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Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
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February 24, 2021 3:00 am


Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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February 24, 2021 3:00 am

Why would a true friend tell us something about ourselves we don’t want to hear? Learn the answer and discover the qualities of lasting friendship as we kick off a new series in Proverbs on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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Alistair Begg

Friend tell you the things you want to hear or the things you need to hear today on Truth for Life. Alistair Begg teaches us about the qualities that make someone a true friend message kicks off a new series from the book of Proverbs called wise words tonight just briefly I want to think with you about the nature and importance of friendship, a friendship friendship is, of course, I think vitally important to everybody who lives somebody says that they have no interest in friendship is a poor soul and probably has something wrong with him. A friend is a person says the Oxford English dictionary, and we should trust it apparently is a person joined by intimacy and affection to another. The fact of the matter is that in the book of Proverbs you will find a tremendous about concerning friendship. My purpose this evening is simply to deal with it on three fronts. First of all to notice a couple of characteristics of true friendship and then secondly to see how those characteristics are ultimately embodied in Jesus and finally to ask us to ask ourselves whether we are enjoying this kind of friendship now. Again, we don't have to try too hard to realize that people are greatly in need of friendship and in the old days before the Internet, there were people who work on radio operators. You may even have been one. I always wear was intrigued by those people. They had gigantic aerials down at the bottom of the garden and usually a little shed. And if you drop by on your bicycle late in the evening you could hear them shouting out into the night. Hello anybody out there anybody out there. It apparently stayed up deep in the night, hoping that somebody somewhere in the hemisphere would actually come back and say hello. I'm in Anchorage and I'm reading you loud and clear and almost epitomized the great cry for friendship this person sitting in a shed, shouting out anybody out there anybody out there talk to me talk to me but of course now with the Internet. Apparently everybody's doing meeting everybody. As a result of sitting in isolation and getting on this thing and saying is there anybody out there who would talk to me. I'm looking for a friend I'm looking for a person with whom I may be joined in intimacy and affection. Poor is the friendless master of the universe. Rich is the individual who has one friend in the whole world one genuine friend. We have many acquaintances, people with whom we spend time lots of interaction plenty of coming and going, but so much of that is superficial. So much of that is built on things that are very ephemeral. They're not really of significance, a tall, and when we think in terms of the friendship, the kind that sticks closer than a brother to which Solomon refers were dealing with something at a far deeper level, one enter some of the characteristics of true friendship. Let me just mention one or two first of all, a true friend is always loyal Proverbs chapter 17 and verse 17 a friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. In other words, this friendship that exists between these individuals is not based on things that are passing away is not a kind of friendship that was known by the prodigal you remember in Luke chapter 15 where apparently when everything was going swell.

He had plenty of folks who are around him, and when his fortunes turn bad and he ended up working feeding pigs, then all of his friends deserted him. Well of course they weren't friends.

A tall. The real question about friendship has to do with loyalty with loyalty being prepared to stay with the person through thick and through thin, whether they're successful or unsuccessful.

Whether they are still to our liking or not to our liking, irrespective of whether they have offended us or not. Friendship establishes loyalty at all time when you've made a fool of yourself in the Royal hash of thing you need at least one friend to whom you will go and will say to you, but you haven't done a permanent job. There is still hope. Secondly, genuine friendship is marked not only by loyalty but also by honesty, it is impossible to enjoy friendship or to establish friendship. If dishonesty is part of what is going on in dishonesty.

Of course, appears in a number of ways and when you mentioned in 27 verse six of Proverbs we read the wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses the wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses and others to seem very paradoxical. Of course it is you say if if we come upon this manuscript we might have said all it's got all jumbled up. It should read that a friend multiplies kisses and you get wounds from an enemy of course you do.

But the point that Solomon is making is that when you receive a wound from a friend. You can trust what you shouldn't trust the multiplications of kisses, of course, is a very very important is that we don't overstress it one way or another.

Otherwise, we may become very very skeptical and be afraid of anybody who would show affection to is a tall, but the warning is very, very clear, and indeed the challenges there are neither kind of person who is able because of the well-being of my friend to wonder. Not in a way to discourage them or discredit them or bring them down but on the few occasions if you like that I take out my sore do I wound because I long for their best. Do I inflict pain for their progress or do I inflict pain. It is because I'm bad. Chapter 28 verse 23 says that he rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than he who flatters with his tongue. Our whole society is put together in such a way that if you going say nice things and people and water them up and say all those things that somehow endears you to them. That's what makes the world go around. Most of it is fatuous. It is irrelevant in its furious, it is often unhelpful. The man who flatters his friends as Solomon 29 five. The man who flatters his friend spreads and net for his feet. So rebuke the Bible tells us may well transform us. Flattery will only trip was a if you reflect on those who have been the best of friends to.

I think you will probably find that this truth in this principal is borne out now. In this respect it is very very important that you choose the right kinds of friends. That's why we teach our children that they should be careful in making friendships on that they shouldn't just be friends with everyone and anyone. They should be kind to everyone and anyone but to establish a relationship which is based on intimacy and affection needs to be done with great care and attention because not everybody wants to come alongside you. Not everyone who wants to get into your space.

Not everyone who is interested in establishing some kind of interest in you, necessarily, is motivated by any genuine sense of friendship. The Puritans were very clear on this.

Let me give you one of them. He says in the choice of a bosom friend.

I understand the importance of that adjective Rajasthan about general interaction with people in the choice of a bosom friend some respect ought to be had. To his prudence. Some men though holy are indiscreet and in point of secrets are like since they can keep nothing committed to them. But let all run through a blab of secrets is a traitor to society as one that causes much dissension. It is good to try him testing whom we intend for a bosom friend before we trust him. Many complained of the treachery of their friends and say as Queen Elizabeth that in trust they have found treason is very very important because how in the world can you ever share your heart your life your mind your hope, your dreams, your fears, your aspirations with somebody like I said, and that is of course one of the great challenges for those of us who are in any partnership and leadership. Why is it so difficult for someone in pastoral ministry to form really deep and meaningful friendship part of it is right there. The third characteristic that I want to mention we can go through many sensitivity sensitivity not simply honesty and loyalty but sensitivity friendship must always carry with it a sense of the appropriate chapter 26 verses 18 and 19 a man who is caught lying to his friend and says I was just joking is like a madman throwing around firebrands, arrows, and death.

Those of us who talk more than we ought. Cannot get ourselves extricated from a lot of the chaos that we cause by simply seeking to dismiss it with a cursory statement, but I was only kidding are always just a joke, or I didn't really mean it's because once the word is out. It's out with the amended or not so sensitive, hard, and friendship will say no to gossiping because gossip separates friends. Proverbs 1628. Gossip separates friends.

You can take it to the bank.

Is it really a friend who comes to you and says do you know that when you went out of the room the other day Joe and Bill who were left in the room said this about you and I'm only telling you because I think it's something you need to know. I've always had difficulty with the person who conveys the information to me most usually goes significantly down in my estimation as I can understand what the motivation doesn't help anybody to pass along this information.

After all, they may have had a moment when they said something they wish they could have by oil may be a fixed view on their part but what possible end is served by you being the bearer mean being the bearer of this information, gossip separates friends and also in 17 and in verse nine, another staggering statement he who covers over an offense promotes love but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends this evening. Say not somebody recessed were not going to call Cindy sin were not going to call wrong wrong but somebody was obeying the New Testament injunction understanding that love covers over a multitude of sins. Yes, I know you did that yes, I understand that that was a disaster. Yes of course I do, but let us cast over the veil of silence let us seek by God's enabling to remember it no more, for surely that is how God keeps a record nor record a talk written plea so you can look me in the eye and I will tell you it will never pass from here. This moment with that individual you may have confidence of the person who repeats the matter separates close friends, my dear friends, let me tell you this that when you trace a loss of friends in the journey of your life and you cannot understand what happened.

I can guarantee you that a significant amount of the time.

What happened in separating you from horror him from him is gossip and the repetition of matters that should have been buried immediately. They came to light that is the loyalty sensitivity. The honesty that marks genuine friendship. That's the kind of friendship that sticks closer than a brother or you see, I'm not sure that I have found that I'm not sure that I am that where could we find disembodied well the answer is of course in the Lord Jesus. We often say, don't wait carefully. Friends may fail or leave is one day sooth the next day grievous, but this friend will never deceive us, or how he laughs.

This friend is the same yesterday and today and forever. Never in a mood. Never let's just have never treats as a capriciously I found a friend in Jesus. He's everything to me.

He's the fairest of 10,000 to my soul. He's the Lily of the Valley of the bright and morning star in the chorus says in sorrow, he's my comfort in trouble. He's my stay, and he tells me every care on him to roll his friendship. Where can I find absolute honesty complete sensitivity, genuine consistency in the Lord Jesus.

One of the reasons that some find friendship so difficult is because it demands vulnerability it demands openness.

Every friendship makes demands, sodas, friendship with Jesus is why we read from John 15 as I draw this to a close.

You are my friends. He says if you do it. I commend you.

What is he command us to do to repent.

In the first instance repent and believe the good news turn away from our sin and turn to the Lord Jesus and embraces friendship received as a friend for his friendship extends far and beyond the bounds of often our human friendship. They said of Jesus that he was a friend of tax collectors and sinners. Somebody asked me just a few weeks ago and how do you quote do evangelism at Parkside church and I don't think for a minute and I said I don't know I said I don't know that we have a way of doing evangelism at Parkside church. I said I think the way that people are becoming Christians at Parkside church is as a result of the friendship of the people in Parkside church that when your friends and neighbors look at you and they say there's consistency. There's loyalty. There's honesty there sensitivity there someone I think I can go to there's someone I can go to and unburden my soul when they ask what's the source of this friendship and you and you tell them will I found a friend such a friend. He loved me before I ever knew him. He drew me with accords of love and as he bound me to him and run my heart so closely entwined these ties that nothing can sever because I'm his and he's mine forever and forever human friendships are passing. If for no other reason.

Death will separate us. Geography may remove us from the intimacy of day-to-day affection time may diminish some but is never true with Jesus.

If you make friendship with him. The first choice of your youth. If we sustain friendship with Jesus in the maturing years of our life's if we look forward to his friendship for all of eternity that no matter what we face, we can rest in him. What kind of friend that we girl Evie used to say what kind of friend is here on a clear day and leaves of the first sign of rain.

Not this kind of friend she says that she sings of Jesus, I started here this evening with friendship. I could have gone to some of the others, they get worse. The series gets worse going to do one on slender one on laziness and those are the two high spots. I don't know about the rest, but I thought I think I started here because as I walked away from a friend on Friday morning. He doesn't waste words and isn't flip a tall is gravitas on two legs.

He turned to me. I was continental and he was American and he turned to me and elude me in the eye and he said farewell my friend and I walked away I said I was a kind of archaic way to say goodbye. Then I thought again I said he wasn't trying Victoria Anna. He did that purposefully every single word he chose with purpose farewell my friend. That means the world to me. It means the world to you to to have a friend like that doesn't will you commit yourself, we commit ourselves to being good friends.

We can all be the booze and bodies of everybody else that is a forlorn notion with tyrannize ourselves if we say well I don't know him or her as well as I might or may or whatever. Don't worry about that are tall, but in the sphere of your influence in the realm of your contact say Lord Jesus you who are the perfect friend make me a friend make me a friend forming genuine friendships is a simple act that can transform lives listing to Truth for Life with Alistair Begg Alister returns with just a minute to close the program, so please keep listing we heard plenty of helpful takeaways in this very practical instruction today from the book of Proverbs. It's a privilege to open the pages of Scripture with you every day on Truth for Life so that together we can learn what God's word has to teach us to go along with our daily studies. We recommend books to help you dive a little deeper in the Scripture today were offering a book titled, with all your heart, orienting your mind desires and will toward Christ and just as the title describes this book helps you focus your thinking actions and desires on doing God's will and aligning your heart with the heart of Christ, you can request a copy of the book when you give to Truth for Life today you find the book on the mobile app or you can visit Truth for or call us at 888-588-7884.

Now before we wrap up today. Here's a reminder that you can join Alister this summer aboard a Holland America cruise ship to scenic Alaska. If you've not yet solidified your summer vacation plans think about making a reservation on this seven day tour that the parts out of Seattle in late August. You can find out more and order your tickets by going online to deeper faith or by calling 855-565-5519. Now here's Alister to close today in prayer father. What a friend we have in Jesus all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer, Lord Jesus, thank you for your honesty and touching us where we need to turn from sin.

Thank you that your wounds always come in order that you might pour in your healing balm or Jesus, thank you that you treat us with such sensitivity that you are tender in your care, Lord Jesus, thank you for your loyalty to us standing with us through thick and thin. Being there when we fall down being there even when we turn our back on you. And when we run away when, like Peter, we deny we find you in the morning time on the shore making breakfast and then Lord Jesus Phil is with your love, that we may in turn 610 friendship in an increasingly self-centered, self-satisfied, dislocated college, bring people to become committed followers of Jesus Christ. As a result of genuine friendship discovered in this place to your glory. We ask this about the team joining us again tomorrow as we learn how to overcome this Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life where the learning is for

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