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Viewpoint from Rev Linda Turner 27/10/2017 

Dove rightRev Linda Turner
Minister, Cornerstone Baptist Church, Martham

as published in the Yarmouth Mercury


My youngest son was always getting into scrapes and fights at school, then one day two of his friends fell out with each other and decided they would prove who was the better one, with a fight after school
Of course, the whole school seemed to turn up, my youngest was in a dilemma: you see he was friends with both of these lads and he didn’t want them to fall out with each other, ever the peacemaker he tried to talk them out of having a fight. Then one of them said to him “Look you’re either his friend or my friend, you can’t be both”. Well I can tell you that that hurt and certainly hit home
You see what his friend said had a ring of truth about it, in scripture we find a very stern warning that says: “Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God”
I doubt that any of us would want to be on the wrong side of that one, in Galatians 5:19-21, just before the famous list of the fruits of the Spirit, there are several examples of how friendship with the world shows up in our actions:

“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarrelling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God”

dove leftIf we can relate to anything in that list, it’s a bit of a giveaway on whose side we are on. We can be thankful that scripture does list some examples of what friendship with God looks like: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23)
One of the greatest things Jesus did, was when he said to his disciples, “You are my friends if you do what I command” (John 15:14)
I know whose side I prefer to be on, what about you? We can prove our friendship with Jesus when we walk with Him in His will and in His ways
My youngest son and his friends soon realised you can’t have it both ways. So we need to be sure that we’re walking in Jesus’ crowd

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