Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate.  Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach.  For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.

 
 
 

Going to Jesus

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Thought for the Evening
7-04

"WHO IS YOUR FRIEND?"


Excerpt from Uncle Joe's wonderful testimony in a prayer meeting at Grandma's house in 1971

God showed me something that I had been wrong in. I learn more by being wrong sometimes than I do by being right. I have two people that work with me, and one of them would be out one day and he would talk about the other one, and the other one would be out and the other one would talk about him, and I started taking sides, which I knew was wrong. So I told Ron. I figured he was my friend since he was the oldest man. But I found out that there is no friendship involved. We cannot choose our friends. Glory to God!

Do you think Jesus would have chosen Judas if he had known that he would sell him for thirty pieces of silver? He would not have chosen [him] if he had chosen through the flesh. But He came down here with papers from his Father with a list of names, those who were fore-ordained to be with him. And he said, "Come and follow me and I will make you to be fishers of men." He didn't call on his own! He called through the Spirit, and that's how God wants us to be. Leave everybody to be [who God ordains them to be]. If we have respect of persons, we commit sin. God does not have respect of persons. Jesus does not have respect of persons. No matter who that person is, we'll just let them be people. And then we'll let God work out what good they're going to be for us.

Job didn't choose his "miserable comforters." They came to him when he was afflicted, and they tormented him with accusations, and they made him miserable. Old Job didn't choose those people. God sent them down. And everybody was pleading their self-righteousness, and they were condemning Job on every side. But that young preacher Elihu stood up and said, "There is a spirit in man but the inspiration of the most High givest understanding." We'll never understand. We can try to figure out who's our friend, we can try to figure out who's our enemy, but until we know God, we are respecter of persons when we do that. Glory to God! We have to leave them alone.

I want you to know that God spoke at the end, and old Job said, "God, I know these things are too great for me. I have spoken things that I didn't understand." He said, "Now I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now that mine eyes have seen thee, I abhor myself and repent in dust and in ashes." And [God] said to those other people, "You go down there and make a sacrifice of seven bullocks, and I'll have my servant Job to pray for you." I want you to know that they were close enough to God to seek.

I read that Scripture and I wept. I heard [Jesus asking me], "Who were his friends? His miserable comforters?" And I said, "Yes."

"That thing is your friend - person, place or thing, or condition - that causes you to be obedient to God."

Jesus prayed in the Garden while his disciples were asleep, and he came back and said, "Sleep on, take your rest." And he prayed, "Father, if it be thy will let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done." Glory to God! And it came. And he saw Judas and the mob coming. And Judas came and told the crowd with the staves and the swords, and said, "That's him. When I kiss him, that'll be him. Seize him and hold him fast." And Jesus said, "Friend, betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?" He called him "friend"! Another one [of the Gospels] said he said "Judas". We never know who's our friend. We don't know.

I went back to work on that Wednesday and the Spirit of God started covering me, and God starting talking to me. He would show me a Scripture, and I would quote it to those men at work, where Judas betrayed Jesus, and he called him "friend", and where Job's comforters tormented him day and night and God turned the captivity of Job into praying for his friends."

Our enemies might be better friends to us than our friends are. That person, as I said before, that does something to you that causes you to press and be obedient to the will of God, that's your friend!

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