Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Are You God's Friend?

After spending time last week with dear friends, I've been thinking about what makes those friendships so special. It had been years since we'd spent time together, but with each couple we picked up like it had been days rather than years.
  • There's that shared sense of history. We'd done and lived through a lot together.
  • We share common interests.
  • We genuinely enjoy each other's company.
Then this week I was reading in Joanna Weaver's new book Lazarus Awakening. There's a chapter in there where she talks about becoming a friend of God. I think in theory, many of us want that. But as I thought about the practical application, I'm afraid I'm often woefully behind my desire and words.

If I truly longed to be God's friend:
  • My heart would be broken by the things that break His;
  • I would long to spend time with Him;
  • I would love to simply be quiet in His presence;
Ephesians 1:4-6 (MSG)
   Long before He laid down earth's foundations, [God] had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of His love, to be made whole and holy by His love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family trough Jesus Christ. (What pleasure He took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of His lavish gift-giving by the hand of His beloved Son.

Isn't it humbling to think He longs for us?
How do you cultivate your relationship/friendship with God?

Grab this book if you're looking for ways to explore the depths of God's great love for you.

“Joanna Weaver has given us two insightful books about some of Jesus’ closest friends—Martha and Mary. Lazarus Awakening completes the trilogy by taking an inspiring look at the life of their brother Lazarus. A closer look at his story will help you draw closer to Christ as his intimate friend. I recommend it.”
—Ann Spangler, author of Praying the Names of God 

More About Lazarus Awakening: You believe that God loves the world…but sometimes you wonder if He truly loves you.

For many of us, moving the truth of God’s love from our heads to our hearts is a lifelong process. As we consider our inadequacies or grieve our shattered dreams, we find it difficult to believe that God cares for us personally.

In this life-giving book, Joanna Weaver shows you how to embrace the truth that Jesus loves you apart from anything you accomplish, apart from anything you bring. Just as He called Lazarus forth to new life, Jesus wants to free you to live fully in the light of His love, unbound from the graveclothes of fear, regret, and self-condemnation.

Love is calling your name.

Combining unforgettable real-life illustrations with unexpected biblical insights, Joanna Weaver invites you to experience a spiritual resurrection that will forever change your understanding of what it means to be the one Jesus loves.
More About Joanna: Joanna Weaver is known the world over for her transparent and life-changing books, Having A Mary Heart in a Martha World and Having a Mary Spirit. These two books have sold over a million copies and have been translated into several languages including Spanish, French, Dutch, Chinese, German, Korean and more. Joanna has appeared on a wide variety of nationally syndicated radio and television broadcasts. Past appearances include: The Harvest Show, At Home Live With Chuck & Jenni, Midday Connection, HomeWord, and Janet Parschall’s America. She is also a highly sought after speaker and shares her message at intimate gatherings and several high profile events each year. But Joanna's greatest joy is found in being a wife and mother and her role as a pastor’s wife.
To learn more about Joanna please visit www.joannaweaverbooks.com.
The Heart of God KINDLE Giveaway:
Joanna is celebrating the release of Lazarus Awakening with the Heart of God KINDLE Giveaway!
In Lazarus Awakening Joanna writes about getting God’s love from our heads to our hearts. We all know Jesus loved Mary – look how she worshiped. And we can understand why He loved Martha – after all, look how she served. But what about those of us who don’t know where we fit in the heart of God? Lazarus Awakening explores the tale of the third follower – Mary and Martha’s brother, Lazarus. We never hear him speak, we never see him serve. The only thing of any significance that Lazarus did was to die. And yet, the Bible is clear. Jesus loved Lazarus. And He loves you and me as well. Lazarus Awakening looks at different aspects of the story we find in John 11. We learn what it means to be a friend of God and begin recognizing the tombs we spend far too much time in.

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Brand New KINDLE with Wi-Fi
  • Having A Mary Heart in a Martha World
  • Having A Mary Spirit
  • Lazarus Awakening
Joanna will also select two additional contest entrants to receive copies of her trilogy. Enter soon by clicking below (PLEASE NOTE - THE CONTEST LINKS DO NOT WORK UNTIL THE MORNING OF 3/28!) and then tell your friends. Hurry the contest ends April 16th. The winner will be announced on Joanna's blog on April 18th.

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