Goodbye To A Good Friend

Coming to the end of an extended series feels bitter sweet to me - like finishing a good book or saying goodbye to a good friend. It represents time well spent on something worthwhile. I leave with great memories and a quiet sense that my life is richer for the experience.

So as I look back on this experience with Jesus' Sermon on the Mount what will I take with me?  What is it's lasting legacy? How has it shaped me? How is my spiritual journey richer?

  • My heart has been awakened to the wonder and honor that I have the privilege of being a 'follower of Jesus'. The wonder that I know this Jesus as a personal friend has once again left me humbled and grateful. And the honor of following Him has stirred deep feelings of pride within me. I so want to follow Him well...in a way that lives up to His confidence in calling me as a follower.
  • I've taken a hard look at the ugliness of my hypocrisy and the continued need I have for deep change. While difficult to hear I've needed Jesus' direct and pointed reminders that my righteousness is not about my external appearance. It's about my heart.  My hypocrisy can be so addictive. I can appear to be leading a life of righteousness on the outside while hiding something ugly within. Jesus' words have invited me to live in a more honest place where I am changed from the inside out.
  • I have a renewed passion for living and leading with a Kingdom vision.  As a comtemplative person I'm comfortable as an introvert - my passion generally remains well-hidden and well-guarded. I'm asking Father to display the things I feel so deeply with greater freedom. I want to live more alive to Father's vision for me - a life that does not deceive, mislead or manipulate others, a life full of love and prayer marked by integrity, generosity, tolerance, forgiveness, trust in God's provision and obedience.

So as I say goodbye to this good friend I say thank you for marking my spiritual journey forever...the visit has been rich and rewarding.

Fighting for your heart,

Gary Franklin

Reflections for your spiritual journey...

Take a few minutes this week to read through the sermon on the mount in one sitting. It's always a valuable exercise to capture why an extended series of study has been worthwhile. So keep a journal close by. As you read ask the Father to impress upon you how this portion of His Word has shaped you and your spiritual journey. Write them down and make them a focus of prayerful pursuit.