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Thursday, August 25, 2016 other day's devotionals

Today's Devotional Reading
Making Friends

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On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" He answered: "`Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, `Love your neighbor as yourself.'" "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live." But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" (Luke 10:25-29).

Children have a remarkable way of making friends. If they have recently moved into a neighborhood, they may almost immediately begin watching for other children playing outside and begin to make their way over to the other kids and start talking to and playing with them. Sometimes, the family does not even get the moving van unloaded before some of the neighbor children spot the new kids, and come over to get acquainted. It does not take long before friendships are developed--some of which could even last a life time.
But something happens to most of us as we "grow up"; we move into new neighborhoods, workplaces or even churches, and we make acquaintances--but seldom do we build friendships as once we did. Being the "new kid" was never very exciting, but more so as adults. We are not nearly as brave as we once were, and we only venture outside of our safe zones as far as we have to. And each day we return to the safety and seclusion of our private lives and call it a day.
Perhaps we might remember that we are children still, as we are the children of God. And with that we might do well to take a lesson from the children who are going out and making friends. For as the friendships of the children develop, they soon get to know the neighbor kids and soon after, the neighbor kids' parents. It is not long before they have been in many of the houses on the streets, eaten a meal with many of the families and spent the night with some. All in the course of developing friendships.
As adults, we sometimes grow weary of the incessant knocks at the door by neighbor kids, or those same children using our door like it is a revolving door--in and out, in and out. But to them it is part of their adventure--getting to know kids and the parents of kids-- running from house to house. And to us it should be an illustration of the Great Commission.
Sure, we probably don't picture our children standing up in front of the TV at the neighbor's house and preaching the Kingdom of God, but we do see them going to the houses. And no they are probably not actively making disciples--yet. But they are making friends and laying the foundation for God's future possibilities. And should their parents be godly and true and faithful followers of Jesus, the kids might then carry that light they see in mom and dad to the entire neighborhood. Then mom and dad can be singing "This Little Light of Mine" with a whole new perspective.
As parents, we are the caretakers of adventurers, for our children boldly go into the world regularly. As an influence on our children, we are often reflected in them. The light of God that is in us should be reflected in them as well. And as they go they are our little lights who will quite possibly draw the attention of others to God. But let's not see that as an end, but as a means. For what the children may very well do is open the door for the parents. For we are all lights, and we are all "this little light of" God's, and we are all to be a reflection of our Heavenly Father. And as we go, people will know who we belong to and what household we live within.
Our children are getting into the households of our neighborhoods. They may very well be the means God uses to prepare a way for us to minister to other families. We are children, and making friends is just another part of moving into the neighborhood. Some friendships will last a lifetime--and some will last forever as God uses us to bring a little light into the lives of our neighbors.

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