Do our friendships have an eternal impact in the Kingdom of God?
God is sovereign. He can accomplish His work without our help, and yet we are called to obey Him. And what has He commanded? He has commanded that we love one another. Our friendships matter. Friendships impact the Kingdom of God for significant reasons, sweet friend.
First, effective evangelism and discipleship are most often the fruits of genuine friendship.
It’s true what they say: that people won’t care what you know until they know you care. How do you care? Do you learn the names of the guests in your church? Would you leave your own pew to walk across the room? Do you invite the lonely into your home for coffee with the girls? Would you introduce friends to other friends that will encourage her? Do you love at all times, rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep?
Let love be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality. Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Do not repay anyone evil. Give careful thought to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. ” ~Romans 12:9-18
Be the friend someone calls when she has the very best news, because she knows you will celebrate her without bitter feelings or jealousy. Be the friend who celebrates another’s success. Are you the friend who will drop everything when she is struggling because she knows you won’t back away when the hard times look ugly or scary? Be a friend who loves well in the midst of the broken messes of the fallen world. Your friends will see Jesus through this kind of love. They will see the sincerity of your love and friendship. And you? You will have a solid foundation to disciple, to teach, to share the good news of the Gospel when you have invested in your friendships with sincerity and selfless love.
Friends who love at all times matter in the Kingdom of God. These friendships have impacts on eternity.
Secondly, friendship is a reflection of Christ’s sacrificial love for us.
Listen, I know you may not need more friends, but sisters? The world is full of lonely women who need you. Do not deceive yourself, friends. When our lives are surrendered to Jesus, we will not retire from befriending others nor will we reach a limit of “enough friends.” I’ve known women who live with these limits, always hesitant to befriend another because of this deception. If you have more friends than you know what to do with, you need to build a longer table, not a taller fence.
Christlike friendships will cost you something: time, energy, pride, image, perfectionism, something. You may be called to befriend a woman who is very different from you. If broadening your circle makes your current circle uncomfortable, you’re in need of a new circle. Can I get an amen? Jesus is a shepherd, willing to leave the 99 to go after the one. Be willing to go after that lonely one, even if it costs you something that seems safe. Friendship is a reflection of His love. We love because He first loved us.
We do not love others based on our own needs. Where’s the sacrifice there? How does this shallow brand of friendship reflect His love? It simply does not. We love others because we are called to love others. Loving should look like serving and dying to self. The love of Jesus is sacrificial. Do your friendships reflect sincere love or are they built on a foundation of superficial, self-serving, desires of your own? May we think outside of ourselves when we love.
Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God’s love was revealed to us in this way: God sent His one and only son into the world so that we might live through Him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God but that He loves us and sent His son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we must also love one another. No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is made complete in us: He has given us of His spirit. ~1 John 4:7-13
May our friendships have an impact on eternity. May we love the way Jesus loves so that others may see our Father and glorify Him in Heaven. Let our friendships be for His Kingdom.
Friendships matter. May your friendships be a reflection of His love for you.
From my heart to yours,
We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother or sister, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother or sister whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And we have this command from him: The one who loves God must also love his brother and sister.” ~1 John 4:19-21
To read related blog posts from Courtney, click the links below. Happy reading, sweet friend!