The Petersen Page


Love Is Not A Feeling In Your Chest
November 4, 2007, 6:32 am
Filed under: My Devotionals

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“Love is not a feeling in your chest.
It’s bending down to wash another’s feet.
It is faithful when the sun is in the West.
And in the East” ~”For the love of God”-Andrew Peterson

LOVE IS NOT A FEELING IN YOUR CHEST

I’m sitting on my steps this morning. The sun is warm on my back and the breeze is rolling over my shoulders. I have been thinking a lot this morning about friendships and relationships.

I am in a very self inventory stage in my life right now for some reason. Trying to figure out how to be a stronger man of God, trying to figure out how to be a better friend, better son, better brother, better roommate, and better everything.

What makes a person complete? What makes a person whole? And what does the Bible say about these kind of things?

Proverbs really speaks the most into the true meaning of friendship. Here are some examples of what is said about it:

Friendship:

-Friends can sharpen one’s thinking with good counsel (Prov 27:17; 28:23)
-A good friend will sing one’s praises to others (Prov 27:1-2)
-A good neighbor or friend is willing to share in one’s troubles (Prov 17:17; 18:24; 27:10)
-A true friend forgives, and then lets the issue go. He does not keep bringing up past mistakes (Prov 17:9, 14)
-A true friend is one who makes honest commitments and acknowledges quickly when those promises cannot be fulfilled (Prov 3:28-29; 6:1-5)

We are called to bear one another’s burdens and to sharpen one another. This means that I can take hope because i dont have to walk in this dark world alone.

This life is a constant barrage of choices. Each step we take each day is a choice. The company we keep is so important.

A few years ago I sat down with our youth group at church and were talking about this very topic.

In the bible it speaks about one main choice that we face each day. Do we draw closer to God or further away?

Our friends and relationships are based on this principle as well.

A friend is someone who battles with you for your marriage, prays with you when you are sick, comforts you in crises, and defends you when the world waits to pounce on you.

A friend takes you to the Cross. Daily. Constantly. Consistently.

Do the friends in people you spend time with in life really care about you, or are they generally out for themselves?

Do they invest in your life? Do they draw you closer to the One who made you?

Does your job, lifestyle, daily interactions, and relationships draw you closer to Jesus?

I have been so thankful over the past few weeks for a few people that I would love to publicly mention:

Toby-Toby is a new friend of mine with a softer heart then almost anyone i know. His attention, compassion, grace, attentiveness, availability, and friendship has been open, honest, and pure. He is man that God is proud of, and has drove straight into caring about me and for me. Toby you are the man!

Jason-Jason has been a constant prayer partner, tender hearted listener, and loyal friend. Even though he stutters a lot, which is awesome, his example of how to be open, and broken has meant the world to me.

Taya-I should have put Taya before Jason because she is his wife, and gives tremendous support. She has constantly and consistently made my burdens her own.

BJ-BJ is my cousin. He has been out of character lately and has really taken an investment in my life. His patience and reliability knows no end.

Pat and Lacey-There are friends who will weep with you. There are friends who will laugh with you. These two friends of mine have been amazing friends praying over me and constantly checking up on me. They have washed over my life prayer, and intercession for me. They have been my encouragement and safety.

Lauren-Kind, soft, and gentle. There are those who speak wisdom, and those who display wisdom. Lauren is the best friend a person can have. Giving, loving, and will sit with you and just smile.

Vince-Probably one of my greatest friends in my whole life. Which is awesome that a man that is my dad’s age could be so interested and committed to a hot headed 27 year old like me. Vince’s guidance and wisdom can really not be measured.

John and James-Weekend phone calls, and over the phone prayers are what these men do best. Men of true INTEGRITY and honesty!

Steve, Marc, and Brian-Rock solid men. Always there for an embrace or just to listen. Solid.

My family-The best. Under-appreciated in the past by me, but God has given me a new beginning with them. They have been there for prayer. My sister just laid with me and cried one night. AMAZING. My shelter.

I encourage each of you to strengthen your friendships with those who draw you closer to Jesus. With those who have something that is foreign word these days it seems……Integrity.

Find people who will invest in your life, and bring you to the foot of the Cross, the only place where you will be satisfied and your needs will be met.

It is ok to be weak. It is ok to be broken.

But the journey does not end there.

Our relationship with God is about COMMUNITY. About living life with people who push you, and challenge you to be a stronger man or woman for God. Sold out for the Kingdom.

I am done with “Hang out friends”. I am done with people who do not truly care for me and love me, because I am loved by Jesus.

I want friends who will pray over me when i am not around. Who will weep with me and just sit with me when the shadows creep up.

Frank Sinatra was quoted by saying, “A friend is NEVER an imposition”. This has been the theme of my life for a long time…..ever since High School I think.

If your friend cant call you up at 4 am and ask for everything you have……they are not really your friend.

Pray more for people.
Challenge your relationships and spur them on towards Christ in love.
Fall in love with people who have a heart for your life. Not just when things are good, or your good characteristics. But find people who love YOU for YOU. With the mistakes, with the distractions and heartaches. Find people who love you for you. The ups and downs. The frustrating times and the moments for celebration. The mundane times when its just the daily journey.

God is moving in hearts today.

The challenge is to take a self inventory today. Are your relationships and friendships leading you to the Cross?

Josh

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