Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Living in Your Identity as a Child of God ~ Elizabeth's testimony

I believe it was around six years ago that I knew in my heart I was not satisfied in Jesus, but I really wanted to be. Through a book I was reading about who I was in Jesus there was a list of scripture verses paraphrased that spoke of my identity in the Lord as His child. After reading the book I still did not feel satisfied in Jesus but I remember thinking to myself that the Bible is truth and that what it is communicating to me about my identity is true even though I did not feel it. I knew I needed God to do a work in my heart.


 I decided to use my exercising time on the treadmill to declare these truths from scripture of who I was in Jesus. Most often I would start my time with a simple prayer “Lord, would You place these truths in my heart.” As I spoke these paraphrased verses I would begin by saying “Thank you Lord and then continue on with the verse, “Since I am in Christ, by the grace of God… I have been justified completely forgiven and made righteous” (Rom 6:1-6) 


Thank you Lord that I am free forever from condemnation (Rom.8:1)
Thank you that I have been given the mind of Christ (I Cor. 2:16)
Thank you Lord that I have been bought with a price: I am not my own; I belong to God (I Cor. 6:19, 20)
Thank you that I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I am now living is Christ’s life (Gal. 2:20)
Thank you that I have been raised up and seated with Christ in heaven (Eph.2:6)
Thank that I can come boldly before the throne of God to find mercy and grace in time of need (Heb.4:16)
Thank you that I have been redeemed and forgiven, and I am a recipient of His lavish grace (I John 1:9)
Thank you Lord that I have been made complete in Christ (Col. 2:10)

As I continued to speak God’s truth into my heart, He began to do a work in me. As God’s truth went deep within my soul I began to know my identity as a child of Jesus and was satisfied in Him. So many things that I had been struggling with before were diminishing in my life as the Lord was setting me free with His truth. One of the victories in my life as a result of God’s work was no longer caring what people thought of me. There was now a new freedom in living for Jesus alone. John 8:31-32 says, “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you abide in my Word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.’”

Since that time I have had seasons where I have struggled to live in these truths, but God has kept helping me come back to what is true. Today in my heart by God placing His truth in me, I have a settledness in my heart that I am His, I belong, and I am His child.

You are a chosen race...

 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

 ~1 Peter 2:9

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Your True Identity in Christ ~ by Amy Vest


Who are you?  


If someone asked you that question, how would you answer?  Even more importantly, what would be the answer if you asked yourself, “Where do I find my sense of worth, security, and value?”

This is an issue of identity.  Identity essentially means: “who someone is” - where we find our value, or our sense of worth.  Where we find our identity is so important because we behave in line with what we believe about who we are.

We live in a culture that tells us that our worth is found in how we look, what we do, how much we have, how popular we are.  This only leads into insecurity, fear, unfulfillment, and never measuring up.

If you have trusted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, you have an identity and worth in Christ that will transform you the more you understand and live in its reality!


When you have come to Jesus Christ for salvation – He saves you and you become a new creation in Christ, and a child of God.  
Salvation takes place when you: 
~ Come to God realizing that you are a sinner, that your sin separates you from God, and that you deserve to spend eternity in hell apart from God.  
~ See that Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God, came to earth, lived a perfect life, died on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sins, rose from the dead and stands ready to save you if you will confess your sins to God.
~ Ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior and cleanse you from your sins, and put your total trust in His work for you on the Cross. 
Then when God looks at you, He sees Jesus, His redeeming work in your life, and His righteousness.

So, when you become a Christian – you are a new creation and you have a new identity.  2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 

Your worth no longer lies in what you do, how you look, or what other people say you are.
Your worth lies in Jesus Christ, what He has done, and who you are in HIM!

Galatians 2:20 tells us, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now livein the  flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” 

Your identity is no longer YOU, but HIM!  A you-centered (or people, possession, position) identity will lead you to an identity crisis – those things will fail, disappoint you, and never fully fulfill!  A Christ-centered identity will bring you all of the security, meaning, and purpose you long for – Jesus never fails you and can totally fulfill you.

Don’t turn to someone or something else to define you or tell you who you are!  JESUS has already told you who you are – you just need to listen to Him (and not to yourself or voices of others).  Understand that whoever you allow to define you and tell you who you are and clamor for their approval, you make your god.  The only one who has the right to define you is the One who created you!  Listen to JESUS - not the world, the devil, or yourself.  Ask, “Jesus, who do You say that I am?  What do you say about me?”  He has told you amazing, life-changing things about who you are in Him!  It is so important that you know and understand your true identity of who you are in Him – and then live in the reality of it!    

Let’s look in His Word ~ Scripture ~ and see who He says you are in Him:


~ Redeemed - He has delivered us from the 
power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of 
the Son of His lovein whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”  Colossians 1:13-14

~ Accepted - “…to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:6 
~ Beloved – “…you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13
~ Child of God – “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12
~ Complete in Christ – For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.”  Colossians 2:9-10
~ Nothing can separate you from His love –  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39
~ Chosen/“Royal Priesthood” – “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 
~ God’s Workmanship –  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
~ and so many more!  I encourage you to look into the Bible more and see what the Lord says about who you are in Jesus!

Isn’t this breathtaking?
  This is who you are in Jesus!

As you see this, allow the Lord’s grace to bring these amazing truths from your head to your heart in a way that transforms the way you live your life!  Because, if you really believe and walk in the reality of who you are in Christ, it will change your life! If you believe you are:
~ Accepted – you will not look to others for affirmation and acceptance (which can lead to so much trouble).
~ Beloved – you will not desperately look for love in other places.
~ Redeemed – you will not try to gain God’s approval through works.
~ Royal Priesthood and a Daughter of the King of Kings – you will want to be set apart and live for HIS kingdom vs. this world.
…. and so much more!

See how it changes you?

It is a life-long journey of growing in walking more fully in our identity in Christ. 
 It is becoming in practice like we are already in position.  It is knowing we are unchangeably accepted, and receiving God’s grace in growing to live like it.

We need to keep these truths of our identity in front of our eyes.
  I encourage you to write some of these verses and realities of who you are in Christ on cards and put them up on your mirror, above your bed, and other places where you will see them!

As you grow in living in your true identity in Christ you will find you are able to increasingly: 

~ Live confidently in who you are in Him.
~ Not be emotionally up and down based on what people think of you – but able to rest in what HE has said about who you are.
~ Be able to focus on HIM alone and what He thinks of you – vs. always worrying what others think of you.
These things will lead you into a deeper relationship with Him and will allow Him to more freely work through you!

I have found the power of this in my own life – as you receive the Lord’s grace to walk in the reality of who you are in Jesus, you are increasingly able to live day-to-day and walk into any setting and rest in who you are in Jesus.  Whether people love you or hate you, or think you are wonderful or weird, you can be at peace knowing your position in Christ and what He thinks of you You can walk into church, a social gathering, etc. and do not need to look around at everyone and hope they accept you – you can be confident of, and secure in, who you are in Christ and be able to shine His love!  

Every day of my life, I need to walk in the reality of who I am in Jesus!  Understanding who I am because of Jesus and what He has done continues to grow my gratitude for Jesus and be life-altering for me.  When I am not living in the reality of my identity in Jesus, I find I become insecure, etc. and then the Lord faithfully directs my eyes back to my position and value because of Him and the security returns!  I want to live more fully in my identity in Christ with each breath I take. 

These beautiful truths are yours when you are in Christ:
~ You are not defined by your worst day, what you have done, or what you do – but, by what Jesus has done for you.
~ You are not defined by how you look, but by what God sees when He looks at you – JESUS!
~ You are not defined by what you have accomplished, but by what Jesus has accomplished for 
you on the Cross!
~ You are not defined by what you know, or even the fact that you know God, but the fact that God knows you because of Jesus!
~ You are not defined by what people say about you, but by what God says about you!
~ You are not defined by who you are, but by Who He is in you!


Understanding and living in your identity in Jesus is life transforming.  Jesus meant for you to know, believe, and live in this reality!  

Keep looking to Jesus and His Word for a definition of your true identity, daily remind yourself of and live in the reality of these truths, and watch Him transform your life!

Go and live in your true identity in Christ!




Christ lives in me...

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

            ~Galatians 2:20

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Join us for the Summer Devotions Pursuit 2017!



Summer Devotions Pursuit from Loving the Lord Ministries on Vimeo.

We would like to invite you to join us for the 2017 Summer Devotions Pursuit - a special time of seeking Jesus from June 1st - August 31st!

Here are the basic details:
WHO: You and Jesus
WHERE: Wherever you are
WHEN: June 1st - August 31st, 2017

WHAT IS INVOLVED:
- 15 minutes of devotions a day
- Memorizing 1 verse a week
- Choosing and contacting an accountability partner once every 2 weeks
... and an amazing summer with Jesus! 
You can print off a chart to keep track on the LTLM website - http://lovingthelordministries.org/event-items/summer-pursuit!

REWARD: When you complete the Summer Pursuit: You send in your chart by September 7th and you receive a reward in the mail - in addition to the best reward of knowing Jesus!  This year's reward will be a special surprise package!

RSVP:
It is not necessary to let us know that you are taking part in the Summer Devotions Pursuit - You can just send your chart in at the end of the summer when you complete the Pursuit!  (That said, you can leave a comment on this post just for fun if you want to let us know you are taking part!)
You can watch the "Summer Devotions Pursuit" video (above, or at http://vimeo.com/41883667) and visit the website (www.lovingthelordministries.org) for more details.  You can contact us at info@lovingthelordministries.org with questions. 


Invite your friends to join us!!!

This is going to be an amazing summer of pursuing and growing in knowing Jesus!
  Pursue Jesus with all that you are this summer, friends. He is so amazing! He will meet with you - and you will never be the same!

Our prayer is that for each of us this summer will be a powerful time to begin, or deepen, a life pattern of seeking Jesus and growing in experiencing His goodness every day!

"He satisfies the longing soul…” Psalm 107:9

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Join us for Session 4 - "Your Identity in Christ" - of the Beautiful to God Online Conference!

Session 4 ~ "Your Identity in Christ" from Loving the Lord Ministries on Vimeo.

Who are you? Your identity essentially means: "who someone is" - where we find our value, or our sense of worth. Where we find our identity is so important because we behave in line with what we believe about who we are. If you have trusted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, you have an identity and worth in Christ that will transform you the more you understand and live in its reality! 

2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."

Please join us for this video as we look at the transforming reality of your identity in Jesus!

Please visit our website http://lovingthelordministries.org/ for handouts and study questions for this session.

A New Creation...


Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

~2 Corinthians 5:17

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Question of the Month ~ We want to hear from you!

We want to hear from you!

Here's the question for the month:

What is one way you can pursue inner beauty?


  {Please comment below!}

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Those who look to Him are radiant...


"Those who look to him are radiant,

    and their faces shall never be ashamed."


~Psalm 34:5

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Scripture Memory Video ~ 1 Peter 3:3-4

      Scripture Memory Video ~ 1 Peter 3 3-4 from Loving the Lord Ministries on Vimeo.

Join Amy for this special little video as we memorize 1 Peter 3:3-4!

The Lord Looks on the Heart...

 But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

~1 Samuel 16:7

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Radiance of True Beauty ~ by Amy Vest




What is true beauty?  Is it perfect makeup, a cute outfit, well styled hair?  Or, is it something more radiantly life changing?

As we grow in the amazing journey of knowing and loving Jesus and His Truth, our perspective of what is truly beautiful is transformed.  The more we experience His heart and He changes our hearts through His Truth, the more we will begin to see as God sees, value what He values, and desire to live our lives in line with longing to be beautiful to Him out of love for Him!

Seeing beauty from God’s perspective is like holding a finely cut diamond close to the light and watching the radiant lights that sparkle everywhere.  It is a beauty that is deep, fulfilling, life-giving, radiant, and eternally glorifies God.  This is the beauty we want to pursue.

Beauty in its truest form is Jesus ~ His heart, His character, His Spirit.  We could talk for hours about His love, purity, holiness, radiance, strength… and the list goes on.  This beauty far surpasses anything merely external.  It is a beauty that transforms.

As a result, beauty in its truest form in us as humans is Jesus Christ filling and radiating from our lives!  The more our lives are emptied of us and filled with Jesus, the more we will be truly beautiful with the radiance of His life shining from us!  This is a beauty that, as a result, fulfills us, blesses others, and glorifies the Lord.

It:  ~ Fulfills you – by you being filled with and fulfilled by Jesus.  (Psalm 107:9)
~ Blesses others – by Jesus living through your life and touching others in a way that forever changes their lives, as only He can.  (2 Cor. 4:7)
~ Glorifies the Lord – by showing in your life how good and beautiful He is and others being drawn to worship Him.  (Matt. 5:16)

This is the beauty we were created to experience and radiate! 

“Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.”  Psalm 34:5

We live in a world that promotes external beauty – but, if you think of it, it has nothing else to hope for than this life!  When you know Jesus, understand His ways, and have the hope of eternity in Heaven, it changes everything!  The beauty He calls us to is so much deeper - beginning at the heart and shining out!  External beauty in and of itself does not last, is shallow, and is unfulfilling.   While it is important for your external appearance to be a beautiful reflection of Jesus and your heart (allowing the cover to match the contents), our priority and value should be where God has it - on the inside.  “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

It is a beauty of Jesus in the soul that is eternal and impacts every area of our lives.  It is being a young woman who knows and radiates Jesus in a beautiful way that has a lasting impact on everyone she touches.  Let’s pursue beauty in His eyes!

A powerful passage on this is 1  Peter 3:3-4,  “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.”

Let’s focus on a few parts of these verses:
~ “adorning”Where are you placing your emphasis, hope, and value?  Is it on the external or the internal?  What consumes your thoughts, time, or priorities?  Is it Jesus and His life in you, or is it yourself and making sure that you have the perfect outfit or makeup?  Proverbs 11:22 is a helpful reminder, Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.”  One thing that can be helpful is timing yourself and seek to be spending more time focusing on the inner “adorning” (time with the Lord, prayer, reading the Bible, journaling, etc.) than you do on the outside (hair, makeup, clothes, etc.).  Let’s let Jesus help us place our emphasis on what really matters – His life in us!

~ “imperishable beauty” – This is talking about a beauty that doesn’t fade with age, but lasts forever.  Think of yourself 50 or 60 years from now. J (Quite the thought, isn’t it?)  We will look a lot different.  Then - what will matter more where you put your emphasis - on the inside or outside?  How about when you are standing in front of Jesus at the end of your life?  Visiting nursing homes is so inspiring to me – here we see a picture of what imperishable beauty is.  Those who have made their walk with the Lord a priority shine beautifully and His life in them continues to have a lasting impact others, even when their bodies are fading.  Let’s invest our lives in what will make a transforming difference now, and will last forever!

~ “meek and quiet spirit”
A meek and a quiet spirit are only possible when it is the life of Jesus living, working, and flowing through us.  We cannot manufacture, fake, or “paint on” this spirit.  It is only the result of Jesus within us – of time with Him in prayer, reading His Word, and allowing Him to work in our hearts.  It then flows from us like a beautiful fragrance flows from a flower.  Let’s stay dependant on Jesus and allow Him to work in us to make this a reality in our lives!

~ “very precious in the sight of God”
This is, above all else, why we want to pursue this inner beauty of Jesus within us – because it is pleasing and precious in the sight of the One we love!  What is valuable to Him is what really matters.  Let’s live for what is very precious to the One Who is our life, out of love for Him!

Having our hope in Jesus, valuing what He values, pursuing being filled with Him, and His life flowing from us results in a lasting beauty that is precious to God.

How can we specifically cultivate this true beauty, by the grace of God at work in us? 

This true beauty is cultivated in ways including:

~ Knowing Jesus and being filled with Him – This comes through salvation and a personal relationship with Him.  It is the Lord that creates this beauty in us, first through our redemption and then through working in us to transform us into His likeness. 
I want to make a very important reality very clear – there is a difference between justification and sanctification:
- Justification – [a 1-time event] - When you trust Jesus to save you from your sins and surrender your life to Him at salvation, Jesus saves you and you are eternally justified, so that when God looks at you, He sees Jesus.  This makes you beautiful to Him!  There is nothing that you can do to earn God’s favor or justification in your own strength.  Jesus has done that for you.  As a result, you are already saved and you already have God’s favor through Jesus’ work for you on the Cross – nothing can ever change that. 
- Sanctification – [an ongoing process]Once you are saved (justified), God desires to sanctify you – conforming you to the image of Jesus – for His glory and your good.  The more He empties us of our selves and fills us with Jesus, the more He can shine from our lives for His glory!
So, rest in Jesus’ justifying work for you, and allow this to compel you to seek to fully allow Him to do His sanctifying work in you!  As we walk with Him and He does His sanctifying work in us, He will increasingly shine from our lives!

~ His Word The Word of God (the Bible) is His way to let us know who He is, for Him to speak His Truth to us, and for Him to work in us.  It is the “guidebook” to what He says is true beauty and what He calls us to.  It changes your life as you read what He says and the Holy Spirit applies it to your heart.  As we are daily in the Bible, reading it, memorizing it, and thinking about it through the day and seeking the Lord’s help to apply it to our daily life, the Lord will work and change our hearts.
As we look to Jesus and the Word, we see that JESUS is our final example of what we should desire to be!   Even humans through whom He shines beautifully, come short of all that He is and calls us to be!  Keep Jesus and His Word before you as your example of true beauty.

~ Surrender to Him – It is so key to walk in yielded softness of heart to His work in us and obedience to His direction, as the One in charge of our life.  Radical transformation takes place as we obey out of love for Him, instead of out of duty.  It is allowing our heart to be like soft clay in the hands of a potter.  As the Lord works in you through the joys and trials of life, He is able to sanctify you, empty you of yourself and fill you with Himself, shape you, and do what He wants in you.  This is sometimes painful to our flesh.  But, it is an issue of choosing your pain – the initial pain of being emptied of and dying to self, but then experiencing the joy of Jesus’ life filling and radiating from you, OR the pain of staying right where you are and missing all that Jesus had for you! 

It is a life of this – day by day, moment by moment – looking to and loving Him, learning from His Word and valuing what He values, letting Him work in you and fill you, and allowing Him to flow through you to touch others for His glory! 

As this takes place in your life, watch how He will increasingly fill you with His satisfying life that shines from you in beautiful ways and has a lasting impact!  This is the beauty to which He is calling us!

May we all pursue the beauty of Jesus that we were created to be filled with and radiate! 

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”  Proverbs 31:30

A Woman Who Fears the Lord...



Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,

but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.


~Proverbs 31:30

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Join us for Session 3 - "The Importance of Inner Beauty" - of the Beautiful to God Online Conference!

Session 3 ~ "The Importance of Inner Beauty" and "Keys to Developing Inner Beauty" ~ Beautiful to God Conference from Loving the Lord Ministries on Vimeo.

What is true beauty? Is it perfect makeup, a cute outfit, well styled hair? Or, is it something more radiantly life changing? As we grow in the amazing journey of knowing and loving Jesus and His Truth, our perspective of what is truly beautiful is transformed... The beauty He calls us to is so much deeper - beginning at the heart and shining out! ...It is a beauty of Jesus in the soul that is eternal and impacts every area of our lives. It is being a young woman who knows and radiates Jesus in a beautiful way that has a lasting impact on everyone she touches. We are so excited to look together in this session at the incredible beauty that the Lord calls us to embrace - A beauty that results in glorifying Him, satisfying us, and blessing others! Will you join us?

Please visit our website lovingthelordministries.org for handouts for this session!

“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.”
 ~ 1 Peter 3:3-4

Thursday, March 30, 2017

We Want to Meet You!

We want to get to know our readers!

This week we are asking you to leave a comment and introduce yourself!
We'd love it if you would share:
~ Your first name
~ What state you are from
~ Something the Lord is doing in your life right now!

We are so excited to meet you! :)

                                                                            {Please leave your comment below!}

                                                                  

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Question of the Month ~ We want to hear from you!

We want to hear from you!

Here's the question for the month:



What is  one way you can encourage your friends in Jesus?


 
 {Please comment below!}

Love One Another...


"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another."
~John 13:34

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Embracing the Gift of Friendship ~ Lianna's Testimony


Red-haired Anne of Green Gables put into words what many of us have wondered. Shortly after her arrival at Green Gables, Anne confided to Marilla her dream regarding friendship - she wondered if she would ever find “a bosom friend... a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul”. If you know the story, you know that Anne did find that friend in a girl named Diana. Does Anne’s desire ring true for you as well? It does for me! We were created to be in relationships - first with God, and then with one another.

When Jesus died on the cross, He purchased our salvation from the penalty of sin and provided the way for a relationship with the holy God of the universe. “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself...” (2 Corinthians 5:18). God created us for relationship with Him! For those who trust Him as Savior, we have THE GREATEST FRIEND that can ever be found. Before an earthly “bosom friend” or “kindred spirit” will ever satisfy, we must recognize and embrace the cup-overflowing fullness that is found in Christ alone.

The psalmist David knew this to be true (emphasis mine):
“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty Rock, my refuge is God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” (Psalm 62)




Those words have comforted me often, especially in times when 
friendships seemed to fail me or elude me. Finding our fulfillment, strength, hope, and all that we need in GOD frees us to enjoy human friendship without placing unrealistic expectations on imperfect people to meet our needs. 

Have you ever felt like you were on a roller coaster when human friendships ebbed and flowed, or even brought misunderstanding or hurt? With God our Father, there is no shadow of change (James 1:17)! He is a rock-solid Anchor that will not move, and a Friend that will not fail or forsake us. Ever. The Word of God is full of the blessings that we find in relationship with our heavenly Father, whom we can also call “friend”. He is worth knowing as our dearest friend! 


When our deepest needs are first satisfied in God, we are then free to give and receive in human friendships.
And these human friendships are profoundly significant! “He who walks with the wise grows wise” (Proverbs 13:20)... and “as iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend” (Proverbs 27:17). The people with whom we spend time will influence who we become. For this reason, the friends we choose as our closest confidants should have qualities that we want to cultivate in our own lives.

Where can such friends be found? For starters, you may have some wonderful friend prospects right within your own family. Don’t overlook your siblings! Friends may come and go, but you will be related to your family as long as this life lasts. Then, pray for God to reveal “kindred spirits” to you from other places as well - this may be at church, in your neighborhood, at a class, or somewhere entirely unexpected! God will provide just who you need, at just the right time. Recognize that there will be friends of the journey, and friends of specific seasons - some friendships will be precious for certain times in your life, and then time or distance will drift your paths apart. Other friends will be ones that will stick through all of life, even if time and space separate you at times.



How can deep, meaningful friendships be cultivated? Friendships that will take you beyond the surface are those whose roots are grounded in a shared love for and delight in God. If the deepest common roots of your friendship are your relationship with God, this is a bond that will hold you together far beyond circumstances alone. You will have more to talk about than a shared class or a recent purchase of clothing. Enduring friendship requires a willingness to be honest and real, and opportunities to share both daily life and the depths of your heart. One of my dearest friendships began when I was 16 - we didn’t know each other well, but she and I agreed to become prayer and accountability partners. This built the foundation of our friendship first on our relationships with God. As the years have passed, we have been able to share each others joys and sorrows, grow to be more honest and real with one another, and enjoy the gift of a sweet friendship for the journey! You might know this friend - her name is Amy. :)

I do not know where this finds you. Do you feel like you are in the wilderness, far from any prospect of a kindred spirit or bosom friend? Or are you enjoying nourishment from a blossoming garden of sweet human friendships? Whatever your friendship situation, there is a Friend that sticks closer than a brother. Our heavenly Father is ready to meet your deepest need for companionship, first in Himself... and then through the friendships He will bring in His perfect time, for your good and His glory.