Discipleship: Your Best Friend
Can everyone tell me who their best friend is? My question is vague but tell me who is your best friend?
IF any of you said a spouse or name of person than today’s message is for you. Those of you who were aware enough and have the appropriate relationship with the Father, you know that the answer to this vague question is Yeshua.
We were supposed to be discussing 9 ways to uncomplicate disciples but as I was riding to work yesterday, the Father related to me that something else needed to be discussed. Something else needed to be addressed. Something else needed to be handled so we can know whether or not we need to be going out and making disciples or still work on our own relationship with the Messiah. Today’s message on discipleship is about friendship. It’s not about just any old type of friendship to people but about the friendship that we have with Messiah.
31 And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, then put His own garments on Him, and led Him away to be impaled.
32 And as they were going out, they found a man of Cyrene, Shim‛on by name – they compelled him to bear His stake.
33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull,
34 they gave Him wine mixed with bile to drink. And after tasting, He would not drink it.
35 And having impaled Him, they divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be filled what was spoken by the prophet, “They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.”
36 And sitting down, they guarded Him there.
37 And they put up over His head the written charge against Him: THIS IS יהושע, THE SOVEREIGN OF THE YEHUḎIM.
38 Then two robbers were impaled with Him, one on the right and another on the left.
39 And those passing by were blaspheming Him, shaking their heads,
40 and saying, “You who destroy the Dwelling Place and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of Elohim, come down from the stake.”
41 And likewise the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocking, said,
42 “He saved others – He is unable to save Himself. If He is the Sovereign of Yisra’ĕl, let Him now come down from the stake, and we shall believe Him.
43 He trusted in Elohim, let Him rescue Him now if He desires Him, for He said, ‘I am the Son of Elohim.”
44 And also the robbers who were impaled with Him reviled Him, saying the same.
45 And from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land, until the ninth hour.
46 And about the ninth hour יהושע cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Ěli, Ěli, lemah sheḇaqtani?” that is, “My Ěl, My Ěl, why have You forsaken Me?”
47 Some of those standing there, having heard, said, “This One calls Ěliyahu!”
48 And immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, and filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and gave it to Him to drink.
49 But the rest said, “Leave it, let us see if Ěliyahu comes to save Him.”
50 And יהושע cried out again with a loud voice, and gave up His spirit.
51 And see, the veil of the Dwelling Place was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth was shaken, and the rocks were split,
52 and the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the set-apart ones who had fallen asleep were raised,
53 and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection, they went into the set-apart city and appeared to many.
54 And when the captain and those with him, who were guarding יהושע, saw the earthquake and all that took place, they feared exceedingly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of Elohim!”
We just read about the moment that Yeshua was crucified and more importantly, the most merciful moment in the history of mankind. The question is why? We find a hint to the answer in Romans.
22 Therefore also “it was reckoned to him for righteousness.”
23 And not because of him alone was it written that it was reckoned to him,
24 but also because of us, to whom it shall be reckoned, to us who believe in Him who raised up יהושע our Master from the dead,
25 who was delivered up because of our trespasses, and was raised for us to be declared right.
What does this all have to do with having Yeshua as our friend and with discipleship? We haven’t come to that point just yet. Some of you may know where I’m going with this but some of you probably are lost and we are going to get you found soon enough.
See after reading these two sections, we see that Yeshua laid down His life for us. He paid atonement for sin to put to death the law of sin and death. Our Father was so merciful that He gave His only son for us. Let’s look at this in a context we can appreciate more deeply. Our Father sacrificed His son willingly. He knew before that fateful night when Yeshua was born that the endgame was going to lead to a sacrifice. He sent His son knowing what was going to take place. That’s like asking us to willingly and knowingly produce a child strictly to murder him later. Many, if not all of us, would not be able to do that. That’s not all, Yeshua the begotten Son of the Father knew what was going to happen. He could have decided not to do it. He could have run from His destiny, but He didn’t. He knew what was on the line. He knew the outcome and that His blood was to cleanse those who believed in and believed Him. So Yeshua willingly and knowingly gave His own life. Now you ask what my point is?
12 “This is My command, that you love one another, as I have loved you.
13 “No one has greater love than this: that one should lay down his life for his friends.
What I am showing you is that Yeshua was our friend before we ever thought of having Him as a friend. However, He took it a step farther, He took the proverbial bullet for us, yet, as many of us know, it took us quite some time to realize and appreciate what He has done for us. We all have friends and family who proclaim faith but still don’t realize how much that our Messiah did for us. He did so much, He accomplished such a great feat through one historical, life altering event. This event created a bond to our Father that has given unequivocal, irrefutable proof that the Father loves us more than we could ever know.
Once a person comes to this knowledge, they are charged to spread this news through the act of discipleship. However, what does it mean if that disciple-maker doesn’t view Yeshua as their best friend when the question, who is your best friend renders an answer other than Yeshua? It means that they are typically half hearted in their faith, it only goes so far.
(USE KIRK EXAMPLE OF LACK OF FAITH)
A friend of mine said to a person that Jesus could come down and miraculously heal you but let think realistically. Chances are that’s not going to happen so let’s make sure said person is covered and your finances aren’t syphoned like a gas tank with a hole.
Now most of that is paraphrased but the point is, this friend calls himself a Christian and a believer in Jesus but how much doubt is in these words. As believer’s, do we doubt that we are saved by grace through faith? Yes, however, like in this example, if you doubt His power, how much more about our Messiah is doubted? Or how much faith in our Messiah does this friend really have? The most probable outcome of faith in this person is going to be a lukewarm individual that will be like vomit from the Messiahs mouth as we can reference in Revelation.
15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I would that you were cold or hot.
16 “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth.
So now this question must be pounding in your head, “Well, Pastor, what does this have to do with discipleship?”
Some people hate this tactic but I’m going to use it by answering a question with a question. If your best friend really isn’t your best friend, how much of that friends’ interest is important to you? See, Messiah is our friend all the time, but we choose not to make Him our best friend and that can affect our discipleship efforts. Think about this will ya? When you are out with you buddies at lunch or something and you are talking to them and every time a situation brings you back to a moment in time that is very impressionable on your life, you find yourself talking about that moment and sharing it with your friends. Take for example, my mom is talking about how she made this perfect for dad and it was so delicious, and I respond about a dish that my wife made. See there, a moment sparked that brought about my physical best friend, my wife. That’s how Messiah needs to be to us.
When I’m at work, I hear many things amongst my colleagues that spark my interest but not in the concept of joining in their convo but to the point that the things I hear make me think about scripture. We need to see the Word in our every day life so that we can Him our conversation topics. When the physical out weighs the spiritual, one can tend to forget to whom they were purchased by. Paul says to pray unceasingly, which in my opinion, means to keep the communication line always open to your best friend.
Psalm 5:3 says, “3 O יהוה, in the morning You hear my voice; I present myself to You in the morning, And I look up.”
He is always listening to us ready for us to come to Him. He never waivers, He never fails us. He is standing arms open.
When we are making disciples and we aren’t correctly aligned with the Father and Yeshua, our discipling efforts could be tainted by lack of faith. A person with a strong faith can answer any rebuttal when it comes to the Father however, a weaker faith can crumble to the challenges. (Keep in mind, therefore it’s better to go in teams. Those who are young in faith should have a more mature with them but if both have doubt in their relationship with the Father, discipleship could become a very cumbersome objective.)
Titus 1:2 says, “2 in expectation of everlasting life which Elohim, who does not lie, promised before times of old,”
I bring this verse to bring attention to the fact that Paul is saying here that our God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob does not lie, which in turn, means Yeshua does not lie. The benefit of Yeshua being your best friend and keeping the lines of communication open is the fact that when you are challenged by darkness while trying to make disciples, Yeshua will be there giving you the knowledge and wisdom to help you achieve your goal. He will be honest and open with you. However, once a teacher, always a teacher so you may face times that He is quite and normally those are your testing arenas. But you must know your best friend to know this stuff. He will test you to grow you, strengthen you and encourage you.
If you are truly trying to make Yeshua your best friend, then you should know that in Deut. 31:6, We are all be told that we should be strong and courageous, do not fear nor be afraid of them. For it is YHVH you Elohim who is going with you. He does not fail you nor forsake you. He will always be there for us. He will always guide us as also seen in Hebrews 13:5
Hebrews 13:5 where it says, 5 Let your way of life be without the love of silver, and be satisfied with what you have. For He Himself has said, “I shall never leave you nor forsake you,” 6 so that we boldly say, “יהוה is my helper, I shall not fear what man shall do to me.”
He will always be there with us. Those who make Yeshua their best friend has the Creator, the Counsellor, the All Knowing El on their side.
He loves us unconditionally which will flow into us and be seen like a blinding light when we are discipling if we make Him our best friend. Yes, your spouse is your best friend, but we must always put our Savior above everything else. No matter what happens to us, He will always accept us. We have all read the stories, boy meets girl. They fall in love. They have kids, boy has accident, becomes paralyzed from the neck down at age 28 and girl leaves boy because she can’t take the life that has been dealt to her so she divorces and marries another. Yeshua won’t do that to us. Yeshua won’t leave us when we need Him most. He is the most perfect best friend in the world. You mess up and cheat on your best friend and He will still be standing there arms out waiting to embrace you. Cheat on your wife and find yourself being served divorce papers. Who should be your best friend?
Discipleship is the most important job we have. When we go about it half cocked and not loaded, we will almost certainly lose the battle of debate. That’s what it is like when we do not put Yeshua first. It hurts our lively hood, our relationship with the Father, our growth in our faith and it hinders the work that Messiah does in our body. Take some time today, look in the mirror and ask yourself this question, “Is the Messiah really my best friend or is Messiah just a scape goat out of eternal death?”