Daily Devotion – The Gift of Friendship

May we never lose the wonder

Jesus led his disciples out...He lifted his hands over them and blessed them in his love. Luke 24:50

We never know the fullness of a gift until we’ve learned to live without it. We never fully understand what God’s up to in our lives until we look back and His goodness shines through what we thought was our darkest hour.

Just as you’ll never understand the mystery of life forming in a pregnant woman, So you’ll never understand the mystery at work in all that God does. Ecclesiastes 11:5 MSG

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6-7 (NKJV)

A child was born so that a man could die.

God planned Christ’s birth and death, and every one of His days, before the foundation of the earth. He knew what we would need, a Savior, the Messiah. Born for fulfillment, Love came down to live and die among us.

Before Christ was born on that silent, holy night, God already had a plan in place for the Resurrection that would bring us peace, hope, love, grace and mercy. The gift of his Son would leave us full of wonder and overwhelmed by joy. Emmanuel, God with us. His very presence inside us, is the comfort needed to see us through when we need Him most. He not only calls us His friend, but gathers us together in friendship to help when we do not understand His ways.

Before Love came down on that first silent night, that holy night, God had a plan to bring us peace, hope, love, grace & mercy…a gift that would leave us full of wonder & overwhelmed with joy.

The gift of friendship, the kind of friends you break bread with, results in community. Even if not in the natural where distance separates, definitely in the supernatural, we break the bread and drink the wine of communion in our fellowship with one another.

Friends walk through the most difficult of times together sharing their experiences and talking through their heartaches. On the Road to Emmaus, we see this happening just after Christ’s death and resurrection. Still unsure if it could possibly be true, we find two friends doing life together, walking and talking about all that was going on in their lives. Jesus met them in their utter confusion and in the midst of their pain. As they walked and talked about the Scriptures with Him, He explained the prophecies He had fulfilled and reveals the truth of all that had just happened. When they finally sat down for a meal together, He revealed Himself. As soon as He broke the bread, they knew Him.

At that moment, open-eyed, wide-eyed, they recognized Him. Luke 24:31 (TPT)

This is what happens in our everyday lives when we take time to invest in the lives of others, we get the gift of friendship. While we come alongside each other in the presence of the Lord, He does something remarkable. The gift of friendship is one of the sweetest gifts this side of heaven. My grandmother once told my husband, “If you have one, maybe two true friends in your life, you should consider yourself blessed.” I’d say if you have more, you are rich, maybe even spoiled. But, God loves to do that for us. He brings us the gift of friendship at just the right moment and sweetly melts our hearts together in His presence.

Two friends, one Savior, hearts set aflame.

“Amazing! Weren’t our hearts on fire within us while He was talking to us on the road? Didn’t you feel it all coming clear as He explained the meaning of the Hebrew Scriptures?” So they got up immediately and rushed back to Jerusalem…where they found the eleven gathered together—the eleven plus a number of others. Luke 24:32-33 The Voice

Christ appears to the group and walks them through the many prophecies and writings showing He is the fulfillment of them all. It is here that Jesus gives His disciples the many gifts they will need after He is gone.

He supernaturally unlocked their understanding (FAITH) to receive the revelation of the Scriptures, then said to them, “Everything that has happened fulfills what was prophesied of Me. Christ, the Messiah, was destined to suffer and rise from the dead on the third day (HOPE). Now you must go into all the nations and preach salvation’s GRACE and forgiveness of sins (MERCY) so that they will turn to Me…And I will send the fulfillment of the Father’s promise to you. So stay here…until the mighty power of heaven falls upon you (HOLY SPIRIT) and wraps around you (PEACE). Luke 24:44-49 (TPT) *parenthesis mine

It was a gathering of friends. He gathers them and lifts his hands over them, blessing them in his love.

While He was still speaking out words of LOVE and blessing, He floated off the ground into the sky, ascending into heaven before their very eyes! And all they could do was worship Him. Luke 24:50-52 (TPT)

Astounded with wonder, overwhelmed with joy, they made their way home. They spent their days praising and worshiping together. Jesus is all we need and gave us everything we need as we wait for His glorious return. Much like those who witnessed His miraculous birth, resurrection and ascension, when we see Jesus coming in the clouds, we will be full of that same wonder and joy. May we never lose the wonder.

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