The Gift of Friendship!
A man was shown a red glass bottle and asked what he thought was in the bottle. He replied in succession, "Wine? Brandy? Whiskey?" When told it was full of milk he could not believe it until he saw the milk poured out into a cup. What he hadn't known, of course, was that the bottle was made of red glass and its redness hid the color of the milk it contained. So it was and is with the Lord's humanity. Men saw Him tired, hungry, weak, suffering, weeping, and thought He was only a common man. Yes, He was made in the likeness of men, yet He is the Almighty Eternal God blessed forever.
The story has been told of Shah Abbis, a Persian monarch who loved his people very much. To know and understand them better, he would mingle with his subjects in various disguises. One day he went as a poor man to the public baths and in a tiny cellar sat beside the fireman who tended the furnace. When it was mealtime the monarch ate with the fireman his coarse food and talked to his lonely subject as a friend. Again and again he visited and the man grew to love him. One day the Shah told him he was the monarch, expecting the man to ask some gift from him. But the fireman sat gazing at his ruler with love and wonder and at last spoke, "You left your palace and your glory to sit with me in this dark place, to eat of my coarse food, to care whether my heart is glad or full of sorrow. On others you may have bestowed rich presents, but to me you have given yourself, and it only remains for me to pray that you never withdraw the gift of friendship."
This story reminds us that Jesus Christ left the glories of heaven in order to share Himself with us. That gift of His love and friendship will never be withdrawn from us. He chose to be your friend and mine forever. He said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5). The word NEVER means under no circumstances.
George Eliot writes, "Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort, of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with the breath of kindness blow the rest away." The Apostle Paul left us quite comforting words when he declared, "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might be rich" (II Corinthians 8:9).
I have thought many times: "Who am I that a King would bleed and die for? Who am I that He would say 'not my will, but thine' for? The answer I may never know; why He ever loved me so, and to an old rugged cross He would go, for who am I?" (Goodman). To know that the King of kings did this for me gives me confidence to live my life in joy. Yes, it is God's desire for us to enjoy life! This was His purpose for taking on flesh. For more information visit us at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com
Pastor J.C. Myers, III
Pastor J.C. founded Joy Christian Ministries in 1992. He was Sr. Pastor at Joy Christian Ministries in West Sacramento, California from 1992-2016. He was succeeded by his 2nd son, Pastor Brandon Myers who had been under his father's ministry and teaching for 39 years.