Susan Jane King

Thriving with Jesus in life's ongoing challenges

You’ve Got a Friend!

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Recently, I took refreshments to our Thursday morning Ladies Bible Study group, an activity that usually produces a lot of stress for me. I don’t have the gift of hospitality, so all that planning, preparing, and serving would usually wear me out. But not this time!

That’s because I decided to jump in and help a friend when she was bringing refreshments. We planned, prepared, and served together, and we experienced a lot of joy in doing it as a team. It was my first experience joining someone else instead of going it alone, and it made all the difference.

Life can be like that. We forge ahead on our own, when all the time we have a Friend who wants to walk the road with us. Actually, He is always there. He just wants us to recognize that truth and enjoy the journey with Him. His name is Jesus, and He is this kind of Friend:

He knows us

We are told He is the Friend who is closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). He knows us better than our own family. He sees all the way into our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7), and He is intimately acquainted with all our ways (Psalm 139:3). In other words, He understands us as no one else can.

He takes care of our every need

Whatever we need, Jesus can provide, and He gives us what is best for us. He is able to take care of us because He has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). When we trust Him and ask Him for help, He moves in His own special way to respond. Of course, He took care of our greatest need in dying on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. We are told: “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13, NASB). That’s exactly what He did.

He advocates for us

Since He rose from the dead, Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, where He is interceding for us (Romans 8:34). “We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1, NASB). That means, He is working on our behalf even now. He is for us, and nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:31, 38-39).

He stands with us

Jesus tells us He is with us always (Matthew 28:20). He protects, guides, and guards us. He speaks to us and helps us. He says, “I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15). We are never alone, and we get to enjoy the fellowship of His presence with us.

We are meant to enjoy life as we go through it with Jesus. Seeking and recognizing His presence in our daily activities makes the journey so much sweeter. Just like the disciples who travelled with Jesus on the road to Emmaus, we can say, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road!” (Luke 24:32, NASB).

Question: How have you experienced Jesus’ friendship in your life? Comment at the link below.

Visit Susan’s website: susanjaneking.com

Susan Jane King

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Standing on the Rock

Sam

Doctors amputated Sam’s leg two weeks ago. One of my heroes of the faith, Sam has been the subject of my blog before. See http://susanjaneking.com/abundant-life/when-things-go-from-bad-to-worse/

My husband David and I went to visit Sam at the rehabilitation center this week. Sam is the one with the enormous smile in the middle of the photo. That smile remained on his face throughout our visit. The joy of the Lord continues to be Sam’s strength (Nehemiah 8:10). That’s because Jesus is Sam’s Rock.

“He has been with me the whole time,” Sam said, referring to his medical issues. “He has led me, helped me, and taken care of me. I am so thankful that He never leaves me.”

Sam shared story after story of how the Lord helped him decide to have the amputation, strengthened him during the rehabilitation, and made him aware of His presence all along the way.

1 Samuel 2:2, NASB, says, “There is no one holy like the Lord; indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.”

Sam would agree.

Rocks offer strength and support

We are told if we come to Jesus, listen to Him, and do what He says, we will be “like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built” (Luke 6:48, NASB).

The Lord is a rock of strength, a stronghold to save us (Psalm 33:12). He holds us up when He is the foundation of our lives.

Rocks provide protection

The Lord told Moses, “and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by” (Exodus 33:22, NASB).

The Lord keeps us safe. He is, “My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge” (2 Samuel 22:3, NASB).

Jesus is our Rock!

“’Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.’ And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel” (Exodus 17:6, NASB).

God the Father was painting a picture of Jesus in that rock experience. The Israelites in the desert “all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:4, NASB).

Jesus, our Rock, had his body broken on the cross, and living water became available to all who would drink it (John 7:38; Revelation 22:17).

Sam has found his strength, protection, and life in Jesus. That’s why he has such a big smile. He’s standing on the Rock.

Sam played his guitar for us before we left. He sang a song about the good life he was enjoying. He smiled the entire time.

“I just keep telling people about Jesus,” Sam said. “They need to know about Him.”

With Sam’s wonderful attitude, I’m sure they will!

Question: How has Jesus been your Rock? Comment at the link below.

Visit Susan’s website: susanjaneking.com

Susan Jane King

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Cherishing Time with a Friend

friendship

A dear friend of mine joined me on a writing retreat a few weeks ago. We stole away to a lake house and wrote to our hearts’ content. The Lord gave us a special gift in the stillness of that peaceful lake home. We got to enjoy one another’s company . . . and His.

I cherish this particular friend. She is kind, devoted, and passionate about Jesus. Every time I am with her, I get encouraged in the Lord. What a blessing! Spending four days with her was truly a time of “as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17, NIV).

When I have time with this friend, I am always reminded that she presents a picture of my very best friend, the “friend who sticks closer than a brother” . . . that’s Jesus (Proverbs 18:24, NIV). We are told in John 15:13, NIV, that “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” That’s exactly what Jesus did. I realized after I left the lake house and dropped off my friend at her home, that I can cherish time with my Friend Jesus every moment of every day. Here’s how we can all do that:

Acknowledge His presence

We can stop periodically throughout the day and simply thank Jesus for being with us. He promised He would never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) and that He would be with us always, even until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). He keeps His Word. We can trust Him in that and acknowledge His presence with us. Reminding ourselves of His presence brings greater comfort and intimacy to our daily lives.

Talk with Him and listen to Him

We have been given the gift of being able to confidently approach Jesus because of His sacrifice on our behalf (Hebrews 4:16). That means we can talk with Him and hear from Him as we go about our lives. He cares and responds (Hebrews 7:25). Whatever we are experiencing or feeling, we can talk with Him about it. He is our dearest friend and confidant.

At the same time, Jesus speaks to us. He speaks through His Word, in our hearts, in our circumstances, and when we interact with His people. He gives the perfect advice and instruction because He is the perfect friend. When we long for and seek to hear His voice, our relationship grows deeper still.

Invite Him into our experiences

Friends do things together. In the same way, we can invite Jesus into our daily experiences. We can welcome His presence and His friendship as we live out our lives. We can thank Him that whatever we do, we get to do it with Him. The disciples on the road to Emmaus walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, and ate dinner with Him. They realized afterward that their hearts were burning because they had gone through the day with Jesus (Luke 24:32).

In the same way, we can cherish the time we have with Jesus every day. Whether we are at the lake, in our homes, at school, or in the office, our Best Friend is always there. We are blessed if we cultivate that friendship.

Question:  What are some ways you intentionally cherish your friendship with the Lord? Comment at the link below.

Visit Susan’s website: susanjaneking.com

Susan Jane King

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