By GL Jones
As Bishops, Pastors & Ministers of the Gospel we often build our catalog of messages by swapping sermons with each other. A message becomes unique to that minister only after he or she has fasted, prayed and applied that Wisdom given to his or her lives.After this Wisdom is applied, it comes out in the forms of Understanding , Knowledge and Discretion from God. This is called Prudence and that Servant that has made the message his or her own and is said to have a real word from God.They are then no longer “Polly Parroting” a message that they have seen or heard!
I’d like to share with you a message that I have both heard and now experienced the principles of-on many occasions in my lifetime. In 1999 I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. For the past 17 years I went thru a series of multiple complex crisises battling this disease where I learned who my true friends really were. Today at age 58, I know that I have truly had only 3-4 really true friends in my lifetime!
Today I ask the reader to follow this 3 pt checklist and do a critical analysis and evaluate the people in your life that you call friends to see if they really meet the criteria of a “True Friend “.
A True Friend
I Samuel 23:14-18 KJV
14 And David abode in the wilderness in strong holds, and remained in a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God delivered him not into his hand.
15 And David saw that Saul was come out to seek his life: and David was in the wilderness of Ziph in a wood.
16 And Jonathan Saul’s son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God.
17 And he said unto him, Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and that also Saul my father knoweth.
18 And they two made a covenant before the Lord: and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house.
A True Friend:
1.Enters into Your Experience!
2.They will Encourage You To Endure!
3.Is not Envious of Your Elevation!
Some people are Fair-Weather Friends which means that they are with you when things are going well.But they are no where to be found when trouble comes.
- After being diagnosed with MS being disabled and unemployed for 2 1/2 yrs some family and friends didn’t care to be around me.
- Many close to me wrote me off and said that God was through with me! But today I have a Testimony for I have incorporated this message given today in my life!
- I was even called an Infidel when I was no longer able to work and help support my family while waiting to recieve disabilty or SSDI. I had no Income for a period of 2 1/2 years but God helped the Jones Family get though this very dark period!
- Today I try to dwell on GOD’S Faithfulness during that very painful period in my life.
- However this period did serve to reveal to me who my real or “True Friends ” were!
- Johnathan had a reason to be tripping and not want David to not succeed here.Yet he left the comfort of King Saul’s palace to seek David out and comfort him!
- We will experience similar experiences where we will find out who our “true friends” are.
- Be steadfast until God elevates you!
- Some come into your experience with a bad disposition.Like Job’s friends they want to do a critical analysis of how and why you got in your predicament. I was told many a time by some who said, ” GARY – You brought this on Yourself! They are very judgmental and often tell you that you have sinned and that God is punishing you.But know that bad things can happen to good people and that like a Job, God can and will allow Satan to test you.
- During my early days of MS I had 2 close relatives friends to tell me that I had this disease because I had committed a sin 30 years earlier and that God was now punishing me.
- I quickly scratched these people off of my list of true friends.
- This is all to make you Stronger and to Elevate you!
- Once you reach an Elevation,know that then those same people will call you “cocky or arrogant”.I have been a minister since age 14.Attended 2 bible schools and trained and worked in many church capacities including the Pastoral ministry.
- In December 1999 I was officially diagnosed with MS and went thru a great furnace of affliction that goes with the indignity of being disabled, unemployed and many said that I lacked true faith or being punished for my sins!
- But in January 2004 I was elevated to the Office of Bishop. I was Dually consecrated as Education Director of one organization and IPB-Prelate of my own organization- Christian Heritage International Group with blogs and an outreach to readers in 65+ Countries! I oversee 12 bishops globally and about 500 pastors worldwide today.
- I am not cocky or arrogant and now I beleive that not everyone deserves a front row seat in your Life!
- This means that you need to develop an Usher ministry and usher the “Fairweather friends” to the back row of your life!
- You tell these friends “You just watch me from afar!”
- Also tell them: If you are jealous of me now- What are you gonna do when God Supersizes me and I am Elevated by God?
- Today I say to the reader, I can’t tell you who to cut from your “True Friends ” list, but there are at least some people in your life now – that you need to at least put a check by their name to be cut later!
- Bishop G L Jones