Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"Triple Dog Dare" You!

I know Christmas is over but that doesn’t mean I can’t dare or even ‘triple dog dare” you. In fact, I want to give you four dares. First, I dare you to admit your need for “spiritual” friends. Studies have shown that men generally have acquaintances but few, if any, intimate friends. Two out of ten males seem to have meaningful, open and safe relationships in which both parties trust and are committed to each other. In contrast, six out of ten women enjoy this type of relationship.

Second, I dare you to find spiritual friends you can spend time with, serve in love and speak the truth. That’s the kind of relationship the apostle Paul had with the Ephesian elders. He had spend three years with them and during that time he served them with great humility and tears. Acts 20:18,19

18When they arrived, he said to them: "You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. 19I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews.

Humility and tears are two “tests” of love. The apostle Paul showed them his love by serving them in humility and sorrowing with them in tears. Not only did he show them his love but he shared with them the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. . Acts 20:20,21

20You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. 21I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.

Third, I dare you to make spiritual friends of people God “forces” on you. They may not be people you would naturally choose to be your “friends” but people God nevertheless wants for you to spend time with, share your possessions and speak the truth into your lives.

That’s what God did to the apostle Paul when he brought him face to face with the Christians in Tyre where he was “forced” to spend seven days. He didn't know them before, but now he is "forced" to spend time with them, share their possessions and hear them tell him what they think he should do. Acts 21:4-6.

We landed at Tyre, where our ship was to unload its cargo. 4Finding the disciples there, we stayed with them seven days. Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. 5But when our time was up, we left and continued on our way. All the disciples and their wives and children accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray. 6After saying good-by to each other, we went aboard the ship, and they returned home.

Fourth, I dare you to make your friendship with God as important as your friendship with people. Somewhere in the greatest commandment which is “to love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” is a connection with the rest of the commandment, “to love your neighbor as yourself.”

You can’t have “spiritual” friends without first making God your “spiritual” friend. Maybe that’s where you need to start, by making God your spiritual friend. Everything God has done since creation was to make us His spiritual friend. From creation to the cross. So I dare you, no I triple dog dare you to. . .

admit your need of spiritual friends.

form a friendship with someone you can spend time with, share love and speak the truth.

make friends with those God "forces" on you and

make spiritual friends first with God by loving him with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.

1 comment:

clayburkle said...

Great thoughts. I guess this is what I missed last Sunday. Great words on spiritual friendship.