“14 After John was put into prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 ’The time has come.’ he said, ‘The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:14-15, NKJV).
As stated before, there are many kinds of friendships and relationships. As human-beings we are capable of so much love, kindness, gentleness, mercy, and forgiveness but we rarely show it, because of our sinning nature we are repeat offenders to Gods perfect love. We would rather put into prison such prophets as John the Baptist who God made as a lonely voice in the wilderness calling out for forgiveness, justice, and repentance, a man sent by God, foretold over 700 years before his birth by another prophet we know as Isaiah.
“ 3 A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. 5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” (Isaiah 40:3-5, NIV).
We would rather ignore our sins allowing Satan to work his evil within us, leading us into perpetual darkness than to claim the light of God. Where we go so wrong in our lives, in our deeds, in our relationships is our unwillingness to believe the good news.
“16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 ‘Come, follow me’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’ 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.”(Mark 1:16-18, NKJV,)
Foundational friendships are relationships built upon honesty, sincerity, and devoid of doubt. We must always be ready for them when they appear, and when they do we must act upon them without delay. Admittedly, in some instances it takes an act of God to make us comply and to obey without question, but for those who are ready it only takes the gentle voice of our savior. For when Jesus came upon Simon and Andrew they recognized his honesty and they saw his sincerity, which erased all their doubt for they hesitated not; but rather acted upon there belief with blind ferver.
“19 When he had gone a little father, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with hired men and followed him.” (Mark 1:19-20).
Our needs are met when like little children we come running to the Lord, leaving everything behind, dropping our yokes given to us by life and simply following him. The call is so simple, but yet so hard for many of us. The rewards are so profound if only we submit and believe. Through this act of contrition we drop the world and our sins of the world at the door step of our savior. We allow God to mold us into a more perfect version of ourselves, thus teaching each of us how to connect with others in a way that will inspire them to come to God much like the prophets, the angels in heaven, and much like Jesus who died for us. We open our hearts and mind; we become the cornerstone that which many foundational relationships can stand the test of time. Like watchmen we become ever vigilant, unyielding, and uncompromising as the sands that are carried by the wind howl about us, yet we stand never to be chipped or blown away, but rather rooted in the foundations of the Lord. The characteristic of being like the prophets, speaking the truth given to us by God, sharing the good news is the best kept secret of being a foundational friend, because in stark reality we are preparing ourselves and others to be part of a magnificent eternal family.
“13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me,’ Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.” (Mark 2:13-14, NJKV).
So simple, so gentle, so powerful, and so perfect are the words, “Follow Me!” For the disciples did not come to Christ because they heard his message first, analyzed it, and then synthesized it before making the life changing decision to follow him. Rather they heard his voice, accepted their calling from God and did not look back. To be called by God is the greatest of all earthly pursuits that carries with it huge responsibilities and ramifications. To accept Gods holy appointment upon your life to become a foundational friend, teacher, and apostle one must recognize God, believe with absolute blind faith, and practice his mercy in all you do and with everyone you meet.
“13 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve designating them apostles that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons. These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), 17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which mean Sons of Thunder); 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot, 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.” (Mark 3:13-19, NKJV).
The unspoken words of Christ Jesus as he looking into each of his disciples eyes struck a cord with each of them; as if he had said, “Look at me, what do you see? For I know you, and have always known you. Know me now, follow me, follow me, follow me.” His eyes touched there souls, they saw and believed, but the rewards are greater for those who have not seen but still believe. Some could see clearly their calling, still at least one doubted;
“28 Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 21: 28-29, NKJV).
At least one knew him and accepted him but still betrayed him,
“41 Returning the third time, he said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” 43 Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders. 44 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” 45 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. 46 The men seized Jesus and arrested him.” (Mark 14:41-46, NKJV).
Still others denied knowing him. But Jesus never left them without peace, love, and the promise of eternal life. His friendship is foundational in every way, in all measures, and is absolute. It is Our Lord and Saviors example that we must cling too as we are molded and grow in faith, as we become foundational people, befriending everyone, helping those who respond. Like a fisher of men pulling many from unlikely places we become foundational and teach others to become the same, in the end becoming more like God.
May God be with you always, and grant you everlasting peace. If you have been moved by this reflection please feel free to leave a comment and press the “Like” under the “Like This” heading found underneath the posting
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