Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday in the Word

John 12:42-43

42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved human praise more than praise from God.

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I look forward to Wednesday in the Word every week. I look forward to asking God which scripture He wants me to share with you...and then sitting and waiting for the answer. Sometimes, it takes a while to get the answer. Other times the answer comes this morning.

In my usual way I sat down to write and asked God, "What do you want me to share today?" And just like that I heard the familiar whisper, "John 12." And out of all 40-something verses, I believe this is the bit that God wanted me to share. 

What really stood out to me is verse 43...for they loved human praise more than praise from God. Chris and I went to a worship conference a couple of weekends ago. One of the worship leaders said, more than once, that Jesus is just looking for someone to be His friend. It really hit me...I wrote it down...I cried. That statement went along with a tug I'd been feeling in my heart for weeks...a tug of Jesus whispering, "I just want to spend time with you...that's all."

For weeks I'd been praying and asking God what He wanted me to doDo this or do, do, do. Work my way right on into heaven. If you're not doing, then you're useless, right? Hmm...well, that's what the world says.

But Jesus never told me what He wanted me to do. He simply said, "I just want to spend time with you.."

Jesus is looking for someone to be His friend. What is a friend anyway? says a friend is, "a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard."

I say a friend is someone who is there for me...who spends time with me...who takes time to listen to me. Not someone who takes without giving...who talks only of themselves without ever listening to what I have to say...not someone who only comes around when they need something.

I really had to stop and ask myself, "Have I been a friend to Jesus?" Sadly, my answer Not a very good one anyway.

I don't want to be the friend that just takes takes takes. I want to be the friend that is there...that spends time...that listens. I realize Jesus doesn't need me for anything. He doesn't need me to do make anything happen...nothing. He's got this whole life and world thing totally under control. He's got God. He is God. But the way I look at it is...God sent Jesus to the die for us. To save us. To be our best friend in the whole wide world. And just as any parent would want...God wants His Son to have friends...good friends...loyal friends...and that's where we come in.

It doesn't take much to be a friend...and honestly, Jesus isn't as picky about His friends as we are about ours. And God doesn't parent like we do, forbidding Jesus to hang with us because of what we've done...or what we're doing...or what color our skin is...where we live. God loves ALL of Jesus' matter what. (He even loves his enemies.)

And Jesus doesn't choose His friends based on those things either...He's got something in common with ALL of us...and He loves ALL of us. He died for us, after all. He is attached to us by "feelings of affection and personal regard". All we have to do is reciprocate.We don't have to be perfect...or clean...or thin...or rich...or sober...or talented...or popular. We just have to be ourselves...and willing to be a friend.

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Lord, I thank you for your patience with me...and your willingness to be my friend even when I'm not so friendly...or loyal...or attentive. I thank you for loving me...and being my friend even when all I do is take...and talk...and never quiet myself enough to listen to what you have to say. Help me, Lord to be a better friend to not see you as a religion, but as a friend.


Erin Wallace said...

I'm going through the whole "what do I do with my life" moment and have been racking my brain. The thing I am worst at is listening for god. Thanks for this reminder to listen and believe.

denise said...

amen sister. amen.

Mari said...

wow girlfriend, that sure touched me tonight. I haven't been a friend at all to Jesus lately. Just too dang busy to even spend a few quiet moments with him. My heart aches, and yearns for Him. My life is a wreck, I'm stressed to the hilt, and my health is a mess...mmmmm, any guesses why?

I went to a nutritionist today and she impressed me with this, she said the number one thing to combat stress is to get into the Word of God. AWESOME!!

Love you and thank you for sharing this timely. I plan to spend some alone time with my friend and let Him know I want to be His friend too.


Eliza J said...

Thank you for a wonderful blog, and a heart-touching prayer that I shall keep and pray on a regular basis ~ May God bless you and your family. Thank you for what you do!

Kelly said...

What a unique view on a familair verse, thanks! We are in a major decision making period around here and I'm really trying to hear God on this. It's hard to turn off the noise and distractions in my head so that I can focus on Him. The very least I do is ask Him for help before I even get out of bed. Getting into His word and actually praying regularly though-much harder to do. Thanks for another great post!

Jane said...

That was very thought provoking and wonderful!

Joycee said...

Wonderful post, reminding us how important it is to read His word and pray fervently. I really love your blog! Come visit me in Arkansas...