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That's What Friends Are For

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
September 10, 2021 8:00 am

That's What Friends Are For

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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September 10, 2021 8:00 am

Six traits found in true friendships; based on Jer. 6:16, Prov. 17:17, Prov. 27:17, and other passages. (Included in the 5-partseries Old-School Wisdom We Still Need Today.)

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A friend is born for times of adversity. They can handle your winter just as well as they can handle your summer. Because they're not there based on the weather.

They're not there based on the season. A friend, the Bible says, has full time commitment to you. In good times and bad times, I'll be on your side forevermore.

That's what friends are for. Hello and welcome to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Those words come from a popular song from the 1980s, That's What Friends Are For, the same title as today's message by Pastor Paul Shepherd. What does godly friendship look like? Who should we allow into our inner circle?

How can we be good friends to others? Answers come your way next, so stay right here or visit pastorpaul.net to listen on demand. You can also listen to or subscribe to the Destined for Victory Podcast at Spotify, at Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get yours. Right now, here's Pastor Paul, today's Destined for Victory message, That's What Friends Are For. We're just looking at some old school wisdom that is still very much needed today. Jeremiah chapter 6 verse 16 says, Stand at the crossroads and look. Ask for the ancient paths.

Ask where the good way is and walk in it. In this series, we are looking at some old school wisdom, some ancient truth that is still very much needed today. And in the last message in this series, we discussed old school wisdom regarding money. And we looked at some simple yet very important biblical directives where our money is concerned. And I promise you, if you will take to heart those principles, God will revolutionize your financial life just by obeying his word.

We're going to see God bless many of us in a special and supernatural way. Now, as we continue focusing on old school wisdom about some key areas of our lives, I want to talk today. About friendship, friendship. The Bible has a lot to say to help us in the area of cultivating proper godly friendships. And when I talk about friendship during this service, I want you to understand that I'm not just talking about people outside of your family, but I'm talking about marriages.

I'm talking about dealings with relatives. I'm talking about anybody who's going to be in your inner circle. I want you to know that some of them are designed to really play a role of friendship in your life. Not everybody who's in your inner circle.

Some people are there because you work with them or that sort of thing. But many of the people beyond the friendships that you develop outside of your family, even many people in your family, they are to be the same components that the Bible uses to describe friendship. Married people ought to be friends with each other.

In fact, one of the words translated love in our English Bibles has to do with the concept of phileo, which means brotherly love or kindness. And believe it or not, married people ought to have a brotherly kind of affection for one another. The closeness that friends have, that brotherhood should bring into our lives, should even characterize marriages. So my point is, as we look at this, please don't think just about the people that you have designated as friends to this point in your life. But I want you to expand that area and let it apply to some of your relatives and some of the other people in your life.

Now here's what I want to do. I simply want to look at what the Bible calls a friend because many of us have a wrong definition for friends. And you will not get where God wants you to go in your life if you don't put people in their place. And when I say put people in their place, I mean if somebody isn't a friend, don't put them in the friendship category because it will curse your life if you try to make a friend out of a fan or a friend out of somebody who is really jealous of you and they're only close to you because they're looking for ammo. You have to be careful to call friend only the people who truly meet the biblical definition. And this is also going to be beneficial to some of us who need to develop some better friendships because a lot of you all have a bunch of acquaintances and you call them friends and they're really not. Just because you know a bunch of people, just because you got a whole lot of names in your contact list, just because you have a whole lot of people's email address, don't you dare think you have all them friends.

Because when I get through with this definition from the Word, you're going to realize a whole lot of these folks need to go into a different category. And it's important to distinguish them so that when you find the people who are truly friends or those who you're going to cultivate a friendship with, you'll be able to maximize why God has them in your life. So here's the way I want to do it. I want to take the word friend and I want to use each letter to stand for a two-word phrase. So let's start with F. The F I want to suggest, the Bible says if someone is a friend, they will have full-time commitment. Full-time commitment, write that down.

The F stands for full-time commitment. This is how to identify genuine friends. Or if you hope to be establishing a friendship with someone that you know now but you wanted to go to a deeper level, here are the ingredients.

Here's what you need to see take place. Go to Proverbs 17 and 17. Proverbs 17 and 17, many of you are familiar with this verse, but take a fresh look at it. The Bible says here a friend loves at all times and a brother is born for a time of adversity. A friend loves at all times.

Full-time commitment. The Bible says if a person is your friend or is to become your friend, one of the signs, one of the qualifications will have to be that they are committed to you all the time. So right away, some of you just got a revelation from the Word of God and this is the first time in your life that you realize you have no business having the phrase fair-weather friend in your vocabulary. Because according to the Bible, if someone needs fair-weather to hang out with you, they are not a friend. Because a friend can not only handle your summer seasons, your money seasons, your prosperity seasons, your high seasons, your oh what a beautiful day seasons.

A friend is born for times of adversity. They can handle your winter just as well as they can handle your summer. Because they're not there based on the weather.

They're not there based on the season. They're not there because you are always in a good place. So to hang out with you is to have a whole lot of fun. A friend, the Bible says, has full-time commitment to you. Look at the people in your life right now and find out have they been there through thick and thin. And if they showed up in thick and disappeared in thin, the Bible said that's not a friend. But they said, I don't care what they said, a friend doesn't talk.

A friend loves at all times. But one of the things that I've learned in recent years is there are a whole lot of people who have sent me messages through other folks that I haven't seen in years, that I used to see all the time. And now I haven't seen them in years and every now and then somebody of theirs will come to me and say, oh, by the way, so-and-so told me to tell you that he loves you.

If I had a dollar for every time I've heard that in the past several years, I'd bless all of y'all. A friend doesn't send a message through somebody else. Oh, tell him I love him. A friend shows me they love me by contacting me directly and checking on me and finding out what's going on in my life and encouraging me or doing something to help me or whatever the case might be.

If all you have is somebody's word that they love you, trust me when I tell you that's not a friend. I'm preaching good already. I'm just on my first point. And already y'all ought to be throwing money or something. This is good stuff. Up next, the second half of today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd, but we want to take a moment to thank all of you whose prayers and financial support help Pastor Paul share the gospel all over the world. Your donations do make a difference. So as God leads, prayerfully consider making a generous gift to Destined for Victory today.

You can give securely online at pastorpaul.net, that's pastorpaul.net, or call us at 855-339-5500, 855-339-5500. In Song of Solomon 5 16, King Solomon says of his wife, this is my beloved and this is my friend. Let's talk about friendship within the marriage relationship as we continue today's message. That's what friends are for. Once again, here's Pastor Paul. A friend loves at all times. And a brother is born for adversity.

Married folk love each other at all times. Build a friendship by committing that I'm going to be full time committed to you. Even the times when you are on my last nerve.

I'm still going to be your friend. Come on. And how many know there's going to be times when your spouse is on that last nerve, that nerve that's hanging in there by a thread. And they come along and say, oh, a nerve.

Come on, married people don't drop out now trying to perpetrate a fraud and make everybody around you think your marriage is so perfect. They tap dancing on your last nerve. The Bible says, prove to them that you are still their friend. Love them through it. See, that helps you to understand that love doesn't have to have a certain feeling to operate. You can love somebody while you are disgusted with them. You can love somebody while you really wish they'd be in some other part of the house or some other part of the world.

Come on, somebody. Love is not feelings. Feelings are features. Love is a foundation.

Features come and go. Foundations stay. Love is a foundation. So if you're married, have phileo, friend, brotherhood, goodwill towards your spouse. Do not treat other people better than you treat your spouse. It's a decision you have to make. You have relatives, you have people in your extended family, and they get on your nerves sometimes.

That doesn't mean you have the right to treat them any old kind of way. Glorify God by loving them full time. And so full time commitment is a requirement, is a feature, is an attribute according to the Scriptures of friendship.

Full time commitment. Let's go to the R. R stands for redemptive rebuke. Redemptive rebuke. Stay in Proverbs and go to chapter 27 verses 5 and 6.

Redemptive rebuke. Here's what verse 5 says. Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Verse 6. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Oh, there's a lot there in those two verses. First of all, you need to understand that not everybody who rebukes you is an enemy.

Because verse 5 tells us that open rebuke is better than hidden love. If someone is your friend, then they will have to have the authorization from you to rebuke you when that will help you. You've got to give people that permission.

And of course, if you're developing a relationship with someone and you assume it's moving in the direction of friendship, you're not going to necessarily wait to get the permission, you're just going to jump in and show them this is the kind of friend I am. When you're wrong, I'm going to help you see you're wrong and I'm going to rebuke you for it. Why? Because if I'm your friend and you're wrong, my job is to make sure you never get comfortable being wrong. You who have these fans will never experience rebuke from them because fans don't take you to task. Fans only hold you up in a place they really shouldn't have you and they refuse to do the work that will really make you a better person. But your friends are not so enamored with you that they will let you go to hell without them fighting hard to keep you out of there. So a friend's job is to say, I see what you're doing, I see how you're acting, I got your attitude, I've heard your words or whatever it is, and you are wrong and you need to repent and you need to get your act together and you need an attitude adjustment and don't make me hurt you. A friend has to serve you by making sure that when you need to know a hard truth, they serve it to you. See, old-fashioned parents used to say things like, if I don't get you now, the cops are going to get you later.

Remember that? Some of you old folk who were raised by those old values, I'm going to jack you up in this house so you don't get jacked up in the jailhouse. They saw it as their job, that was part of parenting. I got to do whatever it takes to teach you how to be a decent citizen so I can keep you out of jail. So I can keep you from developing a lifestyle that will take you in all the wrong places. And a friend has to have that kind of mentality, if you need to re-rebute, that's my job.

Say you're wrong. You cannot let your affection for a person keep you from serving their best interest. You can have great affection for them, but if they're wrong, they're just wrong.

And God knows they're wrong, and when you see they're wrong, it's your job to rebuke them. And so you who have friends understand that when they wound you, they're wounding you, it sounds like a paradox, but they're wounding you to heal you. They're wounding you to heal you.

Can you picture what I mean by that? The wound is think of what a physician does if you have to go under the knife, if you have to go into surgery. You are about to get cut. Now, you who grew up in certain neighborhoods, when somebody say they're going to cut you, certain neighborhoods you don't think of a doctor. Somebody says, say that again, I'm going to cut you.

That's not good news. They're talking about a stabbing. They're talking about wounding you to hurt you, but a physician cuts you to heal you. The cut is still going to hurt like a stab would hurt, except the physician hopefully uses anesthesia.

That's what they're supposed to do. And at that point, the idea is they're going to try to make this as painless as possible for you. But if you experience pain either during a procedure or after a procedure, they still weren't intending to inflict pain. Their purpose is to heal because with the cut, they then go in and address a problem that needs to be addressed if you're going to live a healthy life. So don't put all cutters in the same category. And Proverbs 27 says, when a friend, a real friend wounds you, you can trust that.

You can trust that. When you cut me with your words, when you cut me with your rebuke, when you frown, when you shake your finger in my face and you're a friend, that's for my good. And no need of me copping an attitude and throwing you away with that stat. Forget you. You know how some of you all have done? Some of you all have probably thrown away people that God himself sent into your life to bless you, but you got so mad and attitudinal that you have now dropped off somebody that you need to go back after this message and reconnect with and repent for your stubbornness and your selfishness and your conceit. Because that's what made you drop them off because you want people that make you feel wonderful about yourself all the time. But you're not going to find a scripture anywhere in that Bible that says a friend makes you feel wonderful at all times.

It's not in there. At times, the best thing I can do for you is to rebuke you. At times, the best thing I can do for you is to bring you to tears.

Sometimes it's the best I can do. And if I'm your friend, even if you don't react right, I sleep well at night because I know I acted in your best interest and I have to leave you with the fallout. Redemptive rebuke. That means rebuke that is meant to do you good and not harm. Good friends can help you mature emotionally and spiritually. They teach you about forgiveness. They love you no matter what. And they'll spur you on in your Christian faith even when you're not quite feeling up to it.

You know, we all go through times when we don't feel like doing the things we should or times when we do feel like doing the things we shouldn't. Pastor Paul Shepherd wants to be a good friend to you today by sending you a booklet based on his message, Junk Removal for the Soul. We all have a few habits from our old life that we need to set aside so that we can embrace the newness of who we are in Christ. Pastor Paul offers some practical biblical advice about doing just that in this booklet, our thank you gift this month by request as you give generously to Destin for Victory. Simply call us at 855-339-5500 or visit pastorpaul.net to make a safe and secure donation online. And you can also mail your gift to Destin for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. Once again, Destin for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. You know you got a friend when they can encourage you even if it costs them, that they can get excited about your job even when they lost theirs. Come on somebody, they can get excited about your house even though they has got four clothes on. That's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, That's What Friends Are For. But until then, enjoy your weekend and remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are Destined for Victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-01 16:03:30 / 2023-09-01 16:11:24 / 8

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