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FRIENDS

FRIENDS

Blake Allen, Student and Outreach Minister, LHBC

Acts 18:1-11
18 After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, 3 and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. 4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks. 5 When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. 6 And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. His house was next door to the synagogue. 8 Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. 9 And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” 11 And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. 

What comes to mind when you think of friends? Maybe it’s the song by Whodini, and your reminded that friends are one’s we can depend on. Maybe you think of Joey, Phoebe, David, Monica, Rachel, and Chandler from the 1994 Sitcom. Whatever the case, I think we can all agree that friendship is an essential part of our lives. We need people who we can depend on. We need others we can laugh or cry with. Friends will be there through good times and tough times. 

The Bible has a lot to say about friendship. One of the lessons we learn from Paul is the value of friendship. Paul experienced a lot of difficulties on his missionary journeys. Whether it was his faith being mocked, his life being threatened, or rejection he experienced, Paul dealt with a lot of attacks and difficulties. But Paul found encouragement through friendships. Aquila and Priscilla provided Paul shelter and work to accommodate his needs. Silas and Timothy, coworkers with Paul in the ministry of the gospel, shared the burden of Paul’s rejection. Titius Justus prevented Paul from being homeless and housed him as he continued to preach the word to the Gentiles. 

Because of the stability Paul received from friends, he was able to endure the difficult season of life, and was able to continue laboring in the Gospel. As a result, many lives were changed and Paul received the encouragement he needed to continue. The reality is this: Paul needed friends, and we do too. 

Maybe you’re reading this and you don’t have people in your life who would be there for you at a moment’s notice. Or maybe you are actively trying to find that community now.  Or maybe you are reading this and need to reconnect. One of the ways we can find community is through a family group. There are multiple groups that meet throughout the week at Living Hope. Make a decision today to join a family group. Family groups grant us the opportunity to not only be encouraged, but also give encouragement to others. We all need people in our lives to help us through the junk we face. Like Paul, we all need friends. 

PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I pray we will be available for people and love them well. Help us to be like Paul and intentionally surround ourselves with like minded friends. May we encourage, sharpen, and love one another. Amen. 

MEMORY VERSE FOR THE WEEK:
Colossians 3:15
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.