Archive for July, 2014

July 30, 2014

Friendship: It’s a Set-up!

by Lester Young

Let’s talk about friendship. When you stop and think about it, it’s really a precious thing, isn’t it? How many friends do you have? Mind you, I’m not talking about ‘acquaintances’ here: I mean people who, whether the chips are up or down, you can call on and count on without really having to think twice about it – and they can do the same with you. A college instructor once told me that if you have two or three real, live, actual friends during your whole life, you should consider yourself pretty well blessed. For some reason I’ve never ever forgotten that – probably because it’s truth seems more and more apparent as time continues to go on.

But how do you define ‘friendship’? What would you consider the attributes of a good friend to be? Loyal? Yes. Trustworthy? Sure. A good listener? Okay on that, too. Lends you money whenever you ask for it? Well….. It’s interesting to see what the Lord Jesus Christ identifies as the distinguishing characteristics of a true friend. You can find them – or ‘it’ – listed in John 15:14: “You are My friends, if you do whatever I command you.” …Say what? That’s it?? Yep, just that one requirement.

Now if I were a betting man, I think I’d wager the whole farm that if you asked a hundred people how they’d describe a good friend, “being obedient to whatever I told them to do” would not make the Top Ten List of any of them. And if by chance it did, it’d be for the sole purpose of that individual exercising and maintaining control over someone else. In other words, it would be for ‘self’-ish reasons.

read more »

July 14, 2014

Start at the Beginning

by Lester Young

What do you do when you don’t know what to do? Like when you’ve got a problem or pressing situation you need to deal with, and you don’t have even a clue how to begin. What do you do when it seems like you never really know what to do? Do you ever just get tired of not knowing what to do??

If any of those questions strike a chord with you, then I’ve got the answer you need. “How can you know what my answer is!? You don’t even know my problem!” Well, that’s true – I don’t. But it doesn’t matter, because the answer’s still the same regardless of the issue you’re facing. Stay with me.

Conventional wisdom tells us that in order to deal effectively with a problem we need to study it from every possible angle and consider every possible solution. And, admittedly, that sounds pretty reasonable. Indeed, there’s only one drawback to that approach: it’s all wrong. If you’re alone in some pitch-black surroundings, what’s the first thing you naturally do? Do you study the darkness to try to find a way to get yourself out of it? No, of course not. You look for a light, any light – large or small, bright or dim. Maybe a star in the night sky or a headlight far off – any type of light that might help you get your bearings. But once you find that light, it becomes the focal point for your movement, right?

read more »

July 7, 2014

To ‘Be’…or Not to Be

by Lester Young

“Will you be made whole?” (John 5:6)

Okay, let’s stop and chew on that for a minute. At first reading, I think it’s easy to find yourself quietly wondering, “Why in the world would Jesus walk up to a man – knowing he’s been sick for decades – and ask him such a ‘seemingly’ simplistic question?!?” Can’t you just hear that guy’s mind thinking, “Do I ‘want’ to be whole?! Look, yo… I’m layin’ here on this porch, lookin’ all sick – right along with everybody else out here, gotta be hundreds of us – and you ask, ‘Do I wanna be whole?’ …Seriously?!?”

We know that Jesus certainly had (and has) a very well-developed sense of humor. (How do we know this? Just look at a face shot of an ostrich and try to tell me the Maker of it doesn’t have a funny bone… but I digress.). Nevertheless, we can be just as sure that the Lord was in no way trying to be ‘funny’ during this interaction with the sick man. Jesus said and did only what He was instructed to by His Father (John 5:19; 8:28), so His inquiry – by its very Origin – could not have been flippant, stupid or anything resembling useless. Let’s do a little digging, then, because obviously something deeper’s going on.

read more »

%d bloggers like this: