Nurture Your Friendships

Nurture Your Friendships

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (John 15:4 NIV).

I love to grow plants.  Every gardener knows that the key to a bountiful harvest of flowers, fruits, or vegetables is to carefully nurture the plants.  Gardening is a test of patience.  We plant and then wait. 

Our friendships are similar to gardening in that both require nurturing.  If we don’t feed our relationships with our friends, we will eventually have no friends.  Life is about priorities.  We make time for the things and the people that are important to us.  A friendship with God is like any other friendship—you have to make time for it.  God is a jealous God and does not want you to have any false gods before Him (Exodus 34:14).   The Word teaches us in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Do your best to present yourself to God.”  If God is your best friend, then doesn’t He deserve your best?

So, how do you build a deep friendship with God?  This is a life-long process of growing closer each day.  Some days I make more progress than others.  Below are a few tips I have learned over the years.

1.

Slow down.

We all live busy lives.  We tend to focus on what is in front of us.  There is so much noise in our lives.  God is not going to try to out shout all the other voices in your life.  To build a relationship with God requires us to slow down, be quiet, and listen. The Bible says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).  Think about how many times Jesus sought out a quiet place to be alone with the Father.

2.

Seek Him

Psalm 25:14 teaches, “Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence him. With them alone He shares the secrets of his promises.”  A blessing for the righteousness is friendship with God.  Our righteousness is not from our own doing but is the fruit of our faith in Jesus.  One of my favorite Bible verses is Matthew 6:33. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”  A friendship with God requires us to slow down and turn away from the desires of the secular world and intentionally turn toward the desires of the Spirit.

Throughout Scripture, God provides invitations for a relationship with us.  The key is how we respond to the invitation.   The invitation is given to all but not all respond so not all bear good fruit.  The Parable of the Sower is a parable of Jesus found in the three Synoptic Gospels in Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-20, and Luke 8:4-15.  This Parable illustrates that sower sows the Word but not all respond positively.

Prayer:  Dear God, We want to hear the Word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold but not for our own glory but for yours.  Help us to find time to nurture our relationship with you so we can bear good fruit to help build Your kingdom.  Amen.

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

We welcome your comments below.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.

Liked this post?

Read more below or search for more topics...

  • The Biblical Path To Peace

    The Biblical Path To Peace “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:6-9 NIV).Americans are more stressed...
  • Anger Can Be Good

    Anger Can Be Good  "Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back" (Proverbs 29:11 NLT).  Many people think that all anger is bad or sinful.  We tend to associate anger with a loss of control, shouting, and aggressive behavior.  However, anger can be good and only becomes sinful when it is expressed in an inappropriate way.  There is nothing wrong with anger if it is properly directed.  We are taught, “In your anger do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26).  We are less likely to model Godly behavior, and sin, if we are controlled by our anger rather than we control...
  • Are You Living To Do or Living To Serve?

    Are You Living To Do or Living To Serve? "...choose this day whom you will serve..." (Joshua 24:15 ESV). I like to make “to do” lists.  I don’t trust myself to remember the various big and little chores I need to do at home or at work so I always have a list for both.    The list is great for helping me keep track of projects and staying on top of things.  I feel a sense of accomplishment when I can cross something off of the list.  A close friend recently asked me about my attention to my list.  I appreciate his...