Roger Bothwell

Roger Bothwell
Roger Bothwell's Devotionals

The World's Best Friend

Facebook has 1.71 billion users and it is only 12 years old.  It seems like it has been with us forever.  Mark Zuckerberg’s goal is to friend all of humanity.  I almost want to start singing “What a friend with have in Mark.”  I wonder if when in the shower he sings the song from Toy Story “You have a friend in me.” 
Friends are one of the most precious things on earth.  Your bank account can’t hug you when you are down.  Traditionally we close wedding ceremonies with the celebrant introducing the couple.  In recent years I have taken to adding after the “Mr. and Mrs.” introduction the following.  “And may they always be the best friends.” 
One of my favorite texts is when Jesus said, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”  John 15:15.  Friends talk.  And yet real friends are comfortable not talking when silence feels good.  They know how the other is feeling without having to ask.  In a restaurant you can tell which couples are not married.  They are the ones talking.  The married ones are playing with their cell phones checking the weather or their email. (That’s not so good.)  But the point can be well made that just being together is wonderful because they are friends.
Even if Mr. Zuckerberg friends everyone in the world that will not make him the world’s best friend.  The best friend is and always shall be Jesus.  “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”  John 3:17 

The Incredible Prize

Did you watch the Olympics?  I watched them with mixed emotions.  I admire those finely honed athletes.  At the same time I am jealous, not merely for their skills, but jealous of the incredible self-discipline needed to be what they are. 
I heard one of the divers say he started working on a new dive 18 months ago and that was a mistake because it wasn’t enough time to have it honed to perfection.  I found that overwhelming.  
In 1 Corinthians 9 Paul speaks of the discipline needed both by athletes and Christians.  “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.  No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
This is a wonderful passage but has sometimes been misread and used to harass us into doubting our salvation because we are not trying hard enough.  Jesus is very clear in John 3 and 5 regarding our salvation.  When we accept it is a done deal.   Paul calls it a gift. What Paul is talking about here in I Corinthians is the development of a Christ-like character – that is the prize of which he speaks.  I strive as hard as I can - not to be saved - but because I am saved.  Once saved we go into serious training and the prize is incredible.

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