Friends - Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
Friends - This is a subject that one of my Facebook buddies peaked my interest in over the last few days. He mentioned that he was planning to preach on Friends for his Sunday sermon and wanted feedback from the FB crowd. This got me to thinking about the Friends God has so lovingly placed in my life right now!
This photo is of a few of the girls in the weekly Bible study I attend. We are walking together through the book of Psalms this year and having an awesome time communng with the Lord and each other.
One of our 'friends' and her husband were celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary and a handful of our group was able to be there. After taking a classy shot we decided we needed a 'sassy' one to go with it. Here's the sassy!
This group of Godly women that the Lord has so lovingly set me with for this season in my life is so spiritually tuned to the Lord's voice and I continue to learn the Word with them 'with skin on', not only the Word written, but life overall. I have grown by leaps and bounds in so many ways just in the fact that I've been in their company. So many of these ladies have such enormous obstacles to face on a daily basis in many areas of their lives, however rather than grumble, mumble or complain they just praise the Lord for His love for them. They are always giving into others' lives. They are the ones who are reaching out to everyone in their lives and giving even when their need seems so great. God has demonstrated to me in the lives of these women what is meant in the Scripture reference, John 15:13. I know that if I had a need all I'd need do is ask for their help.
In the first part of this chapter vv.4-8 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and They gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples" we see the heart of these ladies I am writing about today. This is a passage that really spoke with great resonance to me while the Holy Spirit was wooing me into salvation some 20 + years ago. I did NOT want to be a branch 'cast out and thrown into the fire'. I had walked the aisle as a child and given my life to the Lord but hadn't walked closely with the Lord for some time, about 15 years. He used this passage, among others, to bring me back just as if I were the Prodigal child. I can daily see these verses lived out in my presence with this group of ladies. No matter what else may be facing them they are exuding the love, grace and presence of the Lord not only to me but others in which they come in contact.
I have been blessed in so many settings of life as a Pastor's wife, a Mom, Grandma, Friend and just as a Christian woman. The Lord has given me many groups of friends over the years who have put His love and grace into my life. Each group He has placed me with has a uniqueness of their own and I've been very blessed as a result. Sure, there have been challenges, and seemingly they would try to destroy me and I think this is the very reason the Lord places His Word in others who live it out. This is what brings encouragement and gives the ability to put one foot in front of the other when life's challenges seem too great. He is a loving Father and desires each of His children would excel and grow in His Word, love and grace in all areas of life.
These Friends display that in my life everyday! I'm reminded of Michael W. Smith's song, Friends - Friends are friends forever, if the Lord's the Lord of them....
Be blessed and be a Friend!