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True friendship is a beautiful blessing. To be loved and cared for by someone more concerned about your well-being than their own. They have a shoulder to cry on or joy to share. They tap in with you weekly to see if you're doing okay and offer their service and encouragement. God has indeed shown us His grace through genuine friendship. However, sadly, some brethren refuse to live out the friendship described in the Bible, which can bring much sorrow. We may lovingly share a word of caution to those who have the discernment to receive the insight.

Randomly ghosting your cultivated friendships every few months, year after year, is not proper harmony behavior. And when rejecting any approachability for the cause of conversation and understanding, it is debased character. We've witnessed this intrusive personality within the local assembly before, have we not? Turning cold and withdrawn without explanation is not how we engage each other with love. Treating those who love you and have ministered to you in such a way can be sinful, making you vulnerable to a divisive wolf who will take the opportunity to devour you with his whispering flattery—and being too prideful to admit it may cost you your soul, along with marriage, family, and church. We've experienced such things, have we not?

There are fair, balanced, and reasonable expectations when you enter the friendship agreement. It is not demanding to ask for mutual respect and thoughtfulness. To violate these is a breach of orderly fellowship. Toxic and abusive individuals will utilize these tactics to isolate and have us withdrawn; they will play the victim as we are falsely labeled the "guilty" party. The Devil will recognize the cavity and take advantage of you through your weaknesses. A devil will side with exploits to cause faction and control, taking preeminence of your delinquencies; do not give him the opportunity. We must be humble.

Whether it be friendship in marriage or between brethren in the local congregation, dear beloved associates, may we learn to be good stewards of our charities and love one another as Christ loved us? May we be open and transparent with each other for the decency of the Kingdom; for "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends; Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up."

Your servant,
SM

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Rescued - Transferred - Redeemed
The Kingdom of His beloved Son

You've fallen asleep comfy in your bed, and a fire started in your house. You wake to panic as you become aware of your surroundings, trapped by a wall of lavalike heat. You find yourself in danger, where smoke and flames threaten your life. Your neighbors were capable of seeing the threat and had since called for help. The firefighters arrive on the scene and immediately find you in your bedroom--time for a rescue. Are you yet seen in a location of satety? No, not yet. There still needs to be a transfer from the site of dakness, smoke, and fire to an area of light, fresh air, and safety. And so the firefighters guide you out of certain death into a secure location. You have now been saved, not without damage, trauma, and loss. But you've gained your life and get to learn fowared another day.

You've become idle in your sinful behavior and practices. You wake to panic as you become aware of your eternal punishment. A neighbor cares for you enough to share Jesus with you. Will you obey the gospel?

The reception of forgivness was the desired result of all who willfully gave their lives to Christ, submissive to His spiritual operation (Col. 2:11-12). Paul, the apostle, speaking to his brethren in Colossae, was accurate in reminding them of their reconciliation. And how the Word of God they had chosen to hear produced fruit for the Kingdom. The Kingdom was God's preplanned location where all found within would have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

A domain needs a King, Christ Jesus. A Kingdom has boundaries, borders, law and order, and justice. This Kingdom is of a peculiar kind, and we should all seek first legal citizenry (Mt. 6:33). His Kingdom is the body, the church (Col. 2:1,18,24). The body for it has organic members all united for the purposed function--the church fo its assembly, it's family. The way in? Being a repentant believer confessing Christ, immersed into water calling on His name, in order to receive the forgiveness of your sins, being added to His Kingdom, local assembly (i.e. "rescued, transferred, redeemed"). 

This good news of Jesus Christ "was proclaimed in all creation" to give humankind a way out of the flames and sinful consequences. And we are wise to hear its call.

Is your house on fire?

Ref. Colossians 2:13-24

Your servant,

SM

 

 

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