ones toward Him, as a friend, means they will walk in true friendship forever. In one of my favorite scenes in Avatar, Jake Sully turns to Neytiri and says, “I see you.” Neytiri responds back to him, “I see you too.” They were expressing the understanding and love that they had for one another as they knew each other. Then their tails joined together and they skipped off into the sunset. I never truly understood the tail thing. I remember when I was in 5th grade I went to Camp Carter, a YMCA camp in Fort Worth. I was pretty shy but excited to go to camp with Joe Padget and my other friends. I enjoyed the time but I remember feeling left out at the rifle range. The head counselor there made these special T-shirts for some of the guys in my cabin, but he didn't make me one. I remember thinking, “I’m going to get to know this guy so he’ll make me a T-shirt.” I hung out at the rifle range as much as I could and talked to him at meals and stuff. I know, pretty pitiful just to get a T-shirt, but hey, they were cool. The last day of camp, guess what that counselor handed me? You guessed it, a T-shirt. I still have that shirt in my closet (just kidding). The point is, I wanted to know him (even if my motive was weak). When we want to know someone, we spend time with them. In Philippians 3:10, Paul shares, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His suffering, becoming like Him in His death.” Paul wanted to know Christ. Sure, he’d wanted to experience power and fellowship, but he wanted to know Jesus. If you have a personal relationship with Jesus, you will get to enjoy eternal friendship with Him. But you can enjoy the friendship with Him today on planet earth. How are you doing in your relationship with Jesus? Is He an “acquaintance” these days or a true friend? Do you “see” Jesus? Of course, He always sees us. But am I relaxed in the grace of a friendship with Him? It’s easy to feel “left out at the rifle range,” but when I humble myself and reach towards Christ, He always reaches back. Always! And He promises to bless us with something even better than a T-shirt. He promises to bless us with His grace and love. by Eric Joseph Staples ©

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