24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly,[b] But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.
31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.
3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
1 Sam. 18:1-4
18 Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2 Saul took him that day, and would not let him go home to his father’s house anymore. 3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.
1 Kings 16:8-13
8 In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah the son of Baasha became king over Israel, and reigned two years in Tirzah. 9 Now his servant Zimri, commander of half his chariots, conspired against him as he was in Tirzah drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza, steward of his house in Tirzah. 10 And Zimri went in and struck him and killed him in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his place. 11 Then it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he was seated on his throne, that he killed all the household of Baasha; he did not leave him one male, neither of his relatives nor of his friends. 12 Thus Zimri destroyed all the household of Baasha, according to the word of the Lord, which He spoke against Baasha by Jehu the prophet, 13 for all the sins of Baasha and the sins of Elah his son, by which they had sinned and by which they had made Israel sin, in provoking the Lord God of Israel to anger with their idols.
2 Sam. 9:1,9-11
9 Now David said, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” 9 And the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “I have given to your master’s son all that belonged to Saul and to all his house. 10 You therefore, and your sons and your servants, shall work the land for him, and you shall bring in the harvest, that your master’s son may have food to eat. But Mephibosheth your master’s son shall eat bread at my table always.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11 Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king has commanded his servant, so will your servant do.”
Prov. 27:6, 17
6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. 17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
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This morning I’ll be talking about friends and you know I’m not going to talk just your normal casual friend I’m talking about the faithful tried and true friend that is there through thick and thin and is there in your time an aid that is always is always there for you and we know that there is a friend that six closer than a brother and that friend is Jesus but I title my message. Want a friend. Sort of put do you want to friend but if you want to friend be friend. That’s how you find friends you be a friend. And you know this was an M.S.A. just thinking about you know what we call our favorite paths dogs man’s best friend you know no matter if you have a dog and you treat that dog pretty decent you know you’re not abusive to that dog you can come home and every single day that those going to greet you at the door like it it’s Doc you been gone for a month you know it’s care and our dog is especially fond of care if she leaves and goes to Jennifer’s house is only gone for ten minutes you’d think she was gone for a month that dog is so excited when she gets back I mean she says the bounce and don’t get up and down but you know if we could all just be as kind and. Lovingly greet one another’s our favorite animals greet us you know the Bible is truly an amazing book an amazing guide book on life the Bible revealed to us how to be a good husband how to be a good wife how to treat our children train them up in the ways of the Lord and how children should respect their parents the Bible will guide us in how to be faithful church leaders you know a bishop an Elder God lines for that it will give us guidelines on how to be a faithful preacher God. On how to receive life life eternal just about everything you can think of you can find the God on in this book of how you should live and conduct your lives it also tells us how to be a friend it does because the Bible considers friendship important Proverbs eighteen twenty four says a man who has friends must himself be friendly but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. So if you want to have friends you must be friendly you can’t be an all grown up. And Old Stick in the mud and expect to have a lot of friends. So let’s go to our second scripture John fifteen eleven through seventeen hopefully Laughter is good for the souls and they will laugh a little bit together this morning these things I have spoken to you that module may remain in you and that your joy may be full this is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you greater love has no one then this then to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are my friends if you do whatever I command you this is Jesus’ words to all of us you are my friends if you do whatever I command you no longer do I call you servants for a servant does not know what his master is doing but I have called you friends for all things that I have heard from my father I have made known to you you did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you these things I command you that you love one another you know when you think of a servant and you think of there you have a master and a servant in a typical normal. Situation like this the servant absolutely does not know the Master’s plan doesn’t know what the master is doing all that servant knows is that master’s going to come out is going to tell them you go when you do this today and that servant is going to do it he doesn’t know the Master’s plan for the future he doesn’t know the I mean a pastor can be kind but. This master the one we call Lord he’s going to tell us the Father’s will he’s going to tell us his will for the future his will for our lives his plans for us that he wants what’s best for us because we are as friends Dale Carnegie once said. You can make more friends in two months by becoming really interested in other people then you can into yours by trying to get other people interested in you. Which is another way of saying if you want to want a friend you need to be one. G. K. Chesterton used to say the truly great person is the one who makes every person feel great. How do we do it that it Jesus said in Luke six thirty one and just as I want to know and jest as you want men to treat you treat them in the same way. Do as unto waters As You Would Have Them Do Unto You Amen. And you will gain true friends I found an illustration that reveals the accuracy of the both of these above statements and Queen Victoria’s time there was a young woman who had the good fortune of being escorted to dinner by William Gladstone who was considered one of the greatest. And most brilliant statesmen of the nineteenth century on the following evening the same young lady was escorted it to dinner by Benjamin Disraeli Novelis statement. Twite statesman and twice prime minister of Great Britain when asked for her impression of the two great rival she replied after an evening with Gladstone I thought that he was the most brilliant man I’d ever met but after an evening with Dr Sally I thought myself to be you know the most fascinating woman in the world. So the question my friends is this if someone were to spend the evening with you. And they were asked that question how would they respond. Would they respond like Wow Gary is the most brilliant man I’ve ever met. And. So that’s the thing are we going to spend our time bragging about all of our accomplishments all that we have done trying to impress them or are we going to show genuine interest in them. In others. I can answer that for you but how would they respond. You know it is truly amazing how many people just need someone to listen. Just to have someone to listen to them that’s amazing you could find so many people that you could be friend just by being an ear to listen to what they have to say to share their Her life story there were troubles there are accomplishments to show them that you generally care about them. Sometimes all you have to do. Is open easier and less. Be a friend. With these thoughts in mind what does a true Christian friendship look like well first. Order’s the true Christian friendship loves sacrificially. Our scripture of course verse thirteen said Greater love has no one than this then to lay down one’s life for his friend there is no greater example of sacrificial love of course than that of Jesus Christ who laid down his life. That we might have life Jesus’ love though was never never selfish he never put himself first not just through his death on the cross the greatest sacrifice but look at the many you know God’s word says if all that Jesus did was recorded in the books there be a not not in the volumes to hold it all. Imagine that. In his short life span of thirty three years if all that he did was recorded we couldn’t have enough volumes to hold it so does sake of the many miracles that Jesus performed he gave of his power gave of his spirit many times maybe he would have rather one off to have a little bit of quiet time for himself Look at all the teachings. That Jesus gave to the people share with them The Father’s Will he withheld nothing from them he taught on the mountain he taught from the water. Maybe times it again he could use a little break. He was gracious and he fed the thousands he Homewood himself and washed a disciple state setting an example for us he gave of himself he was unselfish willing to sacrifice. True friendship is also non-conditional we don’t say well I’m going to be your friend and love you as long as you do what I think you should do you know we had an experience as a young couple. Care probably is. Forgotten this is many many years ago that we had a neighbor the girls were very young as a matter of fact Rizana was born while we was living in this house and. When we did live in a car buyers edition then is now Carbondale and we had neighbors that we thought we’d become pretty good friends with they were an older couple and they owned a business and during our time there I was furloughed from or from work from the railroad so a fellow coworker not that he was also for a we did carpentry work or. Any kind of work carbon to work painting. Whatever we did it because you know if you got young children for some reason then little things need Fed So you’ve got to you know you gotta earn some money well bring in a story around this couple that they were in this business you know I also did some work for them at their home I did some work for them at their business and they want to some work done at their business but I was unable to get to it in the time that they thought I should have been able to get to it because I had other work to do too well they got mad I mean mad because you know I didn’t get there to do the work so someone made the statement Well they you know because I shared my concern because it hurt you know it hurt us at the time and they said well you found a friend in need but not a friend indeed. But thank the Lord that relationship was healed to an extended that I don’t think it ever got back to what it was because they were unhappy you know but you know that was a conditional friendship we should not have conditions placed upon our friendship. You know while be your friend so long as you’re able to do this for me that’s not the way it works that’s not the way Jesus extends his friendship. We’re not to have the what you can do for me attitude because if we do. We won’t experience the blessings of a true godly friendship. Proverbs seventeen seven says a friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity. No matter the situation or the condition a friend loves at all times Philippians two three says let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit but in Lolita’s loneliness of mine that eats esteem others better than himself. Most of the time we want things our way don’t we. Get more human we want things our way and most of the time we think that our way is the best way. I’m getting some chuckles there right come or now we do we think that our way is the best way I am guilty of that come on I am of the I’ll be the first to admit it we think there are ways the best way but just because our ways different doesn’t mean that is their way is not a good way. And don’t be selfish. By value in our friends needs above. Will be on our way to loving like Jesus and in the process will gain true friends. One of the greatest examples of friendship found than the Old Testament some may know who I’m going to say is the friendship between David and Jonathan. You won’t find a greater friendship I believe in the Old Testament First Samuel eight verses one through four. Now when he had finished speaking to Saul the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David and Jonathan Jonathan loved him as his own soul soul took him that day will not let him go home to his father’s house anymore. Then Jonathan and David made a coven it because they loved him as his own soul and Jonathan took off his robe that was on him and gave it to David with his armor even to his sword and his bow and his belt. You know what to me what makes this friendship so amazing Jonathan knew. What was going on. Jonathan knew that he was not going to be the one to follow his father as king of Israel he knew that he knew that it was David he knew that the Prophet went to Jesse’s house. And they anointed David to be the king after Saul he knew that in yet his soul knit today vits. As best friends they made a covenant with one another you know think about that to be a king you have the power you have kings have power over that entire nation they have wells. Beyond major authority just so much. But he knew God’s plan. In his soul knew to David’s to the one that was going to take his place my friends how would you like it. If your father had great wealth. And you thought at first you were going to be the heir then all sudden this stranger comes along and he’s going to be the heir to your father’s great wealth how would you how would you respond. But his soul needed to his he loved him that much. To be given any part of the dress to be worn by sovereign which Jonathan was sovereign he’s heir to the throne is considered in the east the highest honor that could be conferred to his subject so when he took that robot in his so. Ordinates Boney’s belt that’s the highest honor he could have possibly given to David. I. Truly believe myself that that was his sixteen his throne his air ship if you will today that. I believe he say and I know God’s will he was more faithful than his father. In obeying God. But not just saying well I guess I’m going to give it up he loved David he loved him was faithful to him. You know this is definitely not the way that a transfer of kingship from one family to another would traditionally go. It would not go this way no one know the transfer between Saul and David did not go easy. David you know Saul tried to killing. Many times. But he was unsuccessful because that was not God’s plan David had the opportunity he could have took saw out. He cut the bottom of his robe of it’s you know look here Saul could have took your life but he didn’t do it because he would not touch God’s anointed. But here’s an example. Of what would normally happen with another family come in and take over as came in first king six eight through thirteen in the twenty six year of Eisa king of Juda it lay out the son of Basha became king over Israel and reign two years into Zob to say oh now a servant Samurai commander of half his chariots conspired against him as he was into czar drinking himself drunk in House of C. shouldn’t drink yourself drunk because bad. Will Happen drank himself drunk in the House of. Stuart of his house in to sail and samurai went in and struck him and killed him in the twenty seventh year of Eisa king of Juda and reigned in this place then it came to pass when he began to reign as soon as he was seated on the throne that he killed all the house of Basha he did not leave one male neither of his relatives nor of his friends thus Zimride destroyed all the household of Basha according to the word of the Lord which he spoke against Pasha J.-U. the prophet for all the sins of Basha and the sins of a lie on his son by which they had sin and by which they had made Israel sin in provoking the Lord God of Israel to anger with their eyes with their idols this is the normal when you would have someone come in from another family and take over the throne they didn’t want somebody from the family common a revolt against their kingship they didn’t want to rebuy and so they didn’t even just take out his sons he took out brothers sons cousins friends the entire male family. Jonathan did not do this. That or David did not do this his friendship was so true to Jonathan Yes it is true that Jonathan and Saul were both killed but not by David by the Philistines he did just the opposite of what the normal is in second Samuel’s Samuel Chapter nine versus one and then nine to eleven is said now David said is there still anyone who is left of the House of Saud. All that I may show the him kindness for Jonathan say. Instead of the strong point he wanted to extend his kindness his friendship his love for Jonathan sake and we all know that Jonathan had a son name of the self and he was crippled because when trying to escape the servitude fell in landed on him and crippled his feet so I want to pick up in verse nine. And the king called Zaba Saul servant might have said that wrong might be Zuba and said to him I have given to your master’s son all that belong to Saul and to all his cell someone a pause so all the wealth of the King all of his land he gave. To solve grandson with of a south instead of taking it away he gave it to him and therefore. You therefore and your sons and your servants shall work the land for him and you shall bring in the harvest that your master’s son may have food to eat but McIver Seth your master’s son shall eat bread at my table always now exhibits had fifteen sons and twenty servants then it was said to the king according to all that my lord the king has commanded his servant so will your servant do as for most. Said the king he shall eat at my table like one of the king’s sons. You will not find a more true friendship than the one between David and Jonathan. He made sure that Jonathan son received all that was due him and he made him as one of his sons sat at his table like one of his sons like a king’s son. How will you praise the Lord that is a Godly friendship. True Christian friends. Will be build each other up spiritually emotionally physically. And they will stick together. Even when times can be tough true friends will receive strength from one another. True friends will be able to share their deepest secrets with one another without the fear that they’re going to go and gossip and share with someone else you know there may be a time when a true friend has to deliver a tough message to their friend. Proverbs twenty six twenty seven six says faithful are the wounds of a friend but the kiss of an enemy are deceitful. And in Proverbs twenty seven seventeen as aren’t sharpens iron so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. True friends will be able to not only help one another but sometimes correct one another. If need be and that friendship will remain steadfast. As we allow these traits of true friendship to sink into our minds you know we might. Ponder and think I have a few areas that I need to work on. Allow the Holy Spirit to work on them and develop the kind of love and kindness and friendship that God wants you to have. And don’t think it’s going to grow over night because it won’t it may take time. But remember who we emulate as we desire to be a true friend. That is Jesus Christ. And we know that we can always trust and we can always depend on him. He is always there he will never leave us nor for sake of us. Yes he may say no sometimes but he will never leave us nor for sake of us when we are weak. He is strong. When we are unable he want to able us. He will always remember Proverbs eighteen twenty four said a man who has many friends mustn’t self be friendly but there is a friend of six closer than a brother and that friend is Jesus Christ he will always be closer than a brother I found the letter that I need to read to you and this letter is written to all of us and it’s from your friend Jesus. He said I had to write to tell you how much I love you and care for you yesterday I saw you walking and laughing with your friends I hope that soon you’d want me to walk along with you too so I painted you a sunset to closure day and whispered a cool breeze to refresh you I waited you never called I just kept on loving you as I watched you fall asleep last night I wanted to touch you I spilled moonlight onto your face trickle down your cheek as so many tears have you didn’t even think of me I wanted so much to comfort you the next day I exploded a brilliant sunrise into a glorious morning for you but you woke up late rushed off to work you didn’t even notice my sky became cloudy and my tears were the rain I love you. If you’d only listen I really love you I tried to say it in the quiet of the green meadow and in the blue sky the wind whispers my love through out the treetops and spills into the vibrant colors of all the flowers I shouted to you in the thunder of the great waterfalls and compose a love song for the birds to sing to you I warm you with the clothing of my sunshine and prefer perfumed the air with nature sweet scent my love for you is deeper than any ocean and greater than any need in your heart if you’d only realize I care for you my dad’s. His love I want you to meet him he cares two fathers are just that way so please call me soon no matter how long it takes I’ll wait because I love you your friend Jesus. A man I don’t know about you but that touched my heart when I found it. Because that’s what he does for each of us. One last scripture Romans eight thirty and thirty nine says for I am persuaded that neither death nor life there angels nor principle ours nor powers nor things present nor things to come nor height nor depth nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord my friends nothing nothing in this world can separate us from our closest and dearest friend Jesus Christ all the powers of hell cannot separate us from the friendship in the love of Jesus Christ he wants to take your hand he wants you to walk with Him He wants you to talk with him he truly wants to be your friend and he wants us to be friends of those that have no friends he wants us to share his love with others to be friend them you know I said one last. I do have one more. So this is one less corruption. For the second time. Hebrews thirteen versus five and six let your conduct be without covetousness be content with sets things as you have free himself has said I will never leave you nor for sake you so we may both really say The Lord is my helper I will not fear what can man do to me the Lord is our helper each and every day no matter what the world brings against us the Lord is always our helper and always our friend a man.