TITLE: The Value of godly peers 6/24/14
By Richard McCaw
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The Value of Godly Peers
You are amused at an infant crawling at your feet. â€śHow adorable!â€ť Years later, that child becomes an aggressive teen, dressed carelessly, whose peers are infested with drugs. â€śIf only he had the influence of godly peers!â€ť
The problem is exacerbated constantly by the print media, television, radio and the music industry where lewd and rebellious ideas are foisted upon impressionable young minds, with the emphasis on sex, violence and crooked thinking. Generations of ruined lives and economies, frustrated and confused leadership lay all around us.
In my teen years, I had formed a close relationship with Tony Falloon, a classmate and fellow believer. On Saturday or Sunday afternoons, we engaged in colportage work. Often, we went house to house on Deanery Road, distributing tracts, selling Caribbean Challenge magazines, and talking to people on the streets about the love of God.
One Sunday afternoon, we met a tall, lanky man along one of the side roads in Vineyard Town. After telling him about Jesus, he stood there as if he were lord of some vast realm and began waving his right hand from side to side, â€śAll that lanâ€™ yu see before yu,â€ť he declared with deep conviction, â€śall that lanâ€™ belong to mi!â€ť
We chuckled inwardly, realizing that he was obviously in a world of fantasy. Nevertheless, as we kept telling him about the Lord, he kept waving his right hand and repeating with more and more emphasis, â€śAll that lanâ€™ yu see before yu belong to mi!â€ť
He was not the only one we saw who had longed to boast of a fine house, beautiful car and his own property and who had been left disillusioned, frustrated and emotionally broken, his dreams shattered by the stress of modern living and the failed promises of governments. Many walked the streets in rags, others searched in garbage for food while others wandered about like stray dogs unable to find their way in this sad, bitter world.
The value of godly peers cannot be overestimated, more so in a young personâ€™s life. The psalmist David declared, â€śIÂ amÂ a companion of all who fear (reverence) You, and of those who keep Your precepts.â€ť Malachi, the prophet also echoes the same thoughts, â€śThen those who feared theÂ LordÂ spoke to one another, and theÂ LordÂ listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him. For those who fear theÂ Lord and who meditate on His name.â€ť Every committed believer ought to build godly relationships with those who love the Lord!
Tony Falloon and I attended Assembly Hall regularly. In fact, we were often the last to leave, and most nights helped the caretaker to close the windows and lock the doors of the church. We were excited about spiritual things and spent many hours in each otherâ€™s homes discussing and arguing scripture and life in general.
Sometimes we prayed out of aching hearts for revival among Godâ€™s people. Always, we were in youth fellowship meetings, Youth for Christ gatherings and conferences, and seeking to save souls. At school we stuck together in the Inter-Schools-Christian-Fellowship prayer meetings during the lunch breaks and after school.
Our experience together reflected the experience of Daniel, the prophet who took the narrow way and whose godly companions were his peers, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
We must face this searching Scripture, â€śCan two walk together, unless they are agreed? Before conversion, we were controlled by Satan in worldly desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others, and therefore enjoyed the company of worldlings. When we surrendered to Christ, the new nature within us gave us new tastes and desires, that made us find enjoyment in the company of Godâ€™s people.
â€śLet us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.â€ť However, Paul, the apostle, exhorts those who really love the Lord, not to be â€śunequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? â€śCan a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?â€ť The wisest man, Solomon wrote, â€śWho walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.â€ť Evil company is to be carefully shunned by every serious believer lest he become infected by worldly behavior. In fact, we would be uncomfortable with any who reject the Lord.
If you are a part of the kingdom of God, you can never allow the Devil to convince you that close relationships with ungodly friends, or even professing believers whose lives reflect the ethics of this world cannot affect you. â€śDo not be deceived: â€śEvil company corrupts good habits.â€ť Rather, â€śFlee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heartâ€ť In the pursuit of godly friends, let us always remember that Jesus Himself is the friend that sticks closer than a brother, a friend of sinners, yet holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners. Like Abraham of old, we must make Him our very best friend!
This experience as a teenager confirmed to me that God is at work in every event. He is watching closely every circumstance in the believer's life, because of a point in time when the call to follow Christ was answered with a heart that said, â€śI surrender all.â€ť With this permission He therefore began to direct each step for His own glory as Lord of the universe.
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