I got a voice mail this week from a friend of mine who is also a member of the LCC family.  He said, “Hey Royal, just wanted you to know our prayers have been answered.”  A little while back  John accepted a job in Iowa, leaving his family here, hoping he could transfer back soon.  The job was an answer to prayer.  Not the exact answer, but it was a job.  John had been laid off and had been looking for quite a while.

 I love, as Christians, that God has set us up to learn faith from each other.  We read in the Wisdom book of Proverbs that we become stronger in our faith as we learn to walk the walk and talk the talk best when we are walking along side each other.  We rub off on each other.  Prov 27:17  We are actually commanded to gather together for the purpose of encouraging one another so we don’t fall for the deception of sin.  Heb 3:13   Our faith sharpens the faith of others.
 
That’s what I love most about church.  It’s not the most fun.  But it definitely may be the most practical and helpful.
 
You see, John and his wife Cynthia are also in our Life Group.  We have been studying the Word of God and walking it out together for years.  I watched John take a, whatever You want God, attitude of faith as he:
  • thought there was a chance he might lose his job
  • lost his job
  • looked like crazy and prayed for a new job for a long time
  • got a job, but not exactly what he prayed for.
  • live away from home and deal with not seeing family
  • and now… this weekend he will be back here with family, church, in our group, and a local job
And for all of this time I watched him live out this test of his faith in a way that inspired me to be stronger in my faith.  Me and others who know John and Cynthia got to learn first hand, without experiencing it ourselves, how a person perseveres through a trial and gets stronger in the process…. 
 
That my friends, is what iron sharpening iron, faith sharpening faith, and a friend strengthening friends is all about.  We learned from John and Cynthia’s witness as to the power of God in their lives to give peace even in major times of uncertainty.
 
There are people who think they can do Christianity on their own without other Christians.  There are people who belong to a church but never really become a part of the church family.  NO WAY.  They are fooling themselves.  We need each other.  And God knows we need each other.  That is why He commands us to be with each other.  That’s right, it’s not a suggestion.  He tells us to do what He knows is best for us because He loves us and wants us to be our best.
 
I am thankful for my faithful friends.  From you I learn so much.  I pray that I live out my faith in such a way that it inspires others.