Nurture Your Friendships

Nurture Your Friendships

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (John 15:4 NIV).

I love to grow plants.  Every gardener knows that the key to a bountiful harvest of flowers, fruits, or vegetables is to carefully nurture the plants.  Gardening is a test of patience.  We plant and then wait. 

Our friendships are similar to gardening in that both require nurturing.  If we don’t feed our relationships with our friends, we will eventually have no friends.  Life is about priorities.  We make time for the things and the people that are important to us.  A friendship with God is like any other friendship—you have to make time for it.  God is a jealous God and does not want you to have any false gods before Him (Exodus 34:14).   The Word teaches us in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Do your best to present yourself to God.”  If God is your best friend, then doesn’t He deserve your best?

So, how do you build a deep friendship with God?  This is a life-long process of growing closer each day.  Some days I make more progress than others.  Below are a few tips I have learned over the years.

1.

Slow down.

We all live busy lives.  We tend to focus on what is in front of us.  There is so much noise in our lives.  God is not going to try to out shout all the other voices in your life.  To build a relationship with God requires us to slow down, be quiet, and listen. The Bible says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).  Think about how many times Jesus sought out a quiet place to be alone with the Father.

2.

Seek Him

Psalm 25:14 teaches, “Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence him. With them alone He shares the secrets of his promises.”  A blessing for the righteousness is friendship with God.  Our righteousness is not from our own doing but is the fruit of our faith in Jesus.  One of my favorite Bible verses is Matthew 6:33. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”  A friendship with God requires us to slow down and turn away from the desires of the secular world and intentionally turn toward the desires of the Spirit.

Throughout Scripture, God provides invitations for a relationship with us.  The key is how we respond to the invitation.   The invitation is given to all but not all respond so not all bear good fruit.  The Parable of the Sower is a parable of Jesus found in the three Synoptic Gospels in Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-20, and Luke 8:4-15.  This Parable illustrates that sower sows the Word but not all respond positively.

Prayer:  Dear God, We want to hear the Word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold but not for our own glory but for yours.  Help us to find time to nurture our relationship with you so we can bear good fruit to help build Your kingdom.  Amen.

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

We welcome your comments below.

Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.

Liked this post?

Read more below or search for more topics...

  • Finding a Way Out from Temptation

    Evangelism Begins With Discernment “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!  No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:12-13). I recently ate lunch with friends at a local cafeteria.  As I walked with my tray to the cash register, I passed the desserts.  They looked really good, and I was very tempted to get one but did not.   In the...
  • Significance of ‘Sheep and Goats’ Passage

    Significance of ‘Sheep and Goats’ Passage "He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left" (Matthew 25:33 NIV). I have talked to many Christians who believe they are destined for heaven because they have been a good person, attended church, contributed money and even helped their neighbor a few times and participated in committee meetings at church. They are essentially saying that they have “earned” their way into heaven. They may admit to believing in some sort of “higher power” and call themselves “spiritual.” They may even know some Scripture regarding God’s love and the miracles performed...
  • The Biblical Roots Of Trust

    The Biblical Roots Of Trust Trust is an essential component to any relationship. Trust is essential for a relationship to move past a superficial level to a more intimate and personal basis. Our relationship with God is based on our trust that first, He lived and died for our sins and second, He has our best interests at heart and loves us unconditionally.The actual phrase “Jesus loves me,” cannot be found in the Bible but there are examples that support this fact. In John 13:34 Jesus said, “As I have loved you, you must love one another” and in John 15:9 He said, “As the Father has...