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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Mark 265 - The Company You Keep

It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the jews. They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left.

Mark 15:25-27

Some of the most important decisions you make have nothing to do with where you invest your money. Which car you purchase. Which house to live in. It also doesn’t involve your job. Whether you work from home or not. Who’s your doctor. What supplements you take.

It has to do with who you choose to be friends with.

It’s amazing to me how some people make it so easy for others to come in and invade their life. Do they ever think about who that person might be? If they want to be friends or are they looking to take something from you?

When you bought a house, you always know the taxes and neighborhood ahead of time. You do all sorts of research when you’re thinking about buying a car. Yet, we let people into our lives without any thought whatsoever.

I’d been thinking about buying an electric car for some time. Every once in a while I’d do some research about the different companies and their models. I’d read writeups that evaluated quality, battery technology, and lifespan. I also read many evaluations by people just like me. Their decision-making process. Buying experiences. What they liked and didn’t like.

But then it became serious. I started reading more and more. Digging deeper. Eventually, I went to a dealership and test drove a car. That did it. I put down a deposit and that started the path to actually owning a car.

But when it comes to letting people into our lives, we’re so much less careful. We just let them in. We spend time with them. Let them inside our car. Inside our house. Inside our lives. And all without looking carefully into who they are. What they want.

But there are times when we don’t have a chance to choose. We don’t choose our families, and for the most part we don’t choose who we work with. We’re put in the middle of them and must live with it.

Think about some of the choices that Jesus didn't have.

  • Whipped.

  • Crown of thorns.

  • Crucified.

  • Sign overhead – King of the Jews.

  • Between two thieves.

He went through all these and more. All without getting angry, bitter, or resentful. He was “thrown to the wolves” and didn’t lash out at them. Swearing payback and vengeance.

There will come a time when you’re forced into a place you didn’t want to be in. Between people you didn’t choose. Into a situation you don’t deserve. What will be your response?

In the middle of Job’s loss, his ongoing physical agony and loneliness, he reached out to God in prayer. Job’s conversation with God reveals so much about his relationship with his loving creator. Even through everything he had lost, and in the middle of a terrible illness, Job knows these three truths.

  1. I know that this was in your mind:[1] God is the author of life and kindness, even when he can’t see or experience it.

  2. I know that you can do all things. No purpose of God’s can be thwarted[2]. God has never let go of his control.

  3. I know that my redeemer lives. In the end, he will stand on the earth[3]. God is his living savior, not dead, asleep, or away.

Did you catch the start of each truth? I know. I know is where we have more than a feeling. More than a hunch. More than an idea. This isn’t something that moves, drifts, or changes. It stands the test of time and life.

When we know, we’ve worked through our doubts over time. We’ve brought life to God and asked him to take over. It might start small at first. Or it might start when all hell breaks loose.

But the important thing is that it starts. And it starts right where we are. It Starts Right Here[4]. Right now.

It's got to start right here, It's got to start right now

Lord, I'm starting right here, Lord, I'm starting right now

If it’s got to start right here, right now, what’s stopping you? What’s standing in your way from turning it over to God? Giving him ownership of it? Ownership of your life?

So, are you keeping God as your friend? There’s only one thing standing in the way. It’s us. We are the only one, the only thing that’s stopping God from invading, healing, correcting, fixing, renewing.

So, why are we stopping him?

[1] Job 10:13 [2] Job 42:2 [3] Job 19:25 [4]

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