Faithlife Sermons

WHO IS YOUR FRIEND?

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Hymn 500
Hymn 186
Preliminaries
Introduce
William D. Longstaff says,
1.“Take time to be holy,
Speak often with your Lord.
Abide in him always, and feed on his word.
Make friends of God’s children.
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.
2. “Take time to be holy, the world rushes on; Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone. By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be; Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.
But who are the God’s children? Never believe that everyone in the house of God is a child of God. A child of God is the one who abide in God, does His bidding and believe in that says the Lord.
There are decisions we take in life without much consideration. It’s because, we do not value their importance in our lives. We take them to be matters of triviality. One of these things is the choice of friends we make.
Making friends is one of the important things in life of a true Christian. Scripture recommends that we make good choice in this regard. Let’s look at few texts that stress the important carefully choose a friend.
Prov. 27:17 Iron sharpens iron; So, a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
Prov. 13:20 He that walks with wise men shall be wise: But a companion of fools shall be
destroyed.
Prov. 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Proverbs 28:23 He that rebukes a man afterwards shall find more favour, than he that flatters with the tongue.
Proverbs 22:24–25 Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.
Psalm 26:4–5 I have not sat with vain persons Neither will I go in with dissemblers.
I have hated the congregation of evil doers; And will not sit with the wicked.
Prov. 12:26 The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
1 Corinthians 15:33, 34 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good character
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God
“Show me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are”? Vladimir Lenin
Making friends involve using our God given choice
All these are to emphases the importance of making good choices in term of friends in our present life, and beyond
No one is born with a friend. But as we grow in life, people come into our lives to be our friends. People begin to come into our lives in different stages. People become your friend for different reasons.
The story and the lesson from my grandma (my father’s mother- Afia Agyakoma)
She called for me for a meeting when I went to Ghana for the funeral of my dad, and she said listen son,
“Everyone has 32 teeth. No one was born with these teeth in the mouth. But as we grow- they grow with us. But as we grow old and older- along the line, they begin to fall-out one after the other. If you are lucky enough, by the time you get to my age, thus 90s, you will have one or two remaining in your mouth. In that case remember that the two remaining are your best friends in your life. They’ve pledged never to leave you, but to die with you. Such friends are precious. They are friends indeed.
Who is your friend?
Some friends are good. Some are bad. Some are even dangerous, and some, are wicked. Beacuse of friends, someone has lost his/her job, because friends. Because friends, someone’s marriage is broken.
Who is your friend?
Based upon my observations and reflections, I have come into conclusion that there are four kinds of friends.
1. The Pretenders - the lesson from a baby mosquito. Baby mosquito went out and came back home to report to his mother. Mama, mama, everybody loves me. How did you know that everybody loves you?
Baby Mosquito say, “ Wherever I went, people were clapping for me.”
His mother looked at him sadly, and said to him, my son, they were not clapping for you, but they were trying to kill you.
2. Opportunistic friends- these come into your life just to benefit from you. They are sycophants, bootlickers, brownnosers. They will flatter you, even when you are heading toward your destruction. They see nothing wrong even you are wrong. As long as they benefit from you, you are their friend. They will withdraw from you when they cannot benefit from you.
3. Admirable Friends- these people come into your life because of something they admire about you. They are attracted to you by certain qualities- like your personality, your fame. They like to be seen in your company as their class etc. this people will cease to be your friend and withdraw from you when what they admire fades away.
4. Friends Indeed – these friends desire your good. These people become your friend not because of what they can benefit from you, but rather what they can offer you to reach your potential. They desire your good. They see your abilities and capabilities and would like to build you up. They desire you to succeed. They would raise you up when you are down. They will encourage you when you are discouraged. They will embrace you when everyone has rejected you. In the worse moments your life, they see beauty and value in you. When you succeed, they cheer you up? Your joy is their joy. When you are sad and mourning, they will wipe away your tears and put smile in your face. When you are wrong, they will correct you in love.
These are friends indeed. Example in the Bible: Jonathan and David friendship.
King James Version Chapter 18

And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul

Note: There are certain situations the Friends indeed cannot even help you out. It doesn’t matter how willing they are to help.
Thus, despite how great the love between the Jonathan and David, David could not save Jonathan from his enemies when he was dying at the battle field, at Mount Gilboa.
There is a friend who never fails. He is ever present to help today and forever more.
God and Abraham
James says, And the scripture was fulfilled which says, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God (James 2:23). Abraham was the friend of God because he believed God. But faith/believing comes by hearing the voice or the word of God (Romans 10:17). We all have ears to hear. But we don’t all hear the voice of God. It’s only those with connection with God that hear His voice. It’s only those with the link to God that hear when He speaks. Abram was able to distinguish the divine voice from human voice. We normally say, God’s voice is in majority. I bear to differ- for “in matters of conscience, majority is wrong.”
Imagine you living with Abram in the multitude of your relatives. You wake up one morning seeing Abraham packing his baggage and luggage, and everything belonging to him, and leaving the house. You ask him Abram, where are you going with all these? He says, God says I should leave.
The first question you may ask, “leave to where?” He says I don’t. know. You may be tempted to say, Abraham, are you out of you mind? Are crazy? Yes, from human point of view, Abraham was crazy. But he was crazy for God, his friend. He knew the distinct voice of his friend. He was able to distinction that “small still voice” from other voices.
Being friend of God comes with challenges-
1. challenges of leaving your past life- Abram was asked to leave his father’s relatives, cherished friends.
2. leaving your father’s house, means leaving your inheritance. Things that has been handed down to you from generations.
3. Challenge of being described as someone insane (out of his mind).
4. Challenge of being a stranger, and for that matter illegal-migrant in a foreign land
Notwithstanding, being a friend of God comes with manifold blessings:
1. Change of name- when God becomes your friend, He changes your name and give you a new. Abram (exalted father) name was changed to Abraham (father of a multitude). from sinner to a child of God
2. prosperity- land, Nations (Psalm 37:25) “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.”
3. forgiveness Abraham was forgiven, David – 1 Samuel 13:14 “But now thy kingdom shall not continue: ……. the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.
4. If God is friend, you can have a face to face encounter with Him (Exodus 33:11), and you will better understand who He really is - merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation (Ex 34:6–7)..
5. When God is your friend, He fights your battle.
Who is your friend?
I have a friend, oh such a friend, He loved me before I knew Him. He drew me with the cord of Love. He bound me to himself with those ties which nothing can sever. For I am his and he is mine.
This friend of mine is Jesus. When I was weak, He strengthened. When I was down, He picked me up. When all hated me, He loved me. When I was in distress, He spoke peace into my heart. He desired my good and looked for me when I knew him not. When I was a sinner, He died for me, and said
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Christ died for me on the cross. At the cross, I saw my reflection. At the cross, I saw the wickedness in me. At the cross I saw my arrogance. At the cross the amazing grace.
He loves more than I am. He loves me in spite my sinful ways. He loves me for who I am
He loves me in spite of my selfish ways.
How to be a Friend of God
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant know not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. 16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. 17 These things I command you, that ye love one another. 18[1]
Someone knocking at your door. Someone is ringing the bell. Would you please answer the call and let Him come in.
Jesus is knocking at the door. Jesus is ringing the bell. Would you please answer the call? And let Jesus in. you may be tired and lonely. You may think you’re an outcast. You may be searching for answers. But thThere is someone who really cares. And that’s Jesus Christ.
Christ Jesus wants to be your friend. Would you give Him a Chance?
[1] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Jn 15:13–18). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
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