Old Friends

In everyone's life, at sometime, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.

Albert Schweitzer

I had the privilege of visiting an old friend the other day - old in the fact that I have known him for 30 years, and in years as well, as he has now passed 80. His name is Jack and he has been a significant influence in my life and in the lives of my family. 

Jack is a preacher. More than that, he is a Bible scholar. I have heard Jack speak on dozens of occasions, and have gleaned a wealth of knowledge and encouragement from his talks. Still, there are two things that he has said that stand out more than any other.

The first, is read your Bible every day. I started doing that very thing, almost thirty years ago, and have never regretted that decision. The word of God has led me, it has lifted me, it has shamed me, it has encouraged me, and it has changed my life.

The second thing that stands out was a comment he made in one of his sermons. He said that he prays continually that not one person from any future generation of his family will be lost - an optimistic request to be sure. Some would think that it is too optimistic, but not me. I pray continually the same thing, and I am determined to do my part in that bargain.

Anyway, I began this article to tell you how Jack lifts my spirits, and how he has made me a better servant of God because of his encouragement. When you think about it, this is the ultimate for a friend, is it not? If you have someone who lifts your spirit and who helps you draw closer to God and Christ, then you have something that many people will never have.

Why not pause for a moment or two and thank your heavenly Father for such a friend. Then, go out and be such a friend to others. It's a high calling, but one that you will never be disappointed with.

Therefore, encourage one another, and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

I Thessalonians 5:11, NIV