WHO IS YOUR FRIEND?
“But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
I have viewed the number of people on face book who have friends and I have always wondered if they know who really a friend is. Does everyone in face book who a friend really is? Do you truly believe that everyone who accepts you as a friend is truly your friend? Perhaps you are wondering why this topic tonight but I must inform you that everyone you relate to or anyone who comes across your path plays an important role in your life. You can either influence them or they can influence you. If you pay close attention to the story of Jesus Christ, no-body was able to influence him from light to darkness because he is the light and wherever there is light darkness goes away (John 8:12) Do the friends you have influence you towards darkness or do they influence you towards Jesus? Mathew 5:14, 16.
If for some reason you are still pondering why the topic, friends are very important, then perhaps you should ponder why the Proverbs 27:10 says “Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father.”
Perhaps I am wrong but we all need friends and if you do not need friends or a friend there are those out there who are searching for you as a friend. They are looking for people like you who can point them to Jesus Christ, people like you who can stand in the gap for them and pray them out of bondages and they are looking for people like you who is willing to stick closer to them than a brother.
As we study today’s topic, “Who is your friend.” We shall be able to identify that friend(s) that sticks closer than a brother. Not only that, those of us who have bad friends or friends that influence us to the wrong path, we shall be delivered from them in Jesus name. If you are the type that ponders who really are your friends and your enemies, because sometimes people we think that are our friends have put on a mask to deceive us from knowing that they are our enemies, but God will help us discern who they are and we shall be delivered from them in Jesus name. If today you know somebody who has been influenced by bad friends, you and I shall pray them out of such influence in the mighty name of Jesus.
Question 1: Who here does not have friends?
Question 2: Who is a friend and what is the meaning of the word friend?
In 1 Samuel 18:1, the bible uses the story of Jonathan and David as a good example of who a friend is and the characteristics a friend has. A key note to realize in 1 Samuel 18:1 is this, Jonathan loved David as he would love himself.
Who is a friend? One who would love you as he loves himself or herself? I wish to ask that question again, “Does anybody here have friend or friends.”
Please notice another key word used, “love.” Time will not permit me to talk about love but anyone who claims to be your friend and does not love you, that person is a liar like the devil and that person is your enemy. If for some reason you believe you have no enemies, wake up from your slumbering and let your eyes be opened in the mighty name of Jesus.
As we read on we shall look at the characteristics of a friend’s love and who a friend really is. Based on my studies, I personally do not believe that there is a word called bad friend. Is either you are my friend, my enemy or one who has no concern for me. I hope nobody here Is my enemy, I rather you have no concern for me than to be my enemy; however my greatest desire is that you will be my friend. Psalm 105:15, Psalm 37:39, Psalm 3:1-8.
So Jonathan loved David as he would love himself. How did Jonathan portray this attitude or behavior of love? In I Samuel 18v3, the love that Jonathan had for David was so amazing that he made a covenant with David by giving him his cloths, which is a symbol of his trust and commitment to their friendship. Do you have friends who are committed to you? Can you trust their words? Do they call you periodically?
In 1 Samuel 19v1, Jonathan proved his friendship again, despite the fact that God had called David to be king and not Jonathan or his father who was king, as a friend he was not jealous of David, or envied him but instead Jonathan was very fond of David. In verse 2 of chapter 19 he warned David of the ill feeling his own father Saul had towards David.
Ladies and gentlemen, do you and I have friends who will do what it takes to make you succeed or accomplish your dreams even though it is at their own expenses? Are your friends the type of people who will warn you of danger even though they may not benefit out of it? The friendship that Jonathan had for David was worth more than silver and gold, it was worth more than the title of a king or a sit on the throne, it was worth more than fame and it was worth more than the love Jonathan had for his father Saul. So I wish to ask this question again, “Does anybody here have friend or friends?”
I Samuel 19v4, Jonathan spoke well of his friend David. Friends do not speak ill of each other, they do not backbite against one another, they look out for each other’s interest and they save each other from harm. Proverbs 16v28
1 Samuel 20v4, Do you have friends who are willing to do anything for you? Are you willing to do anything for the people who you have called friends? What sacrifice are you willing to pay and what sacrifice have they made on your behalf? When you were sick, were they there for you, when you were hungry did they feed you, when you felt lost and lonely, did they come to visit you? Where were they when you needed them in times of joy and sorrow? In Psalm 41v9, “Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread has lifted up his heel against me.”
When I had my car accident, I couldn’t find my friends, even in the time I lost my job there was no one except my parents. All the people that I shared my joy with were nowhere to be found when I was in despair. No wonder the bible says in Micah 7:5 “Put no confidence in a friend.” Is rare to find a friend like Jonathan and when you do find one, they will stick close to you in season and out of season. Proverbs 17:17
1Samuel 20:30-32, even under pressure Jonathan loved David as a friend and was not willing to give David up. What a friend, such a friend who does not mind risking his life or his fame or his throne for the sake of his friend. I wish to ask the question I asked earlier on, “Is there anyone who has friends or friend? Is there a Jonathan here in the house of God? Verse 34 says that, Jonathan refused to eat for he was grieved. I wish the bible had recorded that he fasted and may be he did. Do you and I have friends who would go into prayer on our behalf? When Job realized that his friends were not willing to intercede for him he had no choice but to turn to God and say, “My intercessor is my friend.”Job 17v20. Look at verse 19 closely.
This is a good assignment to do. Find out from your friends when last did they pray and fast for you. What about you and I, when last did you and I pray and fast for our friends?
The story of Jonathan’s friendship or love for David ends sadly, in chapter 20v42, they parted ways. Jonathan could not stop his father from killing David and in 1 Samuel 31:1, Jonathan died never resolving the conflict that existed between David and his dad, but despite this Jonathan is a good example of who a friend is.
Are you looking for a friend? Do you wish you had a friend? Are you looking for someone to share your love with? There are great benefits in having friends. What are the benefits of having friends?
1. They are there to comfort you when you cry
2. They are there to share your joy
3. A person to talk too
Can you think of any? Why not list them
WHO IS A FRIEND PART 2
“But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Before we begin I want us to take the time to define who a friend is? According to a website address called, www.yourdictionary.com, it defines a friend as a person whom one knows well and is fond of; a close acquaintance, a supporter or sympathizer and also reliable. If you remember my teaching on part 1 of who a friend is, you will notice that the meaning of the word friend goes far beyond the definition that I just gave. I informed you all that a friend is one who will love you as he loves himself. Jonathan is a very good example of a friend. In 1 Samuel 18v1, the bible says that, “Jonathan loved David as he loves himself.” Do you love your friend the way Jonathan loved David? Do you have somebody who loves you that way? What are benefits exist to find a friendship such as the type that Jonathan had with David? To answer all these questions I want us to look at the types of so called friends that existed in the bible and compare them with the friends that you have.
Let us begin by asking these questions and give yourself few minutes to answer these questions.
1. What type of friend(s) do you have?
2. What type of friends do you desire or wish you had?
3. Do you have any friend?
4. Are you a friend to someone who does not know you as a friend?
5. If you are married do you know your spouse’s friends? How do those friends influence your marriage? Do those friends strengthen your marriage by teaching you, love, commitment, unity and the desire to serve God? Do these friends raise you up your marriage or bring your marriage down by giving you ill advice that can destroy your marriage.
I hope the questions asked were not difficult but is important that we know who our friends are and the friends of our loved ones.
King Rehoboam was a man who did not put much thought about the kind of friends that he had.
In 1 Kings 12, the bible records that the friends that King Rehoboam chose for advice, were the type of friends that torn is kingdom apart. Be careful who your friends are, they can either build your fortune, marriage or well being or they can destroy them all. Good friends do not give evil advice or counsel to you. The advice they give or the counsel they give is the same counsel or advice they will take if they were in your shoes. Do you have friends who are willingly to take the same advice that they give to you? Do you have friends with wisdom and sound judgment?
Proverbs chapter 3:13 says, “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding.” How wonderful it is to find friends who are gifted to give godly counsel, wisdom and knowledge. Proverbs 16v22 says, “Understanding is a fountain of life to those who have it, but folly brings punishment to fools. My brothers and sisters in the lord, such friends are hard to find. Proverbs 18v1 gives us an example of the type of friends that most people have.
A. They are selfish
B. They lack sound judgment.
Rehoboam friends lacked judgment and because of this it cost him his kingdom. Many today have friends who have shipwrecked their marriage or about too. My prayer for you tonight is that the lord almighty will deliver your marriage from such friends in the mighty name of Jesus.
Judges 15 reveals the type of so called friends that Samson had. Let us look closely at Judges 15v2 and it says, “I was so sure that you thoroughly hated her, he said, that I gave her to your friends.” Who was this woman that was given away to Samson’s friends? Judges 15v1 reveals the answer to the question, “Later on at the time of wheat harvest, Samson took a young goat and went to visit his wife. He said, I’m going to my wife’s room. But her father would not let him go.”
The story in Judges 15:1-2 is not new to the world, friends taking their friend’s wife or husband to bed. A good friend does not take what is so precious to his friend away from him. How you call someone your friend when that person steals from you and betrays your trust by sleeping with your husband or wife. This is no friendship at all. This person hates you and is acting like your enemy.
Samson had friends who did not mind taking what is his and is sad to realize that none of his friends informed him of what had taken place. None of his friends came to him and said, “Is it true that you are no longer marrying Y?” They never asked, they just took. Do you have friends who are always taking but never giving back?
By the way, what type of woman is this that did not even tell her fiancé or husband that she was leaving him and going to stay with another man? If I were Samson, immediately I heard what this woman did, I would wake up to realize that she is not worthy of my love, because she stooped so low. If you are here and you are single, may God deliver you from such people in the mighty name of Jesus.