Monday, August 3, 2015

GOD's Word is RELEVANT -- Sharing Scripture (Week 1) on FRIENDSHIP

We have spent the summer trying to help middle schoolers understand the relevance of GOD's Word to their lives.  That can be a hard concept for adults, much less 6th - 8th graders.  We've spent time digging into Scripture and looking for verses to apply to living real life.  It's been refreshing searching passages together and seeing how GOD speaks to each of us.  I've loved listening to the kids share the verses they've found and explain why they have determined that it relates to certain topics.  I've enjoyed seeing them bless their friends with Scripture and have relished the sound of rustling pages as they search their Bibles for just the right verse.  Our time in Bible study has given me a renewed desire to fill up on JESUS and jump in to the Word.

For the month of August, I'm inviting friends to pour over GOD's Word and share relevant Bible verses in a once-a-week post.  We'll be linking up on Mondays as we DIG IN to Scripture that is relevant to a one word topic.  The topics we'll be studying together are:
Friendship (August 3)
Hope (August 10)
Weary (August 17)
Strength (August 24)
Peace (August 31)
Of course, you could easily find verses for each of these topics in a really good concordance (and some people might post just that), but I'm also very interested in reading what the specific verses speak to the hearts of the ones sharing them.  I pray that this little series will be encouraging to all who read it.  May we help each other along the way as we share the verses that GOD uses to help us in our personal lives.  My friends and I will be sharing those specific verses that we think of in certain situations and will maybe even share a few sentences about WHY those verses were chosen.

And we'd love to hear from you.  Please feel free to link up with us or share your favorite verses with us in the comments of each week's topic.  Thank you for joining us as we DIG IN to GOD's Word.

Today's topic is FRIENDSHIP.

Just the other day when I was a young mom, I came across a book that changed my life and the way I view friendship.  (Could it really have been almost 20 years ago?)  Dee Brestin's The Friendships of Women touched the very essence of who I am and who GOD created me to be as she explained women's friendships and pointed me to Scripture to search out GOD's friendship pattern.  Over the years, I have studied the book privately and collectively and it acts as a healing balm every time I do.  I wholeheartedly recommend it to you.

I think one of the most beautiful verses on friendship is found in 1 Samuel 23:16.  It says, "And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in GOD."  Wow!  Just wow!  What a wonderful example of friendship.  That's the kind of friendships that I want to surround myself with.  I want to make sure that there are Jonathan's in my life who will help me find strength in GOD when I falter, because I do.  I also want to be a Jonathan for my friends when they are discouraged and downtrodden.  We need each other.  We need accountability and love -- but we always need to point our friends to GOD because truly all hope is found in HIM.

Friendships can be risky and sometimes it is hard to be vulnerable before people.  Proverbs 17;17 says "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity."  Proverbs 18:24 reminds me that there are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.  

Friendships are important, but relying on GOD in all things is even more important.  1 John 3:16 says it best:  We know what real love is because JESUS gave up HIS life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.

Let us be LOVE to one another and share friendships that are deep and true.  We need each other.

Thank you for Digging In with me.  I look forward to reading the friendship verses that you treasure.

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