Friends

Many cups of coffee on wooden table

“But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel.” ~Philippians 2:19-22 (NKJV)

The funny thing about being on Facebook is the number count next to the friends list. At last count I have 483 people on that list. Not too bad if you wanna think that’s a decent measure but in the reality of it all how many of them make it to the core of relationship. Ya see, in everyone’s life there are three levels of relationship. Ya got the acquaintance (the outer rim), ya got the casual (the inner rim), ya got the intimate (the core) and if I were to run my Facebook friends list through those levels very few get to the core. Truth be told most of them are on the outer rim and not every one of them is Christian either but I can say this…I actually do know everyone on my list.

One friend that wasn’t on that list but is at the core of friendship was Mark Fisher. I watched Mark battle cancer with a smile on his face and when The LORD saw fit to call him home on February 10th of this year I lost a piece of me that hasn’t been replaced yet. Mark was there to watch as I walked away from a world of disobedience into the same marvelous light that was keeping him sober. That light is Jesus Christ. Mark took me on as a Timothy (even though I was older than he) and I learned a lot about the Christian walk through Mark. I praise God for that privilege…but I still miss Mark.

When we read into the life of the Apostle Paul it almost seems like the guy was a loner but he really wasn’t. Yeah he had his traveling buddies like Barnabas and Silas or his fellow tent-makers, Priscilla and Aquila but there was someone that was a close companion and that was Timothy. Paul meets Timothy on his second missionary trip and from there on Timothy is a constant. (there are also two important letters bearing his name in the New Testament). The two of them are almost like David and Jonathan (1Samuel 18:1; 20:17). Paul is a Jew out to teach the Greeks and Timothy is both a Jew and a Greek so it seems feasible the two should go together. Kinda like Frosted Flakes and milk…they’re GRRRREAT!! (I bet you read that in Tony the Tiger’s voice)

Even though there are three reasons why the Apostle Paul sent Timothy to the church in Philippi I believe they are the three main reasons Paul and Timothy cliqued.

1. They both had a “kindred spirit” —they were liked minded and had a deeper level of understanding of each other. They understood the importance of the

Cross of Christ (Phil 2:20a) and that needed to be spread throughout the known world.

2. They both had a “genuine concern” —it was all about having a Christ-like attitude and having a genuine compassion for other people’s concerns. (Phil 2:20b-21) That’s why small time ministry is key in getting to know people.

3. They both had a “servants heart” — As Swindoll puts it “He (Timothy) gave himself away in caring for the needs of others.” It was a “when you get Timothy, you get me” mentality. (Phil 2:22-24) It was always Paul’s hope that as you imitated him you’d be imitating Christ.

Having and maintaining core friendships are key to our everyday walk with Jesus. And yes Jesus is to be LORD of our lives but He also speaks to us as that core friend…caring more about you then you’ll ever know. When Mark and I ran an “Addiction Victorious” meeting some years back it was important to the both of us that the main message stayed the main message. That message is still Jesus Christ and when I look back at what was done at that time it still says, “when you get him, you get me.” But if you got the both of us it was our hope that you got Jesus as you went on your way. Ya see, when Jesus Christ is our common bond in our friendships there ain’t nuttin’ that can, well maybe this is a better way to put it….

“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”— Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NLT) Amen?

Chris Hughes_FF 2016Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and serves on the Deacon Board at Trinity Alliance Church in Cologne NJ

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 20; Proverbs 21

Daily Quote: “When this year is over, what gift will your current schedule present you with? The popularity to receive hundreds of Christmas cards from acquaintances only? Or the deeper satisfaction and joy of a few close friendships as well?” —Charles Swindoll

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

31 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
 ~Isaiah 40:31

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