So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, and participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. — Philippians 2:1-2
Are you ready for one of the hardest, yet most important tools in our belts to fight off the attacks of the enemy?
Here it is, friends. Or, I could write, here it is. Friends… Either punctuation works!
We can’t miss this. Strong, healthy, Jesus-ward friendships make us stronger for the Kingdom of God.
If we’re to get as basic as possible — Love God. Love others.
That’s the sweet spot for the life of a believer. Love God. Love others. Simple, but not always easy!
We need each other and the enemy know this which is why he works so hard to isolate us. In isolation, without friends who have our six, we are easy targets for enemy lies.
When we listen to lies about our worth, we naturally back away from everybody. But, we require each other. ~ Jennie
In friendship, we can find acceptance, laughter, empathy, compassion, connection, understanding, hope, joy, silliness, straight talk, encouragement, exhortation… so many facets which prepare and arm us for tomorrow. We need each other!
Dorothy was lost without the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow.
Frodo would never have made it without Samwise.
Wilber the pig was saved by Charlotte the spider.
C.C.’s life had meaning and depth because of Hillary. (Beaches. I love that film.)
Woody needed Buzz.
I was going to say Thelma needed Louise, but let’s not go there.
And, my life is made richer by Beck, Carmen, Heidi, Beth Anne, Cindy, Connie, Annie, Peggy…
Especially in this time, we have to dig into relationships.
Isolation is a liar. A thief. A killer.
Just like in war, just like in the wild, if an enemy can get us alone, we’re down for the count. Right? But, when we’re together with others, we’re far better off.
We were built to know and be known, see and be seen, love and be loved. Even if that’s scary, it’s still true.
“Every human suffers from this lie: If anyone really knew you, they’d leave you.” ~ Curt Thompson
Being known is worth the risk. So, keep building your relationships, the safe ones, the ones that make you a better person and fill you up. If you don’t have many of those, get brave and pick up the phone. Send a text. Invite someone for coffee on the patio. Meet in a park and enjoy the sunshine and ask one or two really honest questions.
If we’re going to make it, we also have to leave fighting behind. Let go of battles. Drop the need to be right. Hang on tight to your people. Let the small stuff go. Major on the majors, minor on the minors.
Let our passions be refueled in safe friendships with those who want Jesus and want us to make Him famous even when it is out of our comfort zone or we start to listen to false whispers about inability, or ineptitude, or lack. Friends can be fantastic mirrors of truth and also visionaries of the future for us. They can see strength we don’t have yet, favor we don’t feel yet, capability we don’t have sea legs for yet.
Are you feeling vulnerable? Tired? Knocked down? Don’t isolate, friend. You need a friend, friend!
God is with you and for you and He made you to be in relationship, never alone.
God is never passive. God is always working for our good and for His glory. ~ Jennie
Love God. Love others.
This week in your study:
- Watch the video for session four on our study home page. Take notes in your study guide starting on page 79 and then come hang out with us for the conversation!
- Grab your Bible and enjoy your personal study this week on pages 82-104.
- Join the conversations about the study and in our private Facebook group.
Scriptures this Week
Prayer for the Week
Jesus, we love You. Thank You that You created us to love and be loved. You are in relationship eternally and we are meant to be as well. Help us to risk, to try again, to keep at it until we find the ones we can trust! Give us eyes to see those You’ve placed in our lives for our benefit and theirs and bind us together closer than siblings so we can advance the Kingdom of God. We love You, Jesus. Amen.