I have a Lenten devotional that I am using this year and I have been amazed by what a blessing it has been to me. So today I want to share with you a bit about what today's lesson was on; Friends.
This past Sunday was a good day for me. You may, or may not, have noticed that I had a group of people visiting with us. It was my two best friends from high school and their families. If you are a regular reader of this segment, I have talked about them before.
Anyway, this past Sunday they came to worship with us and then spend the afternoon with me and my family. First we worshiped together, then we shared lunch together, recounted memories together, and the kids had a blast playing together. At one point, one of the children, Nicholas, asked his daddy why he did not call me Pastor Daryl. After all, Nicholas has spent the better part of the morning seeing me at church and hearing everyone address me as Pastor Daryl. His daddy simply said, "I know him as my best friend Daryl, not Pastor Daryl." I cannot tell you how much that meant to me. I need to have people in my life for whom I am not their pastor, but their friend. People who knew me, lived a life with me, and know me almost better than I know myself. For me, that is Mike and Jonathan. They have celebrated with me, cried with me, and done stupid stuff with me. To them I am Daryl.
By now you may be asking, what in the world does this have to do with the devotion I read today. Well, the title of the devotion was Friends of God. It talked about the intimate nature in which God knows each of us. We are more than our vocation, more than our roles in life, more than any description that can be tagged to our personalities, hobbies, or actions. We are God's creation. Uniquely made and wonderfully loved. Loved so much that Jesus paid our debt of sin. Cared for so deeply that Jesus sacrificed himself so that we might be redeemed unto God. WOW! That gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.
So this week I encourage you, if you have never thought of your relationship with Jesus in that manner, take some time and ponder that. Take some time to truly try and understand the depth, breadth, and power of that type of love. It is what sustains us as believers. It is what we gather to celebrate each week in worship. It is the strength to know that even though God knows all there is to know about us, warts and all, Jesus still died for us, because their love is that great.
Before I let you go, I want to share something else with you. Before I read today's Lenten devotional, I was going to talk to you about friends anyway. Isn't it neat the way God works and affirms!!!!
Have a great week and I will see you all on Sunday!