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September 22, 2021 12:00 am
Welcome to the intense podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, September 22. The Bible says lever walks with the wise becomes wise today will be reminded of the importance of cultivating good Christian friends as a valuable help to holiness.
I think when you look in the Bible just the beginning of the book of Genesis.
For example, remember that when God made the creation everything he made. He says it's good until he got the one good when he saw that Adam was alone and did not have someone on his level. The Fellowship where and to be a friend who got said that's not good. The only thing he saw all of his creation.
That was not good was not what he had done what he had not gone up over time. What he had not done was to provide Adam with another person whom he could Fellowship where the movie could love so that the very family itself says something about our need to love a Job, God has so arranged humanity that all of laws do have and can have someone to love and someone to love is and return that is we need a friend. We need fellowship one with the other that God's design in friendship ultimately is always the building of each other in the Christlike. That's his total design. That's what he wants to happen because usually if I build you and you build me up both of us a buildup when you get to committed Christians who are genuine friends I've been real friends.
You got to people, each of whom has someone to help build him up in the Christlike. Now it is difficult to live a Christian life in the world in which we live. You set a meeting time. At the time you don't know how it is where I work. You know how it is where I live, you know how it is when I go to school. Well, maybe I don't but I know that there is somebody there who can be your friend is somebody there who can be a helper you someone with whom you can talk together not always agree but talk together and fellowship together. Someone who can be your partner in growing up in the Christlike nightly the pattern here for this is found in this passage Jesus is been talking about the bond branch relationship and the fact that you not branches that he's the bond we live in him, and he's living in us. And when he concludes that he says these things that are spoken with you that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. Then he tells them that he most of the love each other just like he's loving now. The design in friendship and fellowship, basically, is that two people build each other up in a relationship that will conform them to the likeness of Jesus Christ and what I want to study this morning and I don't have much time some number quickly. I will talk about the areas of the things that I feel are essential to developing intimate fellowship and friendship and is not one person here who does not need. You see God and make us to be an island isolated from anyone else but we do this even this Christian we also love each other, to a degree and on a level unknown and unexperienced by the rest of the world because we have a capacity to love and to befriend someone that the outside world is not what you look at this passage because I think the parents you know what he says this is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this little man lay down his life for his friends.
All right, let's talk about this matter of what is it take to develop intimate friendships.
The design what's this next, the ultimate design of which is to create a spiritual walk of holiness in the eyes of God. The first thing that's important to developing intimate friendship is a sensitivity that is you need to be all aware of the other person and listen.
We are so wrapped up in ourselves because we have so many things of personal interest. It is difficult for us to be aware of other people, but if you going to develop friendships.
You must learn to be aware of the other person. You must learn to be alert to that other person's needs alert to the other person's desires alert to the other person sorrows and Harding's emergency sensitive, and only when we develop a spiritual sensitivity to those about us. Can we be the kind of friend of his. Somebody needs your friendship and you need someone else's bridge. If you are not isolated. You are not an island. You cannot be spiritually or emotionally healthy and keep everything that God has and is doing for you to yourself sensitive to the need, not what you turn to the hundred and 42nd song probably hundred and 40 seconds on them what you notice this verse. I'm going to give you just several verses you're right quickly. Psalm 142 and look at verse four. I'm sure that all of us at some time of the other have felt like the psalmist says in this hundred and 42nd song verse four.
He says I look to my right hand, and beheld that there was no man that would know me, refuge failed me. No man cared for my soul.
I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man no one to care for my soul.
No one to be a friend and you see what Jesus was saying here in this 12 verse he says this is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you. Be sensitive to those people about you. Somebody out there needs to know that you care.
There will be not that you want to give them something material, but the fact that you can't and you see so often we want to give somebody something material that we don't want to give them a versa of the Lord told me real is not long ago, someone had a couple of folks had done something nice for me and it helped me out and I wanted to do something for them and my first response was on some need that they had so I want to buy some. But someone who movies to go to the make. You know what I think they really are about him. They had rather have you give of your time to them and you share yourself and let them share themselves with you until you want. So now Harding you give them some guidance of the future life as they talk about the future vocation. Don't bother anything just give them your cell. I had to go home get on Mondays and asked the Lord to forgive me and I think that because my first impression was too busy doing something else did the quick thing. Do the immediate thing is the easiest thing what they needed was not something I had to give.
They just needed me, and I had the greatest time sharing myself and listening to them unburden the heart and the people all about us who need us as friends. But if I'm going to be a friend, I've got to be sensitive to what somebody needs is my heart what somebody needs is the warmth of your cell what somebody needs is to know that you care and that you do love them about that you take time to listen to their particular needs.
The second thing I want to notice. Not only sensitivity but submission. You see, in order to be a friend. You must learn to be submissive if you turn the Ephesians chapter 5 because one of the verses we forget is the verse right before that and I don't know that any of us really know everything this verse me, but if you look in Ephesians chapter 5 and you notice he said there.
For example, about being filled with spirit speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs in verse 20 says giving thanks always for all things and to God the father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Verse 21 Ephesians 521 says, submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Listen, did you know that to be a friend you got to be willing to submit yourself to someone else. If I'm going to be your friend. I've got to be willing to accept you just as you are. You must accept me as I am, and we must submit to each other know what does that mean about life submitting to one another. That means that I must yield to the person you are recognizing that while I am healing to the person that you are I am insulting and going to motivate you to yield the person that I am and therefore we can begin to cooperate with each other in building up one another, but most of us like this, that if you going to be my friend you got to do thus and so you see that's not friendship that is a casual acquaintance, but to build a friendship that will conform us both into the likeness of Christ means I must be willing to listen to you poor at your heart. I must be willing to submit to your dislikes without criticizing you. You see so often we Christians are so guilty of that we can't be anybody else's friend because we can't submit to anybody you see friendships going to cost me something. I think sometimes other Christians in their casual talk are oftentimes very very damage in the jokes about each other and I think we'll have a good time but you see a genuine friend an intimate friend must be willing you see what I'm saying is you must be willing to yield your personal rights yield your personal desires back off or what you think is best for the moment in order to watch that other person be built up in his or her life. Now the third thing. If I'm going to be someone's friend if I'm going to build up someone in friendship. Not only is it takes sensitivity and submission but sacrifice. Notice what he said. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend. You and Jesus was safe.
He's taking the initiative. He's laying down his life for his friend. You and I want to build the kind of friendships that God wants us to have. We must take the initiative.
We've got to reach out to them other people who want you as a friend who desire you as a friend who need use a friend who don't have the capacity to reach out. They don't know how to reach out they've never had a friend they don't know what friendship me.
And because were the children of God. And because we have him indwelling us we are the ones who want to reach out and take the initiative to be somebody else's friend. You see a friend is a person who can bear who can shoulder your adversity and is going to cost the sum it's going to cost us our pride because the sometimes we need to be the friend of someone else. We don't have to take the initiative. We don't have to reach out and there are times when we need a friend that we don't have to let them reach into our heart. We don't have to learn how to respond to someone who desires to be our friend and someone who we need is a friend. I believe we have a very very unhealthy society today because we as believers are unwilling to share our heart with teacher is see there's a sacrifice the sacrifices my pride. I've got to be willing to lay that down before my friends say fellow step right in the my heart and take a good look. You may not like what you see. But here's the really I wonder is you think through your mind. Is there anybody today that you did with Matilda to arming the size of your wife or your husband.
Is there any friend that you have that you be able to say step writing. I want you look around and when you finish looking around I want you to tell me what you see.
That's friendship. You see it cost me my pride because genuine friendship is built on mutual trust from each other. Sacrifice is part of being a friend we've always had a friend in need is a friend indeed. That's right, that's true, and to develop friendships means that I must be willing to take off my cloak and let my friend on the inside because only on the inside.
Can he help me and I want to. Everybody needs an intimate friend, before whom he or she can bear his or her heart.
It takes more than sensitivity.
It takes more than sacrifice. It takes more than submission. It takes one of things I want you near it takes sharing.
Listen to what he said henceforth I call you not servants of the servant knows not what is Lord doing, but I have called you friends will listen for all things that I have heard of my father have made known to you in this true friends. Not only are sensitive to each other but they share the interest of one another to men can carry anything easier than one. You know what Christian friendship is Christian friendship is two people sharing each other's low intimate friendship is willingness to sit down face-to-face and statement limiting what some are, I just need to get this off my chest and it may be that you need to say something that you wouldn't say to anybody in the world but you need to say to somebody, you may say in the way that if some of the Christian heard you say that say things like, but you know, the two friends listen with us in the very beginning they don't judge each other the market down genuine friends. Don't judge each other and not looking for something to criticize them, making themselves available to be a help, never hindrance you see friendship demands that we share this. I want you to think for just a moment. Is there anybody today. Anybody that you can say I'm sensitive to their needs.
I really submitted to them because I want to build them up. I just accepted what they are. I really am sacrificing to be their friend, because sometimes it's difficult to be their friend and I'm really sharing what I am what I have, to help them to grow up because that's God's ultimate design friendship developed the other fellow. Can you say that about anybody. You know what I'm afraid I'm afraid not. Even some husbands and wives can say that you may be married, but your friends list when we are sensitive to another person when we submit to their needs when we sacrifice in order to build them up when we share ourselves with them.
You know what we do. Ultimately we shape that life. I want to ask you this morning.
Is there anybody any other believer, whom you love enough to be sensitive, submissive the sacrifice to share that shape that life like Christ. The listen. If you've never been saved, you need a friend that I will tell you about his name is Jesus until he becomes your friend you'll never understand what friendship is all about.
For you see you can't be sensitive and submissive and sacrificial. You will not share nor can you shape until first of all, Christ is living with in your heart and giving you the capacity to do so.
I want to encourage you to accept Christ this morning. He'll become your Savior. He'll become your Lord, who become your life he'll become your friend and he'll never leave you a friend that stick is closer than a brother.
Then, for all the rest of us. Maybe you one of those lonely people this morning my dear of senior citizens, maybe not, but you just lonely remotely said to have friends, you must show yourself friend I would challenge you to reach out to somebody and I believe God will honor your reach and he'll give you a friend who build you up in the Christ likeness. And what about all the rest of his mom's dad's young people. Are we allowing ourselves to be a friend somebody's at that weeping and wanting us, but they can have is because we're too busy. Are you willing to be somebody's friend. Father, we thank you that your friend is so not only coaches servants, but I called my friend we know you're sensitive to us and you surely sacrifice for us and you share with us every day and we know that you are shaping us into your likeness and father.
It's so easy to be selfish so easy to think only of ourselves or our family when there are so many people about us who need us. I hope we have. They just need us of fatherhood is more beautiful than to believers working to build up the other in Christ likeness teaches how to do that teaches how to love each other how to befriend each other how to reach out to one another to be willing to take the initiative to create friendship to give of ourselves to offer ourselves to forget ourselves in order to forage in the other person's life is traits of character and temperament, you will find that Jesus name.
Thank you for listening to Christian friendship. If you like to know more about Charles Stanley for intense ministry that my hands had started writing this podcast is a presentation of intense ministry in Atlanta, Georgia