Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.-Acts 13:1
Although, I saw many lessons to be learned throughout Paul’s first missionary journey (Acts 13-14). This verse made me think about the choices we have in life and how they make a great difference in our final result. There are two examples here in this verse of two men who chose their outcome, Manaen and Herod. Maybe my imagination went to the left field, but I was imaging the upbringing of Manaen and Herod. The Bible doesn’t say they were besties, but it does say they ran in the same circles (…they were brought up together). I assume they both were born with the same socioeconomic benefits: they were born into bank. However, one became an evil ruler (Herod), and one was said to be a prophet and teacher (Manaen). -Acts 13:1
I thought of my buddies of my youth to be in my inner circle; I remember what an influence they had on me. All my choices were not of my own imagination alone, but I always had to consider, “what would the guys think!” It is very sad, but that is how it works most often: we are influenced by the people we choose to place around us!
Like I assumed Manaen did, I had a special change in my life, I received Jesus as the true influence of my life. This didn’t mean I had lose my friends, although my so called friends of mine, decided to lose me because of my new relationship with Jesus. It also meant I had to filter the influences that were once important to me. At first It was very lonely to make Jesus my major influence, but soon I found like-minded fiends that understood, God comes first!
Throughout the book of Proverb, you can find verus that will show you benefits of having Godly friends: He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Proverbs 13:20 (NASB))
I know it is very lonely, at first, to take a stand for Jesus and let Him lead your life, but believe me, it’s worth it! 😉