The Importance of Relationships:
Prov 18:24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
1 Cor 15 The Resurrection of the Dead: (v12-34) 33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” (From the Greek poet Menander)
Finding and keeping Good Friends: Benefits:
Ecc 4 Oppression, Toil, friendlessness: (v1-12) 9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, (than) one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Prov 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
Prov 27:6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
Prov 12:26 The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
# The standards that I should use for selecting friends should be coming out of a standard of righteousness which can only come from God. It calls me to invest some effort when it calls me to select my friends carefully. Get to know who the person is on the inside not just outside. The Devil can appear as an angle of light. (2 Cor 11:14-15[I])
Prov 22:11 One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend.
1 Peter 3:3 Your (women) beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
# This verse can have broader applications to include any treat. It can include our appearance, the way we speak, our interests, along with wealth, position, social status, our knowledge and abilities. Anything that attracts the attention of other can encourage them to want to get closer or turn away. If I meet a person with an interest in baking I am interested in knowing more. The relationship may grow or I may learn enough to tell me that this is not a good person for me to have in my life, at least not in a way that would bring harm to my spiritual walk. I just won’t know unless I take the time and effort to learn the truth of who they are, to get past the outer package and learn about the person’s heart. (John 7:24[II]). Become attractive, inside by displaying the fruit of the spirit (Gal 5:22-23[III]). With this a person can draw others to themselves, once they get close enough to see the inward quality of heart and spirit. (1 Peter 3:3-4[IV])
Eph 6 Instructions for Christian Households: (v5:21-33 – 6:1-9) 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. # My relationships should be such that others see Christ in me and I should see Christ in them in the way that I think of serving them, the person who is hard to like, much less love should be someone that I can see Christ as I treat them in a way that Christ would want me to.
Matt 25 The Sheep and the Goats: (v31-46) 33 He (the King) will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
# All I ever do for others should be springing from a desire to serve our Lord with the result that we are recognized for our efforts. But first I need to develop the closeness to the Lord so I have the heart to serve others in this way.
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
# Change on the Heart Level:
People who want to lose some weight go on a diet, most will have some success, but many of these will end up gaining it back because they end the diet. The best results come about when the person changes their lifestyle so they naturally eat in a way that assures they lose and keep off the weight. I should be daily striving to become more like Jesus in every way, on a heart level. (Gal 2:20[V])
Col 3 Living as Those Made Alive in Christ: (v1-17)
1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
To be effectively intentional that provides the inward desire to be successful in what I have as my intentions. Since I am weak, flawed, sometimes spiritually lazy and of course sinful I need a change on the heart level that will enable me to have succeed. This again goes back to our foundation we should be firmly rooted on: Dying to self and living for Christ (Gal 2:20). To daily get up put on the Armor of God. (Eph 6:10-18) And strive to draw near to God that he will draw near to me (James 4:8).
[I] John 7:24 Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”
[II] 2 Cor 11:14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
[III] Gal 5 Life by the Spirit: (v13-26) 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
[IV] 1 Peter 3 Living Godly Lives in a Pagan Society: (v2:11-25 – 3:1-7) 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. Added note: This verse also applies to men as well. Become the person others would want to associate with because of your inner qualities of heart and spirit that has its root in Christ.
[V] Gal 2 Paul Opposes Cehpas: (v11-21) 20 I (Paul) have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Be Intentional: Part III