Thoughts for the Week

Archive for February, 2017

A Servant of Jesus


Do you refer to Jesus as a friend?

There’s nothing wrong in doing so. In fact Jesus refers to us as his friends in the New Testament (John 15:13-15).

However, while reading through the book of James with my bible study recently, someone pointed out something interesting in the first sentence. James, the brother of Jesus wrote this book and starts his letter with the phrase, “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (1:1, NIV).

This is significant because the Bible makes it clear that during Jesus’s ministry, his family thought he wasn’t who he said he was, “for even his own brothers did not believe in him” (John 7:5).

It’s incredible that James went from disbelieving Jesus to acknowledging him as Lord. But what I find even more incredible is that James is referring to himself as Jesus’ servant.

If you’ve ever grown up with siblings, especially with older ones, not getting along becomes inevitable.Probably the last thing a young sibling wants to do is think of him or herself as a servant.

But James did. Even through growing up in disbelief, and going through what probably was shock and bitterness through Jesus’ execution, James finally believed in his brother and allowed himself to become available to serve God.

James and Jesus were probably (and hopefully) friends growing up, but if the brother of Jesus can refer to himself as a servant, do not forget that you are called to be a servant of Jesus too, and not just a friend.

Copyright 2017 by Molly Farnsley. Use by permission only.

Cheer Them On

How is romance celebrated in the Church?

Christians have marriage retreats, seminars, and such, but excluding weddings, how often is just romance honored?

In reading Song of Solomon, it’s obvious the book is broken up into a few different speakers, the Beloved, the Lover, and the Friends. While the Beloved and Lover take up most of the dialogue, the Friends weigh in from time to time about the romance developing between the two.

It’s interesting to note that their input on their relationship is positive, saying how they will “rejoice and delight in you; we will praise your love more than wine” (1:4b, NIV), and offering to help the Beloved find her Lover when he went missing asking “which way did your lover turn, that we may look for him with you?” (6:1b) and encouraging them to enjoy the tender and beautiful side of their love, saying “eat, O friends, and drink; drink your fill, O lovers”(5:1b).

Reading over these passages  or watching real romance develop between friends can certainly feel awkward. But it seems the role of friends in regard to a loving couple is to be supportive to them, not just in the big things, but in the little, helpful ways they may need.

Perhaps the friends can offer to babysit for a night so the couple can get a date night, be available when the couple is in need of some friendly advice, or simply be positive and encouraging!

Romance is a beautiful and mysterious thing God has created. For the people around us who have found romance in a positive way, the Church needs to cheer them on!

Copyright 2017 by Molly Farnsley. Use by permission only.

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