Friends With Benefits

I admit that the inspiration for this post came from a great sermon that I heard Greg Surratt from Seacoast Church give.  I even stole the title from something he said, but it made such an impact on me that I am going to cover the topic and maybe put a little spin of my own on it.

Jesus tells a parable called The Parable of the Sower.  In it he talks about a farmer who sows seed into four different places and what happens to the seeds.  The parable is a metaphor for the believer and what can happen under four different circumstances.  I want to talk about one circumstance in particular; the seed that landed among the thorns.

“The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.” Matthew 13:22

The spin that Pastor Greg put on this piece of scripture is that these folks hear the word of God, accept his salvation, and then move on with their lives as if nothing ever happened.  Basically they are taking what Jesus is giving, salvation, and then returning to their old lives without ever making a commitment to relationship with him.  A commitment to change.  Taking all the benefits of the sacrifice on the cross, and giving nothing in return.

“I’ll be your friend Lord, but I really don’t want to commit right now.  I want to keep my options open in case something better comes along.  We can hang out when I need something from you, but that’s as far as I am willing to go.”

Sound familiar?  I know that I have found myself in that place before.  It is selfish and really kind of perverse.  Jesus calls himself the bridegroom and us his bride, but when we are unwilling to fully commit, it like we are cheating on him.  We were created to be in relationship with God.  To feel the intimacy of his embrace.  But often times we get so caught up in life, and what we can do or get, that we turn our backs to him until we find ourselves in trouble.  That when we cry out “Lord, help me!”

A true, inmate relationship with Christ should show the fruit of that relationship.  There should be internal and external evidence of his presence in our lives.  This evidence should be present in the good times and the bad.  Christ did not promise an easy life for those that choose to follow him.  He promised relationship, to be there with us, to experience life together, and help us through the rough spots.  He craves this.

What fruit do we have in our lives?  Can others see the difference Christ has made in our lives?  Are we fully committed to this relationship?  Are we just taking the benefits and giving nothing in return?

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One response to “Friends With Benefits

  1. I think that our relationship with God is the most important thing in our lives. I would like to remind my self and others that this is a relationship with God not man!I was tought this lesson a long time ago. I was accoused of someting that i didn’t do by my pastor and close friends at church.I was at work driving a truck and i could not focus i thought my ministry was over! I was scared because i had an excellent driving record and i felt i was going to have an accident.I cried out to God! The Lord spoke: You are guilty! you are guilty of loving me! Josh i think all the ministry in the world is not as good as a relationship with God.I think all the friends in the world are not as good as my friend Jesus.I made a comittment to God and it has cost me some worthless friends, but God has stood by me as others left.It has cost me dearly to follow Jesus but my God says i am guilty! I am guilty of loving Him! These are the sweetest words ever spoken to me. I am reminded that my comittment is to God not to ministry not to friends. And Gods comittment is to me!And God stands by me!

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