Circles and Friends, how incredibly these words take on a new meaning today in our world of social media. On G+ you put your friends in circles of friends. On Facebook, you “friend” your friends. On Twitter you have “followers” and on it goes. Friends can be those you have never met or long-time friends, or family, or someone you would like to know, or, as is most often the case, a person you have a “common” like or similar interests. That’s the nature of “friends” today. But the Bible has a total different take on what a true “friend” is and who is the greatest Friend of all. As you read this devotional by J.C. Ryle, think about your “circle of friends” and how this fits into your thinking and acting biblically. Are they in the true circle of forever friends? What are you doing to show them the way to the true Friend, Jesus Christ, the friend of sinners? Read on and be encouraged. __TheologyGirl
An Ever-Growing Circle of True Friends
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” (Acts 2:1).
Pentecost, it was the day when Heaven came to earth and accomplished two things which have redefined our world. First, there was fusion; and then there was empowerment. Let me backtrack for a minute to explain what I mean.
Back in the earliest days of civilized man’s heavenly aspirations, a knuckle head named Nimrod thought he would build a tower whose height reached into heaven itself. We know it as the Tower of Babel. We also know the legendary story of how God disrupted the building program by confusing the language of the people. Once communication breaks down, relationships are over, and all cooperative projects fall unfinished.
Babel – even today we use the word to describe a confusing sound of words or noises. In fact, the word confusion means to mix together things that do not belong together. In the case of Babylon, there was an arrogant man trying to become God’s equal – that is confusion.
On the other hand, fusion means to melt together, so as to merge. This is what occurred on the day of Pentecost when a mighty rushing wind rocked Jerusalem, and tongues of fire rested upon the waiting disciples. At that epic moment God fused together a community of spiritually gifted men and women to love and serve one another in the beauty of holiness. We call this emerging community, which now is global, the Church.
There is a beauty in community that the world longs to experience. When one is a part of an ever-growing circle of true friends, he or she will experience acceptance of who they really are, affirmation of what God has given them to do, and accountability that keeps them on the right path. But there’s more!
The Lord didn’t simply fuse us together with one another, He joined us inseparably to Himself as well! And in so doing unleashed the power of heaven into each one of our lives. And now, He wants to release that very power through our lives to a world still in need of a Savior’s redeeming love and grace.
After all, there’s no limit to the size of this ever-growing circle of true friends! John the Beloved said, “We want you to be with us in the wonderful friendship, and so we write and tell you about it. For the more that friendship extends, the greater the joy it brings to us who are already in it!” (1 John 1:4).
Are you in the circle? Are you also helping others to get in?