We have a vested interest in each other. We are going to spend eternity together in heaven if we make it there by the grace of God. I heard one man say that he planned on making it to heaven and that he had an address up there. Heaven was a reality to him and he wanted a mansion in glory. We may be next door neighbors in heaven.
By Denzil Holman
Those two words, “The Brethren” sound so wonderful. It means that we are a part of a group that are bound and united together. We are also related to each other. We are brothers in Christ. When we were born again, we became part of this family and that is why we refer to each other as brother and sister. We feel this closeness and warmth for one another. There is a group of people that God has called into the ministry and leadership of this church. This book is about those ministers and friendships. But before we explore this subject, I first want to talk about some basic aspects of friendships
When God created man, He made us gregarious creatures. We were not created to spend our years in lives of isolation. The lonely hermit living on the side of a mountain in the wilderness is not normal. Even though there are times when we have painful experiences and would like to escape to some utopia, reality jars us from our momentary lapses of desiring to leave for a secluded mountain hideaway somewhere.
Sometimes a recluse living in squalor in a cramped inner city apartment will die leaving a large sum of money stuffed in tin cans and underneath their sagging mattress. Controlled by unreasonable fears and suspicions they lived their years quietly and all alone. These extremes are not normal for the overwhelming majority of humanity. We recognize that we need others to make our lives complete and fulfilling. Every one of us needs a supporting group of people in our lives to make us complete. We are cognizant of the fact that each of us needs others and their input into our lives so we can strive to be all that we can be.
God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” Of course we know that He was referring to the marriage relationship. However, we understand that statement could include our relationships with others about us.
The basic family unit is the foundation of society. The parents are the early influences in our lives. Our parents are our first friends and we learn to depend upon them very quickly for our needs as children. Early in life our character is being molded and shaped by our relationships with our parents. It is obvious to all that the family unit is under heavy attack today by the enemy because it is the first line of defense in a society.
In many cases, other family members such as grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins influence our lives. The ties of friendship and family bind us to those around us. The glue that holds it all together is love, trust and respect for one another. As we grow up, we form friendships with others in school and around the neighborhoods. We have fond memories of boyhood pals with whom we shared many happy hours. We played, fought and sparred for dominance in our small world. We shared dreams and talked of what we would do when we grew up. Happy hours spent at the favorite swimming hole, fishing in the creek and at the neighborhood baseball field taught us living lessons about getting along with others and the need for friends. Our circle of friends and acquaintances continues to grow with time to include many others. We make friends at church, youth camp and other related activities. Eventually we mature into adulthood and begin searching for a mate to become our lifelong companion. When we get married, a new generation begins and the cycle of life repeats itself again.