A Friend in the ministry
On that final journey to Rome Paul traveled with two good friends, Luke and Aristarchus, who had been with him through thick and thin. Luke and Aristarchus proved themselves to be true friends in the ministry. We have several men and women in our church who have been serving with me personally for over a decade and some nearly 2 decades.
Where ever there are people working together their will be disagreements. God’s call for unity doesn’t mean that we all think and act exactly alike in areas of Christian liberty. God doesn’t call for uniformity of standards and opinions but unity within our differences of personality, gifts, preferences, and minor doctrinal differences. To deny differences among believers in the Christian walk results in a judgmental, prideful, and legalistic attitude.
When People minister together in the church for long periods of times it brings God great pleasure. How do people maintain such loyal and long lasting friendships? They give each other the benefit of the doubt and don’t assume wrong motives. They don’t react angrily in conflict but respond graciously with humility. They work on loving each other as Christ loved them. Most importantly they have unity based on the essentials of the faith. God is ultimately most pleased with our unity surrounding the essential truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Paul said it clearly in I Corinthians 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. The gospel is Jesus Christ, the one and only way to heaven. He is the one we turn to by letting go of our sins and receiving Him as Lord and Savior. We trust in his blood sacrifice that cleanses us of our sins and makes us acceptable to God. Ephesians 1:6-7 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
The key to long lasting friendships is to glory in the gospel of Christ and continue to be more like Him in every part of our lives. May you be consumed with the love of Christ so that you will have the strength to develop and enjoy friendships that will last a life time.
Jerry Favor- Pastor at Sagle Victory Baptist Church