Luke 6:12-16, Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles: Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot; Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor.
Jesus had many disciples or followers that he taught, but he saw the need to place 12 as apostles. These 12 men went with Jesus everywhere and did his bidding. You could say that they were put ‘in charge’ of the other disciples, seeing to their needs and issues that arose, so that Jesus could devote all of his time to teaching and doing miracles. These men were privy to intimate friendship with Christ, in other words, they were told things that Jesus didn’t share with the multitudes. He shared his heart and the heart of the Father with these few, even though it was a part of God’s plan that one betray him so that he could be the sacrifice for the world.
As I read this, I thought of the theatre of life and friends God has surrounded me with. Some have a front row seat, some are a part of the viewing audience, but all bring value with them. Some are seasonal, they come and go, taking what they need and giving to others. Some may be there for a few years, but they’re missionary friends, called to move on and influence other parts of the world. But there are a few, a select few, who know the intimate details of my life. They encourage me, they pray for me and I for them. We share meals together, our families know each other and in spite of all the flaws they see, they still love me unconditionally. They’re never easily offended, they know how to take me, never question my love. We have learned that the benefits far outweighs the sacrifice.
The key here is to discern who God has placed in the front row seats of your life. Never think that just because you want them as a friend, that they would be the best friend for you. God knows who you need and who you don’t need, trust Him to make those choices for you. In other words, don’t take a seat just because you like it, wait until it’s offered to you. When they leave, thank God for the times you had and ask Him if this friendship should continue, even when they’ve moved to another state. Never be hurt or bitter over them leaving, rather be thankful. I’ve been blessed with some very deep relationships who live far away. We talk when we can but each time we do, the Spirit of the Lord rushes in. We laugh, we cry, we encourage each other, but bottom line, miles don’t make a difference with a heart connection.
Father, I thank you for each and every person you’ve placed in my life. Near or far, I am rich because of the depth of love they hold for you and how they touch me personally. I’m thankful that I allowed you to personally choose them for me, from my husband and children, to my very closest friends. They challenge me to hold fast to hope, reach for stars, dream bigger, wait patiently and love deeply. I ask that you will bless each one in the audience and those in the front row seats. May they be blown away by your sweet love and grace today as you lavishly poor out blessing on them. Meet every need, heal every hurt, sickness and disease. Be their best friend as they go about their day. It’s in Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen