Sunday, April 6, 2014

The importance of friends in my life

This post is meant for my friends. Primarily the peers in my life who deal with me on a day to day, or week to week basis.

Basically, I want to encourage you. Partly because of something incredible that happened today. And partly because of recent circumstances that have just led me to feel the need to thank you in a semi-public fashion.

You guys are incredible.

The reason you’re incredible, is your surrender to Christ. Most of you have made a public profession of your faith in the living God. You believe with your whole heart that Jesus Christ selflessly laid down his life, to save you from eternal torment in hell. With some of you, I was at your baptisms, watching as you took that step of faith, proclaiming that Jesus Christ is your King, and you eagerly look forward to his return. I know your hearts, and have seen you transformed by Him from one year to the next.

But it doesn’t stop there. Your surrender gives Christ control over you and gives Him access to use you to further His Kingdom. And I see it. Recently, I’ve seen it a lot. I saw it last month, I saw it last week, and I saw it just today. A close friend of mine and I were talking about issues in our lives, and school, and things, and I looked him in the eye and told him, “God can’t use me. I’ve piddled away my time until now, I know God hasn’t turned His back on me yet, because I’ve returned to Him constantly and I still feel His presence and see Him working, but I feel useless for His kingdom. I don’t understand why He continues to waste His time on me, because I’m worthless. I’m awed, I’m thankful, I’m so fully in love with Him because He hasn’t abandoned me yet… but He’ll never be able to use me.”

But my friend looked at me, with caring, encouraging eyes and said, “I know for a fact, you’re wrong. Because I have scripture to back me.”

Doubting, I shook my head. “Show me.” I challenged, arrogance dripping from my words. Tears threatening to seep from my eyes. “Show me the verse, because I just don’t see my use.”

He read me these words from 1 Corinthians 1 :24 – 31:

“But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are, that no man should boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, that, just as it is written, ‘Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

I’m the least. I’m worthless. I’m the last guy who’d ever get picked in the grand dodge-ball game of life. But God can still use me… and according to these verses… He is, and He has. That thought… broke me down. Jesus Christ hasn’t given up on me, and He’s even chosen to use me despite my numerous flaws. At the moment of realization, I felt an overwhelming comfort. They were the exact words I needed to hear, and God sent them, through my friend, just at the perfect time.

Recently I’ve been praying that the Lord would just let His perfect will be known to me. And in that moment, I felt Him speaking to me, showing me that when the time is right, He will reveal His will to me.

Yes, I’m thanking Christ for His perfect timing. Yes, I’m thanking Him for saving my worthless soul and using me to further His kingdom; as useless as I often feel. But I’m thanking my friends too. For humbling yourselves, and letting Jesus Christ use you. He uses you in my life so constantly. In verses shared, in thought-provoking blog posts, in heart-to-heart talks…

If He uses one as unlikely as I… then I know for a fact He uses people like you guys too. And I've been blessed to be on the receiving end of that use more times than I ever deserved.

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