This week we have been examining Proverbs 27:17, Iron sharpens Iron, and one man sharpens another. So far, we have looked at this verse as a call to intentional relationship with others. God has placed you in a strategic position and asked you to simply connect, reach out, respond in a way that invites His presence and allows His power to work through you. By definition, the word Christian means, “a follower of Jesus Christ and His teachings.” If we examine Jesus life and His teachings, we see this intentional connection perfectly.
Jesus Christ was God himself, in need of nothing, but we see Him choosing to intentionally connect and surround Himself with a few men. There is no doubt that most of His time with these men was primarily for their benefit as He mentored and taught them; but, we also get a glimpse of His own personal desire for their closeness during His most difficult moments in the Garden of Gethsemane.
During that night, the bible describes Him as sorrowful, greatly distressed, troubled, in agony, sweating great drops of blood, and even falling to the ground pleading with the Father (Mat 26:37-39, Mark 14:33-35, Luke 22:42-44). In this trying time, I see the humanity of Christ at its fullest. In His moment of greatest need, the only time I see Him asking the Father if there is any other way, in this moment, Christ intentionally reaches out to His friends and simply asks them to be near. He asks His friends to remain close by, to watch with Him, to pray with Him (Mat 26:37-41). We have all faced difficult times. In those moments, the people who have helped me the most never changed my circumstances or gave me the answer to solve my problems. The greatest thing they ever had to offer me was their time to sit, to listen, to pray, to simply remain close by.
It is crucial that we view every point of contact as an intentional moment for God to work through us to reach those He has strategically placed around us. After all, we never know when one of these points of contact may be used as a conduit from God to touch our own life and deliver the strength we need to endure our most difficult moments.
Jesus Christ defined relationship. He walked the perfect example as only God himself could. As He was preparing to ascend back to heaven, He gave us our greatest call to intentional connection with others. This call has come to be known as “The Great Commission”. Jesus said “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations (mat 28:19). With this call, He was telling these men, class is over, you have passed. Now take all you have learned, all I have shown you, all I have given you, and take it to ALL that I have placed around you.
We have been entrusted to go, to continue the work of Jesus Christ with the empowering of His Holy Spirit. We don’t need to stress about the methods, we simply need to be a willing vessel that intentionally connects with others and allows Him the opportunity to work through us. He willingly died for us, and all He has asked in return is that we be willing to live for Him.