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You’ve Got a Friend | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
September 18, 2022 3:00 am

You’ve Got a Friend | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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September 18, 2022 3:00 am

When it comes to our relationships, we should each ask, “Am I doing this right?” And we should turn to God for the answer. Kicking off a relevant series on relationships, Pastor Greg Laurie explores what the Bible says about godly friendships.

Notes

In a culture that is redefining everything, we need to go to God’s original plan.

A friendship is made up of two people committing themselves to one another.

Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

We need Godly friendships.

You become like the people you spend the most time with.

Show me your friends, and I will show you your future.

Some people bring joy wherever they go.

Some people bring joy whenever they go.

Which person are you?

“There are friends that destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” —Proverbs 18:24

Look for godly people to be your closest friends.

If your friend has no relationship with God, and they are dragging you down, then it could be time to part company.

Give serious consideration about who you want to be your friends.

Friends matter because you will influence them as they will influence you.

As friends, we need to encourage one another, not discourage others.

True friends support each other through thick and thin.

A friend can help you through the hard times.

True friends share their burdens with each other.

True friends tell each other the truth.

A true friend will tell you when you’re doing the wrong thing, too.

“A true friend always stabs you in the front.” —Oscar Wilde

True friends resolve their conflicts.

“Envy grows naturally in a relationship between equals.” —Aristotle

Envy has been described as a small town sin that breeds on proximity.

“The wicked envy and hate; it is their way of admiring.” —Victor Hugo

Once you have had your disagreement, try to find a resolution.

Fight to resolve, not to win.

If you go into to win, you lose, even if you win.

Try out these eight words that you should be willing to say everyday:

“I’m sorry,” “Please forgive me,” and “I love you.”

Jesus is the perfect friend. 

True friends of Jesus obey Him continually.

True friends of Jesus obey God in even the smallest matters.

Do you have a relationship with God?

Jesus is much more than a friend; He is also a Savior.

Scripture Referenced

1 Corinthians 15:33

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Galatians 6:2

Ecclesiastes 4:9–10

Proverbs 27:6

Ephesians 4:26

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Learn more about Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries at harvest.org.

This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Hey there. Thanks for listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast, a ministry supported by Harvest Partners. I'm Greg Laurie, encouraging you. If you want to find out more about Harvest Ministries and learn more about how to become a Harvest Partner, just go to Harvest.org. The title of my message for you right now is You've Got a Friend. Some of you might remember that song.

We're going to look at 1 Samuel 18 and John chapter 15. Now look, I don't know about you, but I am not a mechanical person. How many of you are good at fixing things?

Raise your hand up. I admire you. I wish I could do what you do.

I make things worse. I admire someone that can pull up the hood of the car and get in there and fix the engine or frame this thing and build this thing. I like to go to hardware stores and walk around and look at all the cool stuff, and I think I want to get that power tool and take it home.

But any time I'm walking to the house with a hammer, even a screwdriver, my wife is alarmed because she knows whatever I'm going to fix is only going to be worse. Case in point, years ago we were having a work day at our church up in Riverside right after we moved in. That was our building as it looked, and here I am out working but taking time to poster a photograph as well when I actually had some hair. And so there was a hedge that needed to be trimmed, and I saw a hedge trimmer.

It plugged in, so I picked it up and fired it up. I was trimming the hedge. This is fun. I like this. And I kept trimming and didn't notice until I cut through the cord and it suddenly stopped.

Okay. So what I did is I looked to the right, I looked to the left, I set it down, and I walked away. Never admitted it. Like 20 years later, maybe longer, a friend of mine came up to me and said, I saw what you did on that day. I was up on the roof. And he told it publicly in a sermon and humiliated me.

So I might as well own it. But you know, things like that aren't that important, but some things really are important. Doing things right. We all remember that tragic day in American history on January 28, 1986 when the Challenger space shuttle blew up. What made this even more horrific was the first school teacher in space was on board, so thousands of little children were watching in their classrooms as this horrible event unfolded for them in real time. So of course, afterwards they're trying to figure out what went wrong. Why did this space challenger blow up mid-air? And they discovered the result, or they discovered the problem was a failure of two rubber O-rings.

Little rubber rings that seal in the fuel tanks. There was a failure there, and something as magnificent as the space shuttle was brought down, reminding us details matter. Doing things right, that matters.

You need to do some things exactly right. So this new series, Am I Doing This Right, is about relationships, and we're going to go back to God's original plan for relationships. He is the one who created us.

He is the one who created marriage and family and all the great things that we built this nation on. You know, it's been said that a family can survive without a nation, but the nation cannot survive without the family. And as we've moved away from God's original design, we're reaping the results of it, because you can almost take every social ill in America today and specifically trace it back to the breakdown of the family. Look at people who are incarcerated, who have issues with drug addiction, girls who get pregnant outside of wedlock.

The list just goes on. Whatever it is, it can almost always be traced to the breakdown of the home. They come from broken families. So we need to go back to God's original design, because God loves the family. And we're all a part of a family in some way, shape, or form. Maybe we're a mom or a dad or a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister, but we're in a family, and God wants to bless the family. But before we get into that, we'll talk about singleness.

Jonathan will be speaking on that next Sunday. And marriage and parenting. I want to just start by giving you a message about friendship. Friendship. Because we all have friends in some way, shape, or form.

And why do we need friendship? Because there is an epidemic of loneliness that is sweeping our nation. Social media, it has not made us more sociable, it's made us less sociable and more dysfunctional. Seems like we don't even know how to have a conversation with each other anymore. I read that millennials prefer texting over talking in person.

And I think we've forgotten how to interact with one another. And research reveals that three out of every five Americans feel lonely. One source says, quote, experts have long known that loneliness and isolation have long-ranging effects on the mind and the body, ranging from anxiety and depression to vulnerability to illness, end quote. Yet they have found one or two friendships can dramatically decrease loneliness. I read one article on the Vox News site that headlined why friendships are different than any other relationship that we have.

And they stated 12% of Americans have no close friendships, compared with 3% in 1990. They concluded, we as a society have atomized. In other words, we're working, shipping, and socializing online. And our phones have become the primary portal through which we view the outside world.

Wow, that's not good. Imagine if everyone behaved in real life like they behaved on Twitter. People would be yelling at each other on the street for no good reason. But this is the problem today, and we see that we're missing something because, listen, we all need to have living, breathing friends. Not anonymous people you play video games with across the planet.

Not people who comment on your posts. We need human interaction. God created you this way.

You're not meant to do life alone. That is why this social experiment of shutting everything down, not only in our nation, but around the world, has been such a massive failure. And it's created so many problems with our children missing so much of their school. They shut down schools and parks and beaches and even churches.

None of this was necessary, and it made an existing problem even worse. We need each other. We need to talk together. This is the way God made us.

Back in the book of Genesis, we read after God made all these amazing things. He said, it is good. It's good.

This is good. Then He said, this isn't good. Not good is the aloneness of man, God said. So He created Eve.

Now, certainly Adam was fulfilled in his marriage with Eve, but I think it's a principle that's true of relationships in general. It's not good for us to be alone. So we need friends. But what is a friend? How can we tell a friend from a frenemy? Who are our real friends?

That's a question that needs to be answered. I heard about two friends that went out camping in the woods. They were getting up for their morning cup of coffee. They heard a rustling in the bushes. And they looked over and saw a very large grizzly bear running at them at full speed. One of the friends quickly started pulling on his running shoes. His buddy said, what are you doing? You don't think you can outrun that grizzly, do you? He says, I don't need to.

I just need to outrun you. That's how some called friends, how some so-called friends are. They run out at the first sign of things getting hard. It's been said, a friend is one that walks in when others walk out. Are you a friend like that to someone? Or do you have a friend like that? A friendship is made up of two people committing themselves one to another. It can only exist where there is a response.

It needs to be reciprocal. And a true friend can open his heart to another friend. And a classic example of friendship is found in the story of David and Jonathan. 1 Samuel 18 verses one to three describes it. After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king's son. There was an immediate bond between them, for Jonathan loved David. And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David because he loved him as he loved himself. Isn't that a great verse? There's no closer friendship in the Bible than that of David and Jonathan. And what a pair they were. David, the unknown shepherd boy from the country. Friends with Jonathan, the son of King Saul, the prince.

So royalty and a common man. And I love how that verse says that Jonathan loved David as he loved himself. You know, sometimes we're told you need to learn to love yourself. The Bible teaches that we should love ourselves.

Actually, it doesn't. The Bible assumes that you already love yourself. That's why the Bible says, Jesus speaking, love your neighbor as you what? Love yourself. It's assumed you love yourself. You know you love yourself. Don't tell me you don't love yourself. When there's a group picture taken of you and a bunch of friends, who do you look for first? You look for yourself. Don't post that. I look fat.

Or at least let me do some Photoshop on it. Yeah, right. You love yourself. I love myself. We love ourselves.

But Jonathan loved David as he loved himself. And what an unlikely pair they were. And it reminds you of Billy Graham and the queen. The queen of England, Queen Elizabeth, just died. She had a 70 year reign. She ascended to the throne at the age of 25. She was the daughter of King George and he died sooner than expected. And suddenly this young woman was the queen of England.

But she had a very deep faith in Christ. And when Billy came to England to preach, thousands of people were coming to Christ and it came to the attention of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. And so Billy was invited to the palace and he met them. And that resulted in a lifelong friendship. He preached in her private little chapel over 20 times.

And they visited many times. People wanted to know what the queen revealed to Billy. And he said, it's not really appropriate for me to talk about her except to say that she was a woman of rare modesty and character. And the queen herself spoke of her own faith and said, I rely on my faith to guide me through good times and for bad. Billy made a commitment to pray for the queen every single day of his life. And he honored that commitment. So the queen now has gone to lay her crown before the king of kings and the king of queens and the lord of lords.

But what an interesting friendship that was. And Jonathan and David were similar. And there was a royal person and a common person. But yet God had called David to become the king even though Jonathan was the rightful heir. He was next in line right after Saul. The prophet Samuel comes along and says, David is the next king of Israel. Instead of undermining David and opposing David, Jonathan supported him. And that shows true friendship.

So if you're taking notes, here's point number one. We need godly friendships. We need godly friendships. In the first stage of your life, you're shaped mostly by your family. In the second stage or the rest of your life, you're shaped largely by your friends. You become most like the people you spend time with. Show me your friends and I'll show you your future.

Friends will influence you for better or for worse. They'll either bring you up or they'll take you down. Some people bring joy wherever they go.

Others bring joy whenever they go. Which one are you? Are you Bobby Buzzkill or Debbie Downer?

Are you the one that lights up a room or turns the lights off? Are you the one that builds others up or you're always dragging them down? The Bible says in Proverbs 18 and 24, there are friends that destroy each other but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 22, 24 says don't befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people. That's why godly friendships are so important.

There's an old saying, quote, fear that man who fears not God. It's also been said, he is your friend that pushes you closer to God. He is your friend that pushes you closer to God.

Let me turn that around. He is not your friend that pulls you away from God. In Psalm 1 it says, happy is the man that does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in God's word and in it he meditates day and night. But notice, he doesn't let ungodly people influence him. Now having said that, you do need to have friendships with non-believers. I have some friends that are not Christians. And I've maintained these friendships with them over the years. And my hope and goal is to move them toward Christ. And we want to influence them, but you're close friends.

The ones you confide in. The ones that you spend the most time with should be godly people. Find a godly friend and be that godly friend for someone else. But if your friend has no relationship with God and they're dragging you down, it may be time to part company. Abraham had this problem with his nephew Lot. Lot was a spiritual drag.

So much so that one day Uncle Abraham said to his nephew, buddy, we've got to part company. You go your way and I'll go mine. So where do you want to go? Pick any area of the land that you want and you can have it. Lot's looking over at Sodom and Gomorrah and he's saying, I think I want to go live there. Because they say what happens in Sodom stays in Sodom.

Really, I thought that was Vegas, I don't know. Yeah, I want that life. Okay, that's your choice. And Abraham went in the opposite direction. And sometimes we have to part company with friends for our own spiritual survival. 1 Corinthians 15, 33 says, don't be misled.

Bad company corrupts good character. 2 Timothy 2, 22, Paul says, flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith and love and peace along with those that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Run with godly people. That will encourage you, that will build you up because friends really matter because we influence them and then they influence us.

David had a friend like that in Jonathan. Now you are single, keep this in mind when you're looking for a potential mate. Look for a godly girl. Look for a man that loves the Lord and periodically evaluate that relationship and ask yourself the question, is this relationship building me up or is it tearing me down?

Is this person a wing or a weight in the race of life? 1 Thessalonians 5, 11 says, encourage each other and build each other up. It really matters what we say to each other. I read about a team of researchers in the Netherlands that did an intense study of people's brains and here's their conclusion. Verbal insults hurt. They determine insults linger longer than praise or compliments do. I have a two-part response, number one, duh.

Number two, I think researchers in the Netherlands have too much time in their hands but I think we all know that, right? You hear a compliment, oh thank you, but that insult, woo, it stays with you. Looking a little chunky in those jeans, aren't you, what? 20 years later, you still remember it. Maybe something a teacher said to you.

Maybe something someone else said to you. You carry it with you, that insult lingers. That's why we wanna build each other up. Number two, true friends support each other through thick and thin. True friends support each other through thick and thin.

They're consistent. Proverbs 17, 17 says, a friend loves at all times and a brother is born for a time of adversity. A friend can help you through hard times.

Colossians 6, two says, bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. You know, because a real friend will listen to you. You can open your heart to them and they won't jump down your throat or start judging you.

They'll try to hear what you have to say and try to help you bear that burden. James 1, 10 says, hey, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. But sometimes we're the opposite.

We're slow to listen and quick to get angry. But true friends can share their burdens with one another. Ecclesiastes 4 and 9 says, two people are better off than one. They can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.

But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. I titled this message, you've got a friend. That's the title of a song written by Carole King.

And in the lyric she sings, you just call out my name. And you know wherever I am, I'll come running to see you again. Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you gotta do is call and I'll be there, yes I will, you've got a friend. If you've got a friend like that, that's gold, man. Treasure that person and try to be that friend for someone else. Because a true friend can suffer with you. The Bible says weep with those that weep.

And you know, after our son went to be with the Lord, I had friends that just spent time with me. And honestly, I didn't need a sermon. I didn't need someone to try to explain it to me.

There was no explanation. But I had friends that were just there. And just loved me and prayed for me and maybe brought me a meal. And that mattered so much just to be there at a time of need.

So weep with those that weep. And maybe you have a friend who calls you up and says, oh man, my boyfriend just broke up with me. Or oh, I just got fired from my job. Or you know, I just got bad news from a doctor.

Oh man, I'm so sorry. But the Bible doesn't just say weep with those that weep. It says rejoice with those that rejoice. So the same friend calls you back the next day and they say, guess what, I just won the lottery.

I have $100 million. Or they say, oh, hey, I just found a new boyfriend as a matter of fact, it's your boyfriend. So wait, what? It says weep with those that weep. Yeah, I got that. Rejoice with those that rejoice. Not so easy, not so easy.

Because we might think, well, that should have happened to me. Well, back to David and Jonathan. They had this friendship where Jonathan could honestly rejoice over the success of David.

It's amazing. Number three, true friends tell each other the truth. True friends tell each other the truth.

How do you know the difference between an acquaintance and a friend? Friends are the ones you call on the phone and tell them what you're going through. You share a joy with them. You share a burden with them. You let them into your life. Proverbs 27, 10 says the heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume. And a true friend will tell you what's up.

You can bounce things off of them. You have certain friends that always say, oh, it's great, it's great. Then you have other friends that go, that's lame, don't do that. Maybe you have a new outfit. This is my new outfit. I'm gonna wear it. Your friend says, no way, don't do it.

You look so stupid in it. Oh, thank you. Thank you for telling me that because they're a true friend. They'll tell you the truth. Proverbs 27, six says faithful are the wounds of a friend but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Open rebuke is better than secret love.

Think about this. Faithful are the wounds of a friend. It just means they tell you the truth. As Oscar Wilde once said, a true friend stabs you in the front.

See, not in the back, in the front. A frenemy, a so-called friend or someone you thought was a friend, they'll stab you in the back. A true friend will tell you right to your face because listen, sometimes friendships fracture. Sometimes problems develop.

That brings me to point number four. True friends resolve their conflicts and I'm gonna update that point. True friends attempt to resolve their conflicts because some conflicts can't be resolved. Some people cannot be reconciled with. You understand what I'm saying? This is why the Bible says as much as it is possible, live at peace with all men.

Aren't you glad the Bible says as much as it is possible? I've had certain people that maybe we had a little fracture in our friendship, I reached out to them, no response, nothing. They just don't want to be reconciled with. I don't know what to do with that person. I pray for them.

Don't be that person because sometimes we'll hear something about someone and we'll talk about them instead of talking to them. Okay, so case in point in the book of Acts and we looked at this in our series in Acts. We looked at the story of Paul and Barnabas.

They went on a missionary journey. By the way, Barnabas was not the real name given to him. It was his nickname because it means the son of encouragement.

We might update it to Mr. Encouragement. That was Barnabas always encouraging other people. So Barnabas saw potential in Saul, the former Christian killer, took him under his wing, introduced him to other leaders in the church, said this guy's legit, I'm vouching for him. Then they went on a missionary journey and Barnabas could see that God had really gifted Paul. In fact, Paul was a far more gifted orator than he was so instead of undermining him, he supported him.

He thought this is great. This is a guy everyone needs to be hearing and I think this is an amazing little point because sometimes envy can creep into a friendship. See, as long as you're both kind of on the same level, it's okay, right?

Then maybe one jumps ahead. One has something happen in their life where they're catapulted beyond where you were before and then you find yourself resenting it. You know, we don't necessarily envy those we perceive as greater than us. I don't know if you sit around and say, I resent the fact that Elon Musk has so much money. I wish I could buy Twitter or buy it and then change my mind.

I don't know, whatever he's doing. I wish I could do that. Or why can't I play guitar like Eric Clapton? You don't think things like that because you don't think of those people as equals. Envy springs up among people we see as a peer. Aristotle said, and he said this to me personally. Aristotle said, quote, envy grows naturally in a relationship between equals, end quote. Envy has been described as a small town sin. It breeds on proximity. So the way it works is we're both on the same level more or less, maybe in friendship or in how much money we make or in our position or in ministry or whatever it might be and all of a sudden one just jumps ahead. Why resent that? That's not right. And we find ourselves undermining that person.

Why? Think about Jonathan again. He supported David as God began to lift him up.

He rejoiced with those that rejoiced. I heard the story of a crab fisherman. He'd go out and catch crab, put him in his pail, had no lid on it. Someone said, why don't you have a lid on your little pail? The crabs can get out. He says, oh, that's no problem.

The moment the first crab tries to escape, the others reach up and pull him down. That happens in life, doesn't it? Others say, you can't do that. There's no way.

I should be doing that instead of you. And so Paul and Barnabas had this conflict and the conflict was over the nephew of Barnabas who was named John Mark. They took him on a missionary trip and then John Mark bailed in the middle of the trip. So when they went on a second missionary journey, Barnabas, Mr. Encouragement, wanted to bring his nephew again and Paul's response was, no way.

No, you are not bringing him on this trip. So they had a conflict and we think that's horrible. Men and women of God should never have a conflict. Oh, actually they should because we have to learn how to resolve our conflicts because we're going to have disagreements. Even godly people can disagree at times.

Think about this. Paul says, I went to Peter and confronted him to his face. Whoa, that's like Godzilla and Rodan fighting. Well, the Battle of the Titans, who do you root for in that argument?

Uh, I don't know. It's like watching your parents fight. No, that's hard but Paul, actually to be technical, was in the right in that argument as he was in the case of Barnabas but they talked to each other.

See, this is the thing. When you have a conflict, you don't talk about the person. You talk to the person and first of all, find out your information is right. On so many occasions, I've heard things spread about people that are not true so the entire argument is based on a false assumption and if they had merely gone to the person and asked them, they would have realized it's not as they thought but they say, well, the Bible says if someone's overtaken in a fall, you who are spiritual should kick them while they're down, spread it on social media.

No, it doesn't say that. It says if a brother or a sister is overtaken in a fall, you who are spiritual should seek to restore them. Matthew 18, 15, Jesus says if another believer sins against you, listen, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses, you've won that person back. And listen, you're gonna have conflict in marriage. We'll get into this later. You're gonna have arguments. I've told you before, don't tell me you have irreconcilable differences in your marriage. I've had irreconcilable differences with my wife for almost 50 years.

But are they really irreconcilable or is this different, right? We have to work through these things. I've had couples come up to me and say, we wanna get married, would you perform our wedding? And I'll say, well, how long have you known each other? Oh, six months. Then I'll ask, have you had an argument yet?

Oh, no. Then they look at each other all lovey-dovey. We don't ever argue. I'll say, get out, go away. Go have a fight.

I don't mean a physical fight. Go have a conflict and learn how to resolve it because if you don't, you're gonna have a tough time in your marriage, right? Married people, am I right on this? You know what I'm talking about. Listen to this, most marriages fall apart because of selfishness.

Instead of selflessness, it's selfishness. I was in the store yesterday and a guy comes up to me and says, my daughter is marrying this guy and I was wondering if you'd pray for them and they'd bring this little couple over to me. And this guy looked really young. I said, how old are you? I thought he was like 15 or something. He says, I'm 21, okay. And I asked his fiance, how old are you? She said, 18.

I said, that was the age Kathy was and I was when we got married so I prayed for them and one of the things I prayed is, Lord, help them to be selfless instead of selfish because you're going to the marriage saying, I'm gonna make this girl the happiest girl that ever lived. I'm gonna help this guy realize all of his dreams and then reality starts kicking in and then the conflicts kick in. I read that of 86% of people that were divorced, he said the reason was deficient communication. Deficient communication. They stopped talking to each other.

They start talking past each other. So when you're having a conflict, learn to listen. Proverbs 18, 13 says, only a fool answers a matter before he's heard it. Now I know you think your friend or your mate is wrong. And maybe they are and maybe they aren't.

Or maybe they have a few good points and you have a few good points and it's not as black and white as you think it is. So just for a moment, shut up and listen. Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. Okay, let me just hear and don't interrupt them. Don't talk over them, just listen. Okay, tell me what the issue is.

Tell me what your concerns are and then respond. And don't use phrases like, you know, you always, you always. You start escalating it and the voices start getting louder. You start insulting them. Sometimes the best thing you can do when a conflict is starting is walk away for a little bit of time if you need to. And listen to this, people. Never fight in front of your kids.

You hear what I'm saying? Don't do that. I lived with that for 17 years and I know how it impacted me as a young boy. And when I'm talking fight, I'm not just saying disagreements. I'm talking about screaming, yelling, hitting, throwing things and more.

And so don't do that. That traumatizes children. Don't ever ask a child to choose between mom and dad. Who's right, mom or dad? No, you're both idiots, stop.

Don't ask a child to make that evaluation. What's wrong with you? But learn to resolve it if you can. Try to find a resolution. Ephesians 4 26 says, don't let the sun go down on your anger. So don't go to sleep mad at each other.

Listen to this. Fight to resolve, not to win. Fight to resolve, not to win. If you go in it to win, you lose even if you win.

Someone summed it up this way. The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest. I like that. So maybe you're having a conflict with your spouse, your parents, your kids, your friend.

Here's something you might try out. Say these words. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. And you might add, it was my fault. Your reaction is, right.

No, really. Can you say that? Coming back to Paul and Barnabas, they did reconcile eventually.

And in fact, Paul wrote to Timothy about Mark, who had deserted them on the first missionary journey, and said, hey, get Mark and bring him to me because he's helpful to me in my ministry. I love that. Hey, get that kid over here.

I love that kid. See, he let it go. And I said, come upon me, just let it go. Just let it go, okay. I'm sorry. Forgive me. Come on, let's move forward.

Can you do that? One last point. Jesus is the perfect friend.

Right? He is. Jesus is the perfect friend. John 15, 15, Jesus says, I no longer call you slaves because a master doesn't confide in his slaves. You are my friends because I've told you everything the Father has told me.

Come on, what? Jesus is my friend. Jesus is your friend. He reveals secrets.

See, that's what a friend can do. I can tell you a secret, and you'll keep my secret. You can tell a secret to Jesus. By the way, he knows it already, so just tell him. He knows it.

He knows it. But Lord, this is something I wanna say to you. This is something I struggle with.

This is something that's hard for me. Call upon him. Ah, but he'll reveal his secrets to you. The Bible says the secret of the Lord is with those that fear him. He'll reveal things to you from his word that other people don't know. Nonbelievers who maybe are the most educated people you've ever met with degrees hanging on their wall, they don't know what you know because you have a friendship with God. And God has revealed things to you because you are his child, but you are also his friend. But listen to this.

There's a caveat here. If we're gonna call Jesus our friend, there are some responsibilities that go with that relationship. Jesus said in John 15, 14, you are my friends if you do what I command. You're my friends if you do what I command. So if you're really a friend of God, you'll obey him continually. Now, that doesn't mean you're perfect because you're gonna trip up, you're gonna fall, you're gonna fail, okay?

We know that. But it means, well, I failed, but I'm gonna get up and recommit myself to the Lord again. It's sort of like getting married. You say I do on your wedding day. But then you say I do for every day and week and month that follows again and again and again. And you honor that commitment. And in the same way, you come to the Lord each and every day and say, Lord, I fall short.

I need your help. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. But I wanna be your friend and do what you command me. You are my friends, Jesus says, if you do whatever I command. He did not say you are my friends if you do whatever you agree with.

Sometimes people say, well, I don't agree with this verse in the Bible. Oh, interesting. You're wrong. You are. You are. Well, I just don't know in this modern culture in which shut up.

You're wrong. Bible doesn't change. We don't wanna adapt the Bible to our culture.

We need to adapt our culture to the Bible. See, that's the problem. You are my friends if you do whatsoever I command you. Or he doesn't say you are my friends if you do whatever you find easy or whatever you're comfortable with.

Look, I'll be honest with you. There are things in the Bible I'm not comfortable with. I'm not comfortable with loving enemies.

I'm not comfortable with churning the other cheek. I'm not comfortable with some things God tells me to do, but this is what the Bible says, and that's the standard we are to seek to live by. You are my friends, says Jesus, if you do whatever I command you. Do you have this friendship with God? God longs for this friendship with you. He wants to be your friend. Want an offer, but as I said earlier, there can only be a friendship when there's give and take, when we reciprocate and say, yes, I want that friendship with you, Lord.

I want to walk with you and know you in a personal way, and that can happen for each and every one of us. Jesus has proven this friendship because he said greater love has no man than this, and he laid down his life for his friends. Jesus laid his life down for you on the cross. 2,000 years ago, the Bible says, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. It doesn't say while we were yet Christians or while we were yet friends.

No, while we were sinners, when we were the enemies of God, he laid his life down, the ultimate demonstration of friendship and sacrifice for each and every one of us, and if you want this friendship with God, you reach out and you take it. You receive it. You accept it. Jesus stands at the door of your life, and he knocks, and if you hear his voice and open the door, he'll come in. You need to take that step now and say, Lord, come into my life and forgive me of my sin. I want this relationship with you, and as we close now in prayer, I'm gonna give you an opportunity to begin your friendship with God. Let's pray. Father, I pray for every person here, every person watching wherever they are.

If they don't know you yet, let them come into this relationship with you right here, right now. Now, while our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed, I'm gonna pray a prayer for someone that wants to come into a relationship with Jesus to pray, but I'm gonna ask that we all pray it together, wherever you are. You pray this prayer, too. Pray these words after me. Lord Jesus, I want to be your friend, but I ask you to forgive me of my sin. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sin and demonstrating your friendship toward me. I repent of my sin, and I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for hearing this prayer and answering it. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen. Hey, everybody, thanks for listening to this podcast. To learn more about Harvest Ministries, follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to harvest.org, and to find out how to know God personally, go to harvest.org and click on Know God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-24 13:21:48 / 2023-02-24 13:38:02 / 16

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