Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Best Friend in the World

“I will talk to the Father, and he'll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you.” (John 14:16, The Message)

One of history’s unsung heroes is a man named Ludwig Nommensen, a German Lutheran missionary sent to Sumatra in 1862. He focused his attention on the Batak people of the Indonesian interior.

While he met with typical difficulties for the first few years, his unflagging zeal ultimately turned the tide. By the time of his death in 1918 at the age of eighty-four, the church he had started numbered over 180,000 members, with 34 Batak pastors and 788 teacher-preachers assisting in the work. Its prevailing influence lasts to this day.

A turning point came early in Ludwig’s labors when a prominent chief of the Batak asked him a question.

"We, too, have laws that say we must not steal, nor take our neighbor's wife, nor bear false witness," the chief said. “So how does what you teach differ from what we already know?”

"My Master doesn’t merely tell us what to do,” he answered, “He also gives the power to do it."

The startled chief replied, "Can you teach my people that?"

"God will do it if they ask for it and listen to His word," Ludwig answered.

So for six months Nommensen taught the Batak about the power of God, and friendship with the Holy Spirit. At the end of that time the chief said, "Stay, your law is better than ours. Ours tells us what we ought to do. Your God says, 'Come, I will walk with you and give you strength to do the good thing.'"

And the rest, as they say, is history.

God will also walk with you, and give you the strength to do the good thing. Jesus promised us that we would not be left as orphans, but that we would have a constant friend who would walk with us, talk to us, teach us, guide us, empower us and help us every day in every way. That Friend is the Holy Spirit.

The simple definition of a friend is “one attached to another by affection or esteem.” We rightly imagine that our friendship with the Holy Spirit is based upon our affection and esteem for Him, but friendship is never one-sided. Perhaps you have never considered that the Holy Spirit is also attached to you by the strong affection and high esteem which He has for you!

Has it ever occurred to you just how much the Holy Spirit actually enjoys being with you? Why not spend the rest of today thinking about that , as you walk with and talk with the best Friend in the world?

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