Mission of Mother Theresa was to minister to the dying street people of India. She could not do it in her own power and she said, “First we meditate on Jesus, and then we go out and look for him in disguise.”
Group exists to try to be a positive influence in the school.
If you want to be a positive influence in this school, you will need to begin from the base of a friendship with God.
We can be friends with God.
John 15:15. “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends.”
I want to encourage you in your friendship with God.
I. Friendship Based on Grace.
What is it like making a new friend?
Will they like me?
Will I like them?
When am I presuming on the relationship by spending too much time? When am I neglecting the relationship by spending too little time?
It is hard to make a friend and get to the place where we recognize that we have a good friend whom we can count on.
Not like that with God.
He reaches out in friendship to us, even when we don’t want to be his friend.
Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Never stops desiring to be our friend.
II Timothy 2:13, “if we are faithless, he will remain faithful…”
Do any of you have pictures of other people with you? Whose picture do you carry? Mother, boyfriend, best friend, girlfriend?
Why those people?
God carries your picture in his wallet.
-- Tony Campolo, Christian speaker. Men of Integrity, Vol. 1, no. 1.
He wants to be friends with us!
II. A Mutual Relationship
Have you ever had a one sided friendship?
Our kids had some friends, they had to take all the initiative, make all the plans, make all the effort. They got tired of that kind of a relationship.
Sometimes we think that God is like that. We have to make all the effort in our friendship with him. We don’t know how to be a good friend of God.
A. God Comes To Us
First of all, we need to know that the friendship is mutual.
God cares about his relationship with us far more than we realize.
He is present with us by His Spirit.
Romans 8:9, “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”
He works in us.
Philippians 1:6, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
B. Maintaining The Relationship
But we also have to do our part to maintain the relationship.
How long will a relationship last if you never do anything together?
Talking to Him - prayer
Prayer is not a mechanical duty, but a wonderful opportunity to develop a loving and caring relationship with the most important Person in our lives.
-- John Bunyan in Pilgrim's Prayer Book, edited by Louis Gifford Parkhurst, Jr. Christianity Today, Vol. 30, no. 10.
Listening to Him - Bible reading, contemplation, listening.
III. Exclusive of Friendship With The World
There are some levels of friendship which are exclusive.
E.G. “Going out.”; marriage.
Friendship with God is exclusive of friendship with the world.
James 4:4, “Friendship with the world is hatred toward God.”
What does that mean?
You can’t ride the fence.
Does not mean we shouldn’t live in the world, be friends with people of the world.
But there is a difference between that and loving the world.
As a part of an assignment for a doctoral thesis, a college student spent a year with a group of Navajo Indians on a reservation in the Southwest. As he did his research he lived with one family, sleeping in their hut, eating their food, working with them, and generally living the life of a twentieth-century Indian. The old grandmother of the family spoke no English at all, yet a very close friendship formed between the two. They spent a great deal of time sharing a friendship that was meaningful to each, yet unexplainable to anyone else. In spite of the language difference, they shared the common language of love and understood each other. Over the months he learned a few phrases of Navajo, and she picked up a little of the English language. When it was time for him to return to the campus and write his thesis, the tribe held a going-away celebration. It was marked by sadness since the young man had become close to the whole village and all would miss him. As he prepared to get up into the pickup truck and leave, the old grandmother came to tell him good-bye. With tears streaming from her eyes, she placed her hands on either side of his face, looked directly into his eyes and said, "I like me best when I'm with you." Isn't that the way we feel in the presence of Jesus? He brings out the best in us. We learn to see ourselves as worthy and valuable when we are in His presence. The hurts, the cares, the disappointments of our lives are behind us when we look in His eyes and realize the depth of His love. Our self-esteem no longer depends on what we have done or failed to do; it depends only on the value that He places on us. Friendship with God brings us to the place where we are able to say like that Indian grandmother, "I like me best when I'm with you.”
--James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 228.
If we will be a friend of God, we will be a positive influence on others.
My prayer for you is that you will grow in your friendship with God.