Friends & friendships are obviously a very important part of our lives! That is why this topic is so important!
Jesus, our Creator, knows all about this basic need that all humans have, and how best to fulfill it.
Jesus performed the greatest act of friendship possible! Let’s also show our TRUE FRIENDSHIP to Him as well, by our acts of obedience & love!
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for HIS FRIENDS. 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 heard from My Father I have made known to you.
A TREASURED FRIEND
JESUS views me as His treasured FRIEND! He is also my treasured friend!
You were made for friendship with God!
Loneliness is one of the most frequent human hurts! Lonely people are trying to satisfy their craving for friendship & love in destructive ways- alcohol, drugs, vices, etc… Millions of people are reportedly considering committing suicide these days, partly due to this rampant problem!
JESUS IS FOR YOU
It is comforting to know that JESUS believes in us! He cares about us! He wants to help us overcome & experience victory!
I Peter 5:7 – Casting all your care upon Him, for HE CARES FOR YOU!
It’s so comforting to know someone cares about you when you are going through difficult challenges.
How did JESUS demonstrate TRUE FRIENDSHIP?
How did He prove His claim to be your FRIEND?
JESUS showed his friendship in so many wonderful ways! The following examples & illustrations are just a few of them…
JESUS GIVES US THE BEST
JOHN 10:10 – The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it MORE ABUNDANTLY.
Psalm 144:15 – Happy is the people whose God is the Lord.
JESUS IS OUR BEST FRIEND
Proverbs 18:24 …there is a FRIEND who sticks closer than a brother.
I believe that the friend referred to in that verse has special application to our special relationship with Jesus, who is closer than any other…
JONATHAN EDWARDS (A famous revivalist) Quote:
“Whatsoever there is, or can be, that desirable to be in a friend, is in Christ, and that to the highest degree that can be desired”
JESUS THE PERFECT FRIEND
What a joyful privilege it is to have a friend like Jesus! Someone we can confide in, trust, receive help and encouragement from, one who knows and loves us just as we are. He is someone who is willing to walk through the darkest of times with us!
He is the friend some may never have, the friend we never deserve, the friend we all need – our PERFECT FRIEND!
He is a friend that loves us at all times. When our friends fail us and let us down, we can continue to love them because we are loved with a perfect & unfailing love. Jesus is with us to the end! He is a lifetime friend!
MATTHEW 28:20 – “I am with you always, even to the end of the world!” (JESUS)
PHILIPPIANS 1:6 – …being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;..
EXPERIENCING HIS FRIENDSHIP
What does it mean for Jesus to be our truest friend? How do we experience His friendship?
He opened His heart to us with transparency & love, and revealed His Father’s will to us.
The cross proves His friendship. His sacrifice made on the cross for us was for His friends.
Friendship is deep in Jesus heart! It is at the very center, & the heart-beat of the gospel message He came to bring to the world!
Something that helps maintain close friendship is COMMUNION. Sharing heart to heart fellowship with mutual, loving appreciation! Communion has to do with close communication & sharing together.
COMMUNION (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)
Fellowship; intercourse (communication) between two persons or more; interchange of transactions, or offices; a state of giving and receiving; agreement; concord. Mutual intercourse (communication) or union in religious worship, or in doctrine and discipline.
Proverbs 18:24 – A man who has friends must himself be friendly…
It is important for CLOSE FRIENDS that they maintain communication and contact.
3 John 1:14 – but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face. Peace to you. Our FRIENDS greet you. Greet the friends by name.
JESUS knows us better than we even know ourselves, and He loves us more deeply than anyone else ever could. We are closer to His heart than anyone could ever have been to ours.
He doesn’t just justify us &… that’s the end. He welcomes us to develop a deep relationship & close friendship with Him.
We have the privilege of proving our friendship through obedience. His companionship with us is a great deterrent to sin.
Magnify Him. Expand our vision of Him.
PSALM 34:3 – Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name (“friend”) together.
FRIEND OF SINNERS
He is the greatest friend to the greatest of sinners. He loves us all! He is a FRIEND OF SINNERS!
ROMANS 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
HIS LOVINGKINDNESS & TRUTH
Psalm 63:3 – Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You.
Psalm 117 – Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples! 2 For His merciful kindness is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord endures forever.
Lamentations 3:22,23 – Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; GREAT IS YOUR FAITHFULNESS.
2 TIMOTHY 2:13 – If we believe not (are faithless; not faithful; do not believe and are untrue to Him), yet HE ABIDES FAITHFUL (remains true; will still be faithful – faithful to His Word and His righteous character): he cannot deny himself.
BLESSINGS & HELP
Proverbs 28:20 – A faithful man will abound with blessings…
Psalm 68:19 – Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our salvation! Selah
Psalm 103:2 – Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:
Hebrews 4:16 – Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 13:6 – So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
2 Chronicles 16:9 – The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein you have done foolishly: therefore from henceforth you shall have wars…
how to show our friendship
follow in his steps
I Peter 2:21 – For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:…
No cheating, or SECRETIVE unfaithfulness!
When children of Israel SECRETLY did against the Lord their God things that were not right against the Lord their God… it brought God’s judgment – Assyria came & took them captive. They sinned against the Lord… they walked after the ways of the heathen, & God was angry with them, and brought punishment for their disobedience & rebellion.
Unfaithfulness has very serious consequences… (Romans 6:23)
2 Kings 17
Vs 7 – The children of Israel sinned against the Lord their God…
Vs 8 – They followed the ways of the heathen.
Vs 9 – and the children of Israel DID SECRETLY those things that were not right against the Lord their God….
Vs 12 – they served idols…
Vs 14/15 – they were stubborn & rebellious, were vain and followed vanity, and went after the heathen round about them.
Vs 18 – therefore the Lord was very angry with them, and removed them out of his sight.
Vs 20 – The Lord rejected them, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers.
LOYALTY & COMMMITMENT
DAVID & JONATHAN
They were committed to their friendship — even to death! Their lives exemplified deep friendship. Jonathan demonstrated his faithfulness to David. “Whatever you say, I will do for you.” (I Samuel 20:4)
King Jesus says, “You are my friends if you do whatsoever I say to you” (John 15:14). He gives us the privilege of proving our friendship by doing the things that he instructs us to do.
FACE TO FACE ENCOUNTERS
Exodus 33:11 – So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to HIS FRIEND.
James 2:23 – …“Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the FRIEND OF GOD.
COMFORTING OUR FRIENDS
LAZARUS – (JOHN 11)
Jesus friend got sick & died. Jesus went to comfort the family & wept with them. Jesus resurrected Him.
Romans 12:15 – Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
Being there for our friends, in times of sorrow, as well as in times of celebration and joy.
JOHN THE BELOVED
John was one of Jesus closest & most trusted friends. When Jesus was on the cross , he was there at the foot of the cross with Jesus (John 19:25-27). He experienced Jesus deep love & received great revelation truth.
FRIEnDSHIP EVANGELISM – SHARE THE GOOD NEWS
Mark 5:19 (JESUS SAID) … Go home to your FRIENDS, & tell them how great things the Lord has done for you, and has had compassion on you.
BRING FRIENDS TO JESUS
Mark 2:1-5 (Summary – …men brought their sick friend to Jesus; It was so crowded that they uncovered the roof & let down the bed & man sick of palsy; Jesus saw their faith, & healed the sick man.)
Is faithful & loyal; is sacrificial & loving; is kind & thoughtful; is unselfish; is friendly; is encouraging; is helpful; is edifying; is patient & longsuffering; is a good listener; is humble; is not overly critical; values & accepts others; rejoices with the joyful & weeps with the sorrowing; comforts the afflicted; brings times of refreshing; etc…
Proverbs 17:17 – A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
JONATHAN EDWARDS (Quote):
“Let it be (our) 1st love to enter into an everlasting FRIENDSHIP with Christ that never shall be broken”.
ENEMY OF GOD
James 4:4 – Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is ENMITY with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an ENEMY OF GOD.
JESUS IS TRUE & TRUSTWORTHY
Revelation 21:5-7 – Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are TRUE and FAITHFUL.”6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
Jesus is true & faithful, so His words and actions are faithful & true. He cannot and will not lie (Hebrews 6:18; John 14:6). He will faithfully honor & reward overcomer’s with sonship, relationship, & blessings!
PROVERBS 3:5-6 – TRUST IN THE LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
IN GOD WE TRUST!
We can safely trust in God! (Psalm 56:11; 91:2; Jeremiah 17:7-8)
WHAT A FRIEND!
JESUS chose us as friends, died for us as friends, causes us to trust Him as our friend, & He will remain constant as our friend forever!
What a FRIEND we have, moment by moment, day by day & forever in Jesus!