Links Daily Devotional

Today’s devotion includes a video supplement from Links Players president Jeffrey Cranford, interviewing Champions Tour chaplain Tom Randall.

What Friends Are For

For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. (1 John 4:20)

If we launched into a discussion about “friendship evangelism,” we would not be the first. Nor would we be the first to be criticized for the idea. In some contexts, friendship is thought to be too easy or too slow. We need to get busy giving people the gospel.

Understood. If we never bring an intentionality to the discussions we have with others, if we don’t dare bring up the sole remedy for their most dire malady, we forsake evangelism altogether. We stand in the comfort zone of easy friendship only, where the conversation never takes on more depth than which new restaurant offers the best appetizers or which stock shows the most promise or which driver will save your game.

But true friendship is, by definition, so much deeper than that. True friendship…

…is “pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17)

…loving and trustworthy, even when correction is in order (Proverbs 17:17, 27:6)

…wishes others well, right to their souls (3 John 1:2)

…lays down one’s life for another (John 15:13).

Now here’s the deal: if this is what our friendship entails—a Christ-infused love for others—the step from there to telling them about Jesus is much shorter. Their ears will be opened. They will want to know what makes us tick.

There is a time and place for “right now evangelism.” We must be prepared to take these opportunities to share what we know to be true about Jesus. But the law of living—and sometimes the law of the land—requires a more persistent, consistent Jesus living that causes others to inquire before we “give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have” (1 Peter 3:15).

Jeff Hopper

April 10, 2012

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