“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8 NIV).
Two men camping in the forest were enjoying their morning coffee when they suddenly spotted a very large, hungry grizzly bear running toward them. One of the men quickly pulled on his running shoes. “Do you actually think you can outrun that grizzly bear?” his friend asked.
“I don’t need to,” he replied. “All I have to do is outrun you.”
We’ve all had friends like that, haven’t we? At the first threat of danger or hardship, or difficulty, they’re out the back door. So what makes for true friendship? It has been said that a true friend is one who walks in when others walk out. Thankfully, there have been people in my life who have stood by me and have been honest friends. But there’s one thing of which I’m confident: I have found a true and loyal friend in Jesus Christ.
Jesus offers His friendship to us. In fact, the New Testament goes so far as to say we have been called by God the Father into fellowship with His Son (see 1 Corinthians 1:9). But is it all one way? Do we really expect a friendship without a response on our part? A genuine relationship, obviously, is made up of two people committing themselves to one another. I can extend friendship to you, but until you return it to me, I can’t legitimately say we’re really friends.
Jesus demonstrated His willingness to have a friendship with us by what He did for us. He said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13 NKJV).
Jesus forever proved just how dedicated He was to us when He did just that.
Let’s say that your phone rings tomorrow morning, and it’s a call from the manager of your bank. He tells you, “I received a very unusual call the other day. Someone who loves you very much and is quite wealthy has given you a large sum of money. This anonymous donor will be depositing 86,400 cents into your account every single day.”Do You Want to Change?
“And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you’” (Mark 2:1–5 NKJV).You Are Safe . . . in Jesus!
When you go to a place like Disneyland with your children, you know where they are. You don’t leave the park and forget them, because you protect what you love.
In the same way, God never forgets those He loves. Writing to first-century believers, Jude addressed his letter “to all who are called to live in the love of God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ” (Jude 1 NLT).
The lures of this world are rich in temptation, but poor in offering real fulfillment. Momentary thrills can often bring lifetime regret. Tuesday on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie poses a key question: “what do you live for?” It’s an important study in his Happiness Series!All Sermons by Greg Laurie