Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ways to Build a Lasting Friendship.

Beloved, you are acting faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brethren, and especially when they are strangers; and they have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God.” 3 John v.5-6
We continue our study of the book of III John and Ways to Build a Lasting Friendship.

I.      Minister to Each Other

Gaius was not the kind of person that was satisfied with simply sitting and soaking in Church on Sunday.  He was busy serving God and ministering to others.  The kind of ministry that Gaius had was hospitality.  Some people think hospitality is the gift of making people feel at home when you wish they were.  But actually it is the ability to make others, especially strangers, feel warmly welcomed, accepted and comfortable.  Romans 12:13, “Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” (NIV)
Whenever you are serving and ministering in the area of your spiritual giftedness there will be three characteristics seen.
  1. First, it will be done faithfully.  This speaks of a person’s competence and character.
  2. Second, it will be done in love.  This speaks of the kind of passion you should have.  If you are having a hard time trying to get motivated or stay motivated in ministry it is because you’re not serving in the area of your passion.
  3. Third, it will be done in excellence.  Gaius served others as Jesus would have served them.  Anything worth doing for God is worth doing well!  God deserves our best, not our second best!  Hebrews 6:10 says, For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.
Being a part of a loving and relational church provides daily illustration of these qualities.  Each day we see friends stepping out of their own life demands and problems to minister to another.  A meal taken to one who has had surgery or suffered a loss is a ministry of love.  Heaven’s Handymen or Volunteer Christian Builders give of their time to help cut some limbs away from a widow’s house or repair something broken.  Others minister through prayer and counsel when someone just needs to talk.
The need of a friend is met by being a friend.  Those who receive ministry are commonly seen ministering in return when life strikes a blow on another.  A wonderful part of being in the body of Christ is the blessing we receive in lifting the spirit or lessening the burden for another.
Paul was deeply touched by the friendship and ministry of Gaius and commended his actions to the church as an example of true friendship.  So, if we are interested in building a lasting friendship, we must have an attitude of humility and compassion that results in faithful service to one another.

Scripture to Claim:
Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

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