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Leslie Wittenmyer

June 22, 2024

Hebrews 10:25, New Living Translation

“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.”

Why is life so hard sometimes? It’s because we have an enemy who knows his time is short, therefore he is trying to wear out the saints. If he can only get them to stop praying, if he can only get them to feel hopeless and like God doesn’t really care about them, if he can only get them to focus on self rather than God, then he considers his work well done. Why? Because He wants to take as many people down with him as possible. Our enemy is so jealous of the love and affection our Father has for us and he wants to kill it, steal it, destroy it! 


This is why, as the end draws near, we are not to, “neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25, NLT) As I read through this scripture, I think about what kind of friends I should surround myself with. If one surrounds themselves with negative, then negative one will be. Proverbs 18:24 (NLT) says, “There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” I would like to share scripture with us that will help identify the qualities we should seek in our friends, so that we receive good counsel and encouraged to do good works and acts of love. 


“The godly give God advice to their friends; the wicked Lead them astray.” (Proverbs 12:26, NLT)


“Walk with the wise and become wise: associate with fools and get in trouble.” (Proverbs 13:20, NLT)


“Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.” (Proverbs 22:24-25, NLT) 


“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” (Proverbs 17:17, NLT)


“Don’t be filled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.” (Corinthians 15:33, NLT)


“A gossip goes around taking secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.” (Proverbs 11:13, NLT)


“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13, NLT)


All of these scriptures show the qualities we should seek in friendship/council, good character, loyal, wise, trustworthy, and loving. These same qualities can be found in our Heavenly Father. We can seek Him and seek friendships of individuals who have been transformed by God so we too can share in God’s transformative power! Our godly friend will point us to Jesus, and it’s up to us to submit ourselves to His Lordship in our lives. 


When I am around others who believe as I do, I am encouraged by their faith and by their love. It reminds me of God’s love and His faithfulness. It takes my eyes off of self and helps to put them back on Jesus my Lord. 


There are times when it is good to be alone, to have time with Jesus. Alone is not where you want to be 100% all the time. So easily we are ensnared by the enemy and tripping in our emotions. Fellowship with saints helps us to stay grounded in truth. It’s good for you and it is good for those you surround yourself with. As Proverbs 27:17 (NLT) says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Jesus tells us, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16, NKJV)


Just as you need someone to be that friend, someone needs you to be that friend! Let your light shine for all to see!

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