The quality that distinctively sets apart believers as followers of Jesus is not a pithy bumper sticker or a fish emblem dangling from a necklace or a gilded dove pinned on the lapel. These are only symbols of our faith. The true mark of a Christian is love.
We all make various acquaintances throughout our lives—people who come into our circle for a season and then move on. With some, we’re content to let them go. But with others, we’re not. Once an acquaintance turns into true friendship, we hold on more tightly to that friend. A friend is a favoured companion for whom we feel affection or esteem. Why is a friend favoured? Most likely, it has much to do with how we feel when we’re with him or her. A friend accepts us as we are and is patient with our faults. A friend points out our strengths and rejoices at our successes. A friend’s presence and listening ear fill a void in us and give our lives a sense of validation and greater depth.
Do you have such a friend? Do you know how to be that friend? These resources can help you recognize the need for friendship and develop the attributes that will make you a treasured friend to others.
A friend is always loyal,
and a brother is born to help in time of need.
(Proverbs 17:17 NLT)
Paul’s relationship with Timothy goes back to Paul’s earliest days as a missionary. Paul and Barnabas visited Timothy’s hometown of Lystra on Paul’s first journey around AD 47.
James encouraged us to prevent verbal fires from burning the forest around us. And yet, he gave no checklist, no tear-out sheet, and no three-step solution. Thankfully, the Bible isn’t silent about what we should and should not say.
For many of us, our busy schedules filled with appointments and obligations keep us occupied to the brink of breakdown. We don’t have time for self-reflection or to take note of triggers and internal alarm bells telling us we’re not OK.
Ever wish you could reach out to a friend in crisis, but you’re just not sure what to say? Most of us tend either to avoid the person or situation altogether or to rush in and say too much.
This inductive study is designed to create a better understanding of acceptance. For the next 30 days read the questions and allow them to spark deeper personal reflection and life change.
For most of my life God has been teaching me to release my grip on everything I hold tightly. It’s a process that began when I was 13.
Acts of kindness are fascinating. They don’t make any sense, which makes them all the more interesting. Why this person, why this action, why this moment?
All of us need encouragement. We need somebody to believe in us. To reassure and reinforce us. To help us pick up the pieces and go on. To fuel our flame of determination as we face the odds against us.