Monday, October 14, 2013

A Fair Question?

We wanted very much to come to you, and I, Paul, tried again and again, but Satan prevented us. After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what will be our proud reward and crown as we stand before our Lord Jesus when he returns? It is you! Yes, you are our pride and joy. 1 Thessalonians 2: 18-19

Sherran and Sandy--best friends since grade school

Have you ever thought much about these words Paul sent off to his friends in Thessalonica?

He told them that Satan was dead set on keeping friends disconnected.

"We kept trying to connect with you, friends, and Satan kept preventing it from happening. Again and again!"

Why does the Evil One do that?

Because he knows how important relationships are to us, to others, and to God. They aren't just one of the nice things in life, they are a necessity. They are the Life!

The Apostle's words are truly thought provoking. "Where will we find hope and joy?" he asks. "If not in our friends?" Consider this: Paul, who was indeed a Super-Saint, relentlessly pursued his friendships. He didn't buy into some super-spiritual/Lone Ranger credo and try to walk The Walk alone. No, he knew that friendships provide a reciprocating conduit through which the faith-renewing energy of hope and joy flows between Believers. It doesn't matter who we are, we need friends. Satan actually does conspire to separate vital comrades. "Go it alone." he tries to convince us. But we know we can't.

Is this a fair and reasonable question to ask? "Who, not what, is really at work disconnecting me and my friends?" It's an important question, too. Enduring friendships in this life will matter even more in the afterlife, because, said Paul, they are spiritual rewards and crowns inseparably linked to holiness. Regarding our relationships we all want to hear Jesus say, "Well done."

Let's stay in touch, friends.

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