Jon Wright - Friends - Tanama - Sunday morning, 2014

James 4:4, “ Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” One of the greatest dangers for us is to be friends of those who aren’t friends of God, because we come to be like those we accompany.

Many in Chile chose to skip the last day of convention when it fell on New Year’s Day, although it was a day off from work. Their overseer wrote them to consider that the people we prefer to spend time with here, are those with whom we’ll spend eternity, whether in light or darkness.

We could also imitate the world in dress or speech even without one worldly friend.

If we spend time with the friends and workers, that will affect us, too. We want to act and dress and speak in a way that will effect others for good. Spending time with God will affect us, too. God made us that way. It will help us avoid a feigned faith.

Hebrews 10:20, “By a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh...” Jesus is the veil. His death opened the way into God’s very presence. That’s why the religious leaders saw Him as a hindrance - He blocked them from doing what they wanted. God’s Spirit is like a magnet drawing us to Christ, and what happened to Him, will happen to us also.

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21) What happens to your treasure will happen to your heart, also.

He was a friend of all, but not everyone was friends with Him. Matthew 7:21, “Not every one that saith unto Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but He that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.” That’s why it’s so serious...to be counted in with the world or be like them.

The way to the Holiest is open to those willing to identify with Christ. The Jews patched the veil and kept going as if nothing had happened.

Hebrews 10:26, “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins...” Remember that He was writing to the Hebrews, who felt offerings could cleanse sin. There is only one offering for sin - nothing else we could offer. Even a whole lifetime of good works cannot cleanse us from one sin, but if we become His friend, He cleanses us.

Revelations 3:21, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” We can be in His presence eternally if we are now.

If we won’t forgive, we’re friends with the world. That’s what it does - to hold on to grudges for generations. Jesus was attacked more than anyone, but He was never offended, though He felt the attacks.

Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance against such there is no law.”

Temperance is the love of God controlling. God isn’t in control if we excuse ourselves, “God will understand” or “He knows I’m weak.”

We knew a blacksmith in the mountains of Sinaloa, Mexico, an expert in tempering tools. The ‘temper’ is the condition of the metal. Going through afflictions, we can trust that God, like an expert smith, knows exactly how hot the oil needs to be and how long to leave the metal in to temper it. Too long or hot and it will be brittle, and break when struck; too short a time and it won’t hold an edge.

Any life submitted to God will accept His tempering, which helps us be firm without being hard and be useful without being proud. We get it daily on our knees.

1 Peter 2:21-23, “For even hereunto were ye called because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously...” He suffered more contradiction than anyone, His gaze on His Father, trusting God would not let Him be destroyed or lose.

Hebrews 5:7-8, “Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered...” even though He had never disobeyed.

John 5:30, “I can of Mine Own Self do nothing; as I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just because I seek not Mine Own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me.” He was approved because He submitted to that tempering. This tempering is controlled by God. God doesn’t put out the fire, but gives peace.