Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Company One Chooses

“Lazarus, Come Forth!”

These have to be some of the most powerful words on record that Jesus spoke. With them, he penetrated through death and into life. Effectually, He stirred the power of death using words of light, and with them He offered Lazarus another chance at life.In a myriad of ways this passage speaks through many, many centuries, for those are the very words he speaks when he calls us to him.

Prior to this, when Martha realized what Jesus was going to do, she saw nothing but barriers. “But Lord, it’s been too many now he stinketh!” Yet, a little stink didn’t hold Jesus back, and I’m so glad it didn’t. Especially when I realize that—we all stinketh when He calls us. He knows and sees the possibilities that He can work into us because He is the potter, we are the clay.

Then another amazing thing happened.

“And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him and let him go.” John 11:44

First, he came forth from the grave bound. Lazarus could do nothing. He was completely bound from head to foot. His wrappings would have made it hard to move, to see, and probably hard to hear.

Could it be this is how He finds us?

Second, his friends unwrapped him. Whether we like it or not - we need each other through this journey. Some are like a balm, others like sandpaper, and we need both. We learn best and most often through the challenges we face, and yet we all need the encouragement that others have to offer.

Death... It is something so familiar to us, and yet unfamiliar because we don’t realize that we are dead and in need of a Saviour. In Christ’s view, that is how He finds us...dead in our sins; unaware of our condition. In our view, death is what awaits us, and as mortal men our bodies will die. Yet it is the second death we really want to avoid. The death of the soul.

This is where He offers us hope.

We need strong friends by our side who journey with us through this life. I am so thankful for these friends and value them immensely. Those you choose as friends will impact you immeasurably, make no mistake about this. You will become like them; for our good or otherwise. Choose carefully and value those you choose.

I want to end with this little poem:

The Company One Keeps

One day in late October, when I was far from sober
Returning with my load with manly pride
My feet began to stutter, so I lay down in the gutter
And a pig came near and lay down by my side.
--A lady passing by was heard to say:
“You can tell a man who boozes by the company he chooses,”
And the pig got up and slowly walked away.
Author Unknown

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