Discovering a Friendship in Jesus
by Richard Cox, Author of I, We, Us: A Journey of Personal Growth and Development
Today, many people are looking for a good friend. We encounter situations in our lives when we need someone to “have our back.” When we think of our friends, how many can we really count on? How many friends know 'the real you'? If you are fortunate enough to have a “good friend”, you know how it feels to have someone to count on. Everyone who claims to be your friend may not be a friend, but possibly an acquaintance. Sometimes the misunderstanding about friendship comes from a mixture of good and bad experiences from previous friends. These experiences carry over from one friendship to the next.
In many cases, previous experiences cause a conflict with new friends when they discover you are operating on a different definition of friendship. For example, one friend may feel a friend should lie for another friend at any cost and another friend may feel you shouldn’t lie regardless of the consequences. Take time to ask your friend what is their definition of friendship? Their answer may surprise you.
In my Christian walk, I’ve found a friend in Jesus. You can depend on Jesus to hear and understand your troubles of life. I have learned to develop a personal relationship with Jesus over the years. It takes time for Jesus to become a part of your everyday lifestyle. I have learned to let Jesus live through me daily by seeking His purpose and direction for my life. Many people attend church desiring a closer connection to Jesus. One way to get closer to Jesus is by developing a personal relationship with Him. One may feel inspired by a sermon but later the inspiration fades. You seek not just inspiration from the Word of God but expect a change to occur in your daily life. Change happens when the Word of God is rooted in your heart. The Word of God is rooted in your heart by consistently attending church and Bible study, which quenches your thirst for Jesus.
Take time now and ask yourself: “Do I have a personal relationship with Jesus?” What I mean by personal relationship is do you communicate with Jesus privately one-on-one? You build a confidence in knowing Jesus. You are more aware daily that Jesus will assist you with any problem you may face in life. For example, if you get sick, by having a personal relationship with Jesus your faith is increased to believe He will heal your condition. A personal relationship with Jesus increases your spiritual growth daily by learning more about Him through personal experience. You begin to realize the difference in yourself by maintaining a personal connection with Jesus. The more you develop your relationship with Jesus, the more you trust telling Him all about your hurt, pain, and insecurities. I have learned to cast my burdens on Jesus because He is able to bear them. You will discover Jesus will keep you in perfect peace if your mind is stayed upon Him (Isaiah 26:3).
If you desire to grow closer to Jesus, develop a spiritual appetite to want to know Him. Your hunger to know Him will spark you to seek ways to spend time with Him. The time you set depends on your schedule. Just make time. We learn about Jesus through His Word. You will discover Jesus will fill the lack in your life. He will fill the void in your heart, if you let Him in. Jesus wants a personal relationship with you. His purpose for you is to be a worshipper who communes with Him and is a representative to the world of His love to all.
Developing a relationship with Jesus is like meeting a new friend. A relationship develops over a period of time through shared experiences. By having a personal relationship with Jesus you’ll find:
- Good Listener - Jesus will listen to all of your problems and concerns in prayer (Psalms 88:2). 2.
- Dependable - You can depend on Jesus to never leave you nor forsake you (Psalms 27:9). You will find out Jesus will show up for you on time. He will never let you down. 3.
- Unconditional Love - Jesus loves us so much that He died to forgive us for our sins. Jesus has a peace and love that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). 4.
- Faithful - Jesus is faithful to perform His promises found in His Word (Isaiah 55:11)
You will find Jesus to be a friend indeed like in one my favorite church hymns which says, “There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus, no not one, no not one.” And then there is, “What a friend we have in Jesus all our sins and grieves to bear, what a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.”
Take time to consider developing a personal relationship with Jesus. Your Christian journey is a personal one. You’ll discover Jesus will be a friend that will stick closer to you than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).
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Envision Your Life from God’s Perspective
by Richard Cox , Author of I, We, Us: A Journey of Personal Growth and Development
“…I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” John 10:10 (AMP)
Often we are so busy doing this and that for other people in our lives that we sometimes lose focus on achieving our own personal goals and dreams. God wants to fulfill His plan in our lives but we must first begin to see ourselves the way God sees us – growing and prosperous.
How do you view yourself as a child of God? Are you reflecting God’s image in your everyday lifestyle? Take the time everyday to view yourself through God’s eyes. If so, you’ll experience a perception of His fulfillment, peace and power in your life. You will begin to feel empowered by the way God sees you excelling, and living a life of victory through Him.
You’ll also notice as your personal relationship deepens with Christ His favor and blessings will overflow. Some people who have once viewed your life in a limited way will be surprise how God has now taken off the limits of their own limited perspective of you. Some people may even be surprised of your achieved blessings that were obtained through your faith in God. They probably felt that you could only live in a certain type of neighborhood, only marry a certain type of person, or only work on a certain type of job. You have to work constantly to deprogram yourself from people’s impressions and limitations of you. As you begin to see yourself through God’s eyes (found in His Word) your possibilities are endless.
One effective key to learning God’s Perspective of you is studying your rights as a Child of God which is found throughout His Word. For example, you are blessed with every spiritual blessing which is found in Ephesians 1:3(AMP), where it says, “may blessing (praise, laudation, and eulogy) be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) Who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual (given by the Holy Spirit) blessing in the heavenly realm!” Be encouraged as a Believer because you’re not the same person since Christ has entered your life. After Christ entered your heart, you were given a new perspective about yourself and your lifestyle.
Another key point to understanding God perspective is self acceptance. It is vital with your new life in Christ. Once you realize and come to terms with that fact … the sky is the limit. It will help to manifest your spiritual transformation in Christ on your Christian destiny.
Here are some ways that God sees you:
- Over comer – There’s not a situation you can face that God can’t help you to overcome. In 1 John 5:4 (NIV) it says, “for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. “This reminds us that victory over the world has been won. And the proof is that our faith in Jesus has worked to bring about a visible transformation in our lives.
- Conqueror – You are a conqueror in every circumstance that comes your way. In Romans 8:37(NIV) it says, “...in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. “ Be confident that you are a conqueror by keeping your hope in Jesus Christ. In Romans 8:31(NIV) it says, “…if God is for us, who can be against us?” As long as God is on our side we are winners.
- Champion – You are holding a spiritual championship belt for the victories you’re already won in your life. In Psalm 18:35 (NIV) it says, “you give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great. “ God conquers and reigns for you, and you shall conquer and reign through Him.
- Blessed – God’s favor is over your life and each day is a blessed day. In Deuteronomy 28:13(NIV) is says, “the LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.” It’s God delight to bless you. The blessing is promised upon condition that you diligently listen and obey the voice of God.
On this Christian journey it’s so important to maintain God’s perspective about yourself. In Philippians 4:13 (AMP) it says, “I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency].”Remember that God loves you and created you to know Him personally. He has a wonderful plan for your life … just trust Him to order your steps.
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