Summer 2024

THE INCREASE: A Friend of God - David Ledbetter

“Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness’ — and he was called a friend of God.” — James 2:20-23

Friends take up a lot of our time. We make a lot of decisions based on the preferences of our friends.

It’s commonly said that you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. Once you leave your parents and you’re alone in the world, suddenly the people who have the greatest influence on you are your friends.

How do you be a good friend? You act. You complete the circle of trust by cementing acts of kindness and faith. A solid relationship is built on trust.

We love our friends. Sometimes they’re everything to us. Sometimes I even make plans to do work or hash out time to do chores I really need to do, but completely neglect them for the sake of spending time with a friend. In fact, it might not even be someone I know all that well! So why do we not treat God the same way?

The point is: If you’re not putting in the time and effort to stay focused on Christ, you need friends who can refocus you. We need accountability in this life if we’re going to live it right. It’s no wonder Jesus picked up some serious buddies to get the Good News out!

Never take your friends for granted, but neither can you grant your friends the ability to strip you of your faith. You want — better yet need — people who are pouring the foundation of grace and love into your life. This only happens through action and a focus on what matters most.

However, this doesn’t mean you deep-talk your friend to death. Enjoy each other and grow! Laugh with everyone and waste away your time together. Live life loving your friends.

David Ledbetter, pitcher in the Texas Rangers’ organization

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