How many friends can you count who know you deeply? Intimately? Non-judgmentally? How many friends do you have who you feel empower you to be a better person?
Yesterday, I thought about the friend I have in Jesus as I listened to Steve's sermon entitled, "GRACE EMPOWERS!" As Steve shared about Timothy and the friends he had in his grandmother Lois, his mother Eunice, the apostle Paul, and in Jesus, I heard some wonderful teaching on some topics that have been on my mind: GRACE, MERCY, AND FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD...
When I think of a "true friend", I think of someone who...
- loves me unconditionally
- loves me in spite of me
- tells me the truth
- gives me grace
Yesterday, Steve read through 2 Timothy chapter 1 and had us respond with the words "THAT'S GRACE!" each time he read something in the chapter that showed the grace that Christ extends. Not everyone has had Godly parents and/or grandparents, but if you have had...THAT'S GRACE! As I meditate on it now, I share it with you to consider the grace God has given you and me by embracing us as friend and family.
- the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus...THAT'S GRACE!
- Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord...THAT'S GRACE!
- sincere faith...in your grandmother...THAT'S GRACE!
- sincere faith...in your mother...THAT'S GRACE!
- the gift of God... a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline...THAT'S GRACE!
- the power of God...THAT'S GRACE!
- saved...THAT'S GRACE!
- called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace...THAT'S GRACE!
- this grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time...THAT'S GRACE!
- but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus...THAT'S GRACE!
- who has destroyed death...THAT'S GRACE!
- has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel...THAT'S GRACE!
- of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher...THAT'S GRACE!
- I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed...THAT'S GRACE!
- am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him... THAT'S GRACE!
- good deposit that was entrusted to you-guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us...THAT'S GRACE!
- may the Lord show mercy...THAT'S GRACE!
- mercy from the Lord on that day! ...THAT'S GRACE!
"And the Word became flesh,
and dwelt among us,
and we beheld His glory,
glory as of the only begotten from the Father,
full of grace and truth."