Paragraphs to Encourage

FRIENDSHIP ABLAZE! Every day we work with, shop with, visit with, live next to, play on teams with, get our hair styled by, and get our cars fixed by people who need to know about Jesus and His great love for them. When our friendships are Ablaze! with the Holy Spirit’s power, we become more and more aware of these people in our lives. Who is the person God wants you to reach out to this week?

FRIENDSHIP ABLAZE! MEANS PRAYER: Think back over your prayer life this past week. Have you been praying for a friend or acquaintance who needs to know how much Jesus has done for him/her? Praying for that friend is important. You may be the first person to ever lift that person before the throne of grace by name. What do you pray? Pray for their families, their jobs, their health, their joys and their sorrows. But also pray that God would open the door for you to share how much Jesus means to you. Ask the Holy Spirit to set your Friendship Ablaze! (“pray...that God will open to us a door for the word.” Colossians 4:3)

FRIENDSHIP ABLAZE! MEANS BUILDING FRIENDSHIPS: Perhaps there is an acquaintance in your life who needs you to build a stronger friendship with him/her. Maybe it is your mechanic, your hair dresser, a neighbor, or a person at work. You are someone who can share the greatest Friend any of us will ever have. Now is the time to intentionally build that friendship. Spend time with that person. Remember birthdays, anniversaries. Share your times of joy and celebration with that person. Seek ways to help and encourage your friendship. This is how we set our friendships Ablaze!

FRIENDSHIP ABLAZE! TELLS: When the Holy Spirit sets our friendship Ablaze, it becomes natural to tell that friend how much you needed Jesus and how much Jesus has done for you. You need not “win an argument.” You need only to point to who Jesus is and what He has done for your friend. The Holy Spirit uses the Gospel to call people to faith. We can trust Him. He sets our friendships Ablaze!

FRIENDSHIP ABLAZE! INVITES: Is it time to invite your friend to get to know Jesus better? You can do this by offering a devotional booklet, tract or simple study guide. You can invite him or her to come to a class, worship or some other event with you. Invite gently, warmly and often.

FRIENDSHIP ABLAZE! HANGS IN THERE: Are you praying for your friends who need to know Jesus? Are you building up that friendship? Have you told them how much Jesus means to you? Have you invited them to get to know Jesus better?  This sort of friendship takes time and persistence. God’s timing is not our timing. We sow; God brings the harvest. Thank God for the opportunities you have to serve Him in your friendships and ask the Holy Spirit to set all your friendships Ablaze!

FRIENDSHIP ABLAZE! Think back over the past week. Now work through this checklist:

  • I identified an unchurched friend in my life.
  • I prayed for God to bless my friend and open a door for His word in my friend’s life.
  • I intentionally showed an act of kindness and friendship to my friend this past week.
  • I told this friend about how much Jesus means to me.
  • I invited this friend to get to know Jesus better.
  • I am growing in Friendship Ablaze! with God’s love.

FRIENDSHIP ABLAZE! Are you growing in your friendships Ablaze? Our congregation has several ways to encourage and equip you as you grow in sharing your faith with others. Make a commitment now to sign up for and participate in one of these events:  (list equipping events in your congregation)

FRIENDSHIP ABLAZE! Thank God that more and more of us are growing in our friendships Ablaze! with God’s love and presence. This past week we received (list number) new members into our congregational family. (List number) of them were introduced to our ministry by friends who are members here. They are (name the new members and the members who brought them). We thank these members and we thank God for these signs of Friendship Ablaze! among us!

FRIENDSHIP ABLAZE! In your worship this morning, thank God for bringing into your life friends who need to know Him. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you grow in friendships Ablaze! with Christ’s love.