Companionship the Validation of Love
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. NKJV
Companionship what is that? What does it look like. You all know that Nancy and I have been married for 35 years. And I think I know a lot about her. Now I didn't say I understood, but I do know her. I know what she likes and doesn't like. I know what makers her happy and what makes her sad. I know when she is trying to convince herself of something or if she really believes it. I have made a lifetime job of knowing Nancy. But why? Why should I care? It is because I love her.
But not only do I now about her, I have changed because of her. I am more sensitive to peoples feelings. I listen more to children and pay attention to their needs. I don't believe every story that I here when people come along. I know what love is about and I know what it means to sacrifice and give of ones self if for no other purpose than to see that person better in life. I found out how to reconcile two people who are not getting along.
Of all the people I know in this world, I have more in common with Nancy than anyone else. I know her heart. I know what she wants most in life and what is least important to her. I know what she loves and what she hates. Her favorite food, color, music and a hundred other things. Before the words are out of my mouth I know if I have set her off or if we are going to have a good day. I can read her face. I know the look of her eyes, of anger of hurt or pain. I can tell just by her eyes. And the sight of her uncontrolled laughter fills me with such joy that I cannot explain.
There are many time when I think that I know her better than she knows her own self. I guess you could say that she and I are companions. Yes companions for life.
Now when the Jews had arrested Peter and John and brought them to judgment they were amazed. They could easily see that these men were simple men. They were not educated. They didn't have the big words or fancy speech. But they were bold. They seemed sure of what they were saying. As a matter of fact, I think that that is what bothered them more than anything. They saw in these ignorant men a conviction that was more authentic than their own.
But most of all they knew one thing for sure. These men had been with Jesus. Isn't that great? Just think. These men had been with Jesus long enough that you could just tell that about them. They had this over ridding quality. They had been with Jesus.
Oh friend is there any possibility that people are saying that about you? Is it possible that they might be saying, "you know, there is something different about him, about her?" Have you been around Jesus so long that enough of Him has rubbed off on you that people can tell it? Would you say that you and Jesus are a pair? Are you and Him companions? Do you have a companionship with Jesus? Don't you know that companionship authenticates our claim of love?
You see Nancy and I have this companionship because we love each other and that companionship is the certificate, the sign, the authentication of that love.
When I was going through some management training at ALCOA they had a consultant that had a way of getting us to think. He would say, "What would that look like?" That is what I want you to ask yourself today. What would companionship with God, with Jesus look like in your life?
- Companions spend time with each other.
- The very essence of the word implies that they will spend planned time together.
- The Latin word comes from two words.
- Bread and to eat
- So the word come from the idea of eating bread together.
- If we will ever be a companion of Jesus we will have to spend some time with Him.
- Spending time alone is what I mean.
- Listening to Jesus and sharing with Him.
- Companions talk to each other.
- Has God spoken to you today?
- How many here have had God speak to them already today?
- You have if you read or listened to the reading of Psalm 119
- Listening to God is just like answering the phone.
- When you pick it up, someone is going to speak to you.
- If you don't pick it up no one will.
- Nancy and I do a lot of talking to each other.
- We talk about life.
- We talk about problems.
- We talk about struggles.
- If you and God don't talk, it isn't God that has moved.
- You heard about the older couple ridding along in the car when the wife said to her husband, "do you remember how when we were younger we used to sit close together in the car?" To which the husband responded, "I didn't move."
- If you and God don't have much conversation, it is not God that moved.
- Companions listen to each other.
- More than conversation.
- When we listen it is because we really want to know what someone thinks.
- When you listen to God you contemplate His Words.
- Ps 119:10-11 With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! 11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. NKJV
- You will never get to know God without spending time in His word.
- Eastern religions have the idea that God is within you so just listen to yourself and you will hear God.
- But the Bible teaches that God has spoken to us in His word and it is His ultimate and final revelation in this life.
- You make an effort to understand them.
- Listening would do no good if there was not an interest in the person themselves.
- If you are not interested in God, then you will not care for what He says.
- To understand God, to know Him is our highest goal in life.
- John 17:3 And eternal life means to know you, the only true God, and to know Jesus Christ, whom you sent. NKJV
- Without knowing Him there is no hope of heaven.
- If we are too busy to know God then we are not interested in God.
- Do you know what God is like.
- Do you know what pleases Him and what makes Him angry?
- Do you know what He expects of us?
- Does He guide you with His eyes?
- Ps 32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. KJV
- Do you know Him well enough to be lead by His eye.
- What they think of you is important to you.
- I hope that you all think well of me.
- I am human and I care what people think.
- But there is no one here today that can come close Nancy.
- What she thinks of me is more important than anyone else in this world.
- But I want to let you know, What God thinks of me is critical to my happiness.
- I have had many friends over the years.
- Some have gone and others I have no doubt run off.
- But no ones thoughts of me are more critical than those of Jesus.
- What does Jesus think of you.
- Is that important to you?
- Is that critical to your happiness?
- If not then I would question if Jesus is your companion.
- The world could not care less what God thinks.
- But the Christian ought not to be able to care more.
- They influence your life.
- Of all the people I have known.
- Of all the people I have worked with.
- Of all the people I have had for instructors and teachers.
- None has influenced me more than Nancy.
- But Jesus has more than infleunced me, He has revolutionized my life.
- He changed everything about me.
- I have never been the same since.
Only your close companions will have that affect on your life. Has He had that affect on you?
If not then there is a possibility He is not your companion because you really do not love Him.
This message was preached at FBC Toulon,
by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com
Studying the Bible as the Word of God involves studying it as His own voice speaking directly to you. When you open the Bible to study, realize that you have come into the very presence of God, and that He is going to speak to you. Nothing gives more freshness and gladness to Bible study than the realization that, as you read, God is actually talking to you.
Bible study then becomes personal companionship with God Himself. What a wonderful privilege Mary had one day, sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to His voice. If we will study the Bible as the Word of God and as if we were in God's presence, then we will enjoy the privilege of sitting at the feet of Jesus and having Him talk to us every day.
This approach makes what would otherwise be a mere mechanical performance of a duty become a wonderfully joyous privilege. One can say as he opens the Bible, "Now, God my Father is going to speak to me." Reading the Bible on our knees helps us to realize we are in God's presence. The Bible became in some measure a new book to me when I took to reading it on my knees.
Study the Bible prayerfully. God, the author of the Bible, is willing to act as interpreter of it. He does so when you ask Him. The one who prays the psalmist's prayer with sincerity and faith, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law" (Ps. 119:18), will have his eyes opened to new beauties and wonders in the Word.
Be very definite about this. Each time you open the Bible for study, even though it is only for a few minutes, ask God to give you an open and discerning eye. Expect Him to do it.