Focus: Becoming a faithful friend
James 3:16-18 (NKJV) For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
The Word of God is an amazing gift. There is so much truth to be found by anyone who is willing to seek. Answers to the longings of our hearts are within the pages of the Book. As we open our eyes to receive the words, the ‘life’ they contain goes into our minds and we are infused with real quality…we are transformed. The things that have been wrong with us…become right, as we learn how to grow and live in Christ.
When we are absorbed with concepts and images that disagree with God’s perfect ways—no wonder our relationships fall apart and we fail.
James 3:16-18 makes me think of a children’s song called ‘The Wise Man’. You might remember it from your own childhood. It’s been around as long as I can remember. Stick with me through the words and I will make some comparisons after you’re done reading them.
The first verse says: The wise man built his house upon the rock, the wise man built his house upon the rock, the wise man built his house upon the rock and the rains came tumbling down. The rains came down and the floods came up, the rains came down and the floods came up, the rains came down and the floods came up, and the house on the rock stood firm.
Verse two: The foolish man built his house upon the sand, the foolish man built his house upon the sand, the foolish man built his house upon the sand, and the rains came tumbling down. The rains came down and the floods came up, the rains came down and the floods came up, the rains came down and the floods came up, and the house on the sand fell flat.
Verse three: So build your life on the Lord Jesus Christ, so build your life on the Lord Jesus Christ, so build your life on the Lord Jesus Christ, and the blessings will come down. The blessings will come down as the prayers go up, the blessings will come down as the prayers go up, the blessings will come down as the prayer go up, so build your life on the Lord Jesus Christ.
When I used to teach music to young children, I would tell them that ‘our life is like a house’—and ‘Jesus is the Rock’.
The wise man who built his house on the rock makes me think of someone who would want their life grounded in the wisdom of the Word of God, which is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. A person with qualities like those would be easy to live with!
The foolish man who built his house on the sand reminds me of someone who is unstable in every way. Anyone who built a house with no foundation would also be likely to suffer from the negative effects of envy, selfishness, confusion, and every evil thing. Some of us have had the unfortunate experience of being that person—or knowing that person. Not fun…
Nobody is actually born with the gift of ‘getting along’ with everybody and being a faithful friend. Many of us have had a hard enough time being able to get along with one person, long term. When it comes to cultivating the ability to build strong and healthy relationships, we have to have the right things in our heart.
You can’t be filled with all kinds of negative stuff and expect that someone is going to ‘bring out the best in you’. If there’s nothing good in there—nothing good is going to come out. We are not naturally good inside. By nature, we are evil. The way to get good things ‘inside’ of us, is to purposely fill our mind with lasting truth from God’s Word. God will not allow His Word to fail. Filling ourselves with His Word helps us become strong and victorious.
Bad relationships can become better when people look to the Word of God for help. Good relationships can become even better when people allow the Word to guide and direct their lives.
You’ve heard the saying, “Into every life a little rain must fall.” In the course of time, rains come down and floods come up. In most people’s lives there will be times when it seems like you’re living through a hurricane. Whether you’re going through something like that or not, if you have a relationship that you want to last—what kind of foundation would you choose: sand, or the Rock?
Declaration: I will find new strength by filling myself with God’s Word. His truth will help me be a faithful friend.
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