Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Friendship Store

Wal-Mart recently announced that their store in our neighborhood would be now open 24 hours a day. Their intention is to be available to their loyal customers whenever a need arises. Wow! 24 hour shopping!

Do I need this? I don’t think so. But, what I do need is the availability of a friend at any time, at all times, for 24 hours. Let’s call it “the friendship store.” It’s really our church family which God intends to be His listening ear, His seeing eye, His caring heart and His helping hands.

The Bible says that “a friend is loyal at all times, and a brother is born to help in time of need (Proverbs 17:17, NLT). The first place where you and I should be able to search for a true friend is in our church – the Church of Christ. Are you a true friend, willing to be there for someone in genuine need? “There are (false friends) who destroy each other but a real friend sticks closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24, NLT).

You may find it difficult to get close to someone in your church. Such a person may not be acting as a friend to you. The answer to this is for you to draw closer to God and to ask Him to give you a heart of love for someone who seems unlovable to you. It starts with you and it starts with me – breaking down “walls” and restoring relationships for 24 hour service.

Richard Exley was correct:

A true friend is one who hears and understands when you share your

deepest feelings. He supports you when you are struggling. He corrects

you gently and with love when you err, and he forgives you when you

fail. A true friend prods you to personal growth, stretches you to full

potential. And, most amazing of all, he celebrates your successes as if

they were his very own.

God calls you and I to become such a friend – always. Your church family is intended by God to become a 24 hour “friendship store”. Are you ready to join?

Pastor Stewart

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