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“Warts and All”

You’ve heard the comment when someone describes a best friend.  Things are said like, “A best friend is someone that knows all your faults and still loves you.”  Or, as the title suggests, loves you, “Warts and All.”  When I hear about a “best friend” of someone, almost always, my thoughts don’t turn to those that I’m really close to, but there’s a challenge that comes within me making me wonder, “Am I a best friend to someone?  Am I the kind of person they can count on?”  I truly want to be that kind of friend.  It’s also been said we all have a number of acquaintances, but very few are considered a “best friend.”  I’m thankful for those that have walked with me for years and years and thrilled for the additions as I’ve moved around the country.  But my thoughts are genuine, “Am I what ‘my best friend(s)’ as well as other people need?”

Occasionally I meet an individual claiming they have no friends.  That is a very sad state to be in.  As a young person I heard someone say, “If you want friends, be a friend.”  That’s great advice, but then why is it some people have no friends?  Or think they don’t.  If you are a person that struggles with relationships, let me introduce or re-introduce you to the greatest friend ever.  His name is Jesus!  The Bible clearly teaches, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).

Even if you have some “best friends” there is still One better.  Our Lord not only sees our warts, He knows EVERYTHING about us.  Someone reading this right now wants to become a Christian, but you feel your past is unforgivable.  That’s the difference between friends, best friends and God.  He sees you exactly as you are and knows the words that come out of your mouth before you even say them.  He knows your every motive and intention – AND STILL LOVES YOU!  Not only that, He ACCEPTS YOU JUST AS YOU ARE!!  You are thinking, when I clean my life up then I’ll come to Jesus.  No, No, NO!!!  You can’t clean yourself up because you have a sinful heart.  The Lord is saying, “Come to me.”  Go!  It’s time to call upon Him.  Confess your sin and receive His promise to forgive you of every wrong and let Him clean you up.  We believe “we” have to make lots of changes to become better – God basically says, “Give me your heart and I’ll replace it with a new one.”  When you have a pure heart on the inside, things on the outside begin to change.  This is the offer Jesus is giving you.  He is a friend who accepts you as you are and gives you a life worth living.  What are you waiting for?

Pastor Carnes