Before we reach our “Intense Craving” post, let me first share this week’s memory verse.
“It is he who saved us and chose us for his holy work not because we deserved it but because that was his plan long before the world began—to show his love and kindness to us through Christ (2 Timothy 1:9, TLB).”
Paul “wished to see [Timothy], not only on account of the warm friendship which he had for him but because he would be useful to him in his present circumstances (Barnes, on 2 Timothy 1:4).”
I appreciate how the King James translates this verse:
[G]reatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy. . .
In the Strong’s Concordance, this emotion is described as longing for, pursuing with love, and even intensely craving. If there was anything worthy of intensely craving in the flesh, shouldn’t it be to participate in the body of Christ? To be there for one another? To strengthen our relational connection to God and one another?
It is fairly easy to feel like a fish out of water in today’s social circles. Others don’t seem to intensely crave deep-seated community like I do, or rather the way I do. This isn’t me coming down on others, but loving (versus hating) who God made me to be. Because in today’s passage, it is not only acknowledged – it is accepted to intensely desire Christian friendships and to be around those people.
I am tired of pretending and being silent, while this “violent craving” continues on in my soul. My deepest desire is to cultivate deeper relationships with my Christian brothers and sisters. I want things to finally “connect” – building these relational bridges that circumstances cannot destroy when the next wavy storm comes.
In passages such as this one, we are reminded of our need for deep Christian community – that goes beyond Sunday mornings. Paul craved to be with Timothy in a physical sense, so he could be with his friend. But, there was more. Paul knew through his friendship with Timothy, he had things to contribute – that would help his friend in his circumstances.
I want these kind of friendships. I want close, godly, friendships like this one we see in Scriptures. God wants to hold us and bring us friends who will help us draw nearer, regardless of the fires we might be walking through. We were never meant to live out our Christian life solo. We need our Christian brothers and sisters.
If there was anything worthy of intensely craving in the flesh, shouldn’t it be to participate in the body of Christ? To be there for one another? To strengthen our relational connection to God and one another? (Click to Tweet)
Just as we have fellowship with God through His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, we are wholeheartedly invited to have fellowship with other followers of our Savior Jesus Christ. These are the people who will build us up when we are close to giving up, read Scriptures to us in moments of depression, pray over us, text us as we fight through a health flare, and remind us of God’s reputation as the Perfect Healer. This is worship through godly friendships.
Fellowship and relationships with our Christian brothers and sisters is a perfect gift from God. Let’s prayerfully consider how He might be leading us to build closer Christian friendships.
Featured Image is by Clem Onojeghuo.