‘…We have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus…cleanses us from all sin.’ 1 John 1:7 NLT
The Bible says, ‘a nearby neighbor can help you more than relatives who are far away.’ (Proverbs 27:10 GNT) Sometimes it’s easier to develop close friendships with those outside your immediate family circle. But there’s another kind of ‘blood relative’ mentioned in the Bible: brothers and sisters joined together through the blood of Jesus (1 John 1:7). It’s the kind of relationship that doesn’t allow you to go off and do your own thing. It requires us to be ‘peace-makers who go on quietly sowing for a harvest of righteousness – in other people and in themselves.’ (James 3:18 PHPS) It calls for a long-term commitment not readily understood by the ‘me generation’ where, when the going gets tough, it’s acceptable to bail out of a relationship and move on. Tom Sabens points out that the world doesn’t understand the Christian concept of brotherhood and sisterhood: ‘It says find friends among like-minded, like-income people who vote like you and have the same golf handicap. These friendships work until the bottom falls out of your life, you face a pressing problem, or a tragic loss, or a serious illness, and suddenly you realise that no one cares much about you. Why? Because you’ve made no investment in anybody’s life, and now when you need to make a withdrawal there’s no money in the friendship bank.’ Sacrificial love is the foundation of true friendship. Paul writes, ‘I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare. All the others care only for themselves…But you know how Timothy has proved himself.’ (Philippians 2:20-22 NLT)
SoulFood: Ezek 5-9, Mark 14:12-26, Ps 4, Pr 14:17-20
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2013
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