Make Friends to Make Disciples

The idea of living the Christian life is to impact those around you for the kingdom of God. Check out this challenging word from Rick Warren, based on Romans 12:16.

Everybody’s looking for a true friend — not just acquaintances but people who are there with you when you need them most. God wants you to build true friendships with the people that are already in your life so that you can share the gospel with them. God has put these people — your co-workers and classmates, neighbors and teammates — in your life specifically so you can share with them about the most important decision they will ever make. If you don’t tell them about what Christ has done for them, then who will?

The Bible says to “Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!” (Romans 12:16 NLT)

Christians tend to fall into one of two extremes: isolation or imitation. Some Christians say, “I don’t want to get polluted by the world. I’m just going to isolate myself. I’ll build a wall and my own little culture.” Isolation doesn’t work! How are you going to build any friendships that way?

The other extreme is imitation, which says, “Let’s be just like the world. We’ll dress like the latest pop star. We’ll say whatever we want about other people. We’ll have whatever values and goals popular culture tells us we should have. We’ll be no different from the world.” That’s not what God wants you to be, either. He doesn’t want you to give in to the lowest common denominators of society.

The answer is not isolation or imitation. It’s insulation and infiltration. The Bible says you’re to be salt and light in the world. You’re to penetrate the world with God’s goodness.

When I go out to dinner and order sea bass, the first thing I have to do before I can eat it is put salt on it. That fish has lived its entire life in salt water, yet I have to put salt on it. What’s going on? That fish is insulated. If God can take a fish and keep it in salt water its entire life and not have the salt permeate the fish, then certainly God can take any believer, put us in the world, and keep us from being corrupted by the wrong values.

God wants you to be holy and secure in your faith. He also wants you to walk out your door into the world and get to know the people he’s placed in your life. As you build relationships with people around you and share Truth with them, you are to be in the world but not of the world.

“The Holy Spirit, God’s gift, does not want you to be afraid of people but to be wise and strong and to love them and enjoy being with them” (2 Timothy 1:7 TLB).

Talk It Over:

  • Why is it sometimes easier to isolate ourselves rather than get to know other people on a deeper level?
  • What are some ways you have fallen into the trap of becoming an imitator of the world?
  • If you were the only representation of Jesus Christ that someone had in his or her life, how would they perceive Christianity? How does that make you want to change?

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Trust and Faith

The essence of the Christian life is faith and trust. It’s one thing to simply believe the right stuff about Jesus but it totally another thing to live a life worthy of being called a Christian. Trusting God that He wants the best for you and any restrictions are for our benefit. Trust is a learned skill, and is something that is earned. The most we trust God, the more we come to realize that He is worthy of our trust (Jeremiah 29:11).


Jesus says that the root of anxiety is inadequate faith in our Father’s future grace. As unbelief gets the upper hand in our hearts, one of the effects is anxiety. The root cause of anxiety is a failure to trust all that God has promised to be for us in Jesus. — John Piper

The one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible. — Thomas Aquinas

Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted in spite of your changing moods. — C. S. Lewis

Top 10 Places in Life That Require Trust:

  1. Prayer: knowing that He’s there and hears every word. Even the ones you have not said.
  2. Friendships: knowing that He can sustain the ones that matter.
  3. Parents: knowing that He can bring understanding and respect.
  4. Children: knowing that they are held by stronger arms than yours.
  5. Church: knowing that God is bigger than problems and messes.
  6. Personality: knowing that He is changing you and unlocking your true self.
  7. Career: knowing that God is preparing you for important things.
  8. Finances: knowing that God is absolutely committed to your supply.
  9. Destiny: knowing that your journey has a good destination (John 14:3).
  10. Your life: knowing that God will finish what He has started (Philippians 1:6).

Counselors and Friends

In 2 Samuel 14, there seems to be a deep dissatisfaction about Absalom’s encounter with his father, and seemed to fuel a lot of bitterness. Beth Moore points out the fact that reuniting and reconciliation are two different things. Let’s take a look at 2 Samuel 15, where things go from bad to worse. David is no longer the courageous and confident that he once was.

  1. It helps to know people in high places… who do you know who is in a high place?
  2. What is your favorite conspiracy theory? Absalom will be conspiring a lot in this section.
  3. What do “chariots, horses and 50 men” signal of Absalom’s ambitions? (2 Samuel 15:1, 1 Samuel 8:11) What goal do you see behind Absalom’s behavior?
  4. As a victim of injustice, what would you make of Absalom’s two decrees? (2 Samuel 15:3-4) How about his greeting? (2 Samuel 15:5)
  5. Why do you think Absalom waited four years to carry out his plot? (2 Samuel 15:7) When else has he waited patiently in devising evil plans? (2 Samuel 13:23, 13:38, 14:28)
  6. How can David be so gullible? (2 Samuel 15:7-9) What do you know about the significant about Hebron? (2 Samuel 2:1, 4)
  7. How did David respond to the news that “the hearts of the people are with Absalom”? (2 Samuel 15:13, 14)
  8. What was David thinking at this point? What was he feeling? How could he run away since God had anointed him to be on the throne?
  9. What was the significance of the ark? (2 Samuel 15:24, 29)
  10. Where did David go? (2 Samuel 15:30) How would a reporter describe the mood and the scene this day?
  11. What is the significance of this one key verse? (2 Samuel 15:31)
  12. What special assignment did David have for Hushai? (2 Samuel 15:34) Skip ahead to the beginning of chapter 17. How did this work out?

A few questions for your consideration:

  1. How did they all get to this point?
  2. What do you do when someone you love is out of control?
  3. When could this have been nipped in the bud?
  4. This story makes an interesting point: we all need friends we can be sure are on our side when difficult times come. Who did David have on his side?
  5. How can we develop the kind of relationships so that we know we have some friends on our side when the storm comes? How do you determine who is your friend?
  6. What is the difference between an advisor or counselor and a friend? (1 Chronicles 27:33)
  7. In your darkest times, is prayer and church your usual course of action? (2 Samuel 15:31, 32) How does God fit into your crisis resolution plan?

Take a look at Psalm 3… I’ll have some other insights on Sunday.