Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors. The people of The United Methodist Church.


Friend. There are all kinds of friends. Some close, some not so close. Then there are acquaintances who could develop into friends. Don’t forget that the world is full of people who could well become your friends.  A close friend, I mean a really true friend, is one who knows all your faults, your personality traits, and really most everything there is to know about you and is still willing to sacrifice for your well- being.  That friend will weep with you, will hurt with and for you, will share your joy.  When your name crosses their mind, they will call you or pray for you or just think of the things shared.  But wait, there is one friend who is available to all of us. He is a friend that goes beyond all the things that we can think of, but he has made it possible for us to share our friendship with him both now and in the hereafter. “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grieves to bear!”

We can share everything with him in prayer.  Perfect peace is found in his fellowship. He helps us carry our painful burdens and he shares our joys.  He is with us 24/7 and accompanies us all the way into heaven!  What a friend!

Have you experienced the warmth of his nearness to you?

Our scripture is from Matthew 24:1-14.  The text is verse 12.
“but he who endures to the end will be saved.” Jesus had just left the temple when the disciples pointed out to him the buildings surrounding them. His response was to say something to the effect that one of these days not one of them will be left intact, all will be thrown down. When the opportune moment presented itself, the disciples ask him when all this would take place.  They wanted to know when and what to look for as a sign.  Jesus’ reply contains such things as fake Christ would appear. Wars and rumors of wars, nations fighting against nations and these things would just be the beginning of suffering.  Believers will suffer for their beliefs. They will be hated, and many will not stick with it. They will begin to hate one another. And so, it goes however, “he who endures to the end will be saved.”  

In chapter 23 Jesus is calling the leaders to task mainly because of their selfish lack of faith and commitment.  All we must do is look around and we can see the results of the very same thing taking place before our very eyes!

Take heart my friends all is not lost. Jesus has promised to be with us to the end. Chapter 23 verse 37 Jesus desire to gather us under his wings is still an option for those who love him. “Blessed be he who comes in the name of the Lord.”  Chapter 25 contains the judgment scene and here-in we find the Key: “truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren you did it to me.” We are called to be friend to everyone as we live the righteous life as close to Jesus as possible.

Written by Pastor Tommy Markham

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