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How to Pick your Friends to Influence People

(34)

Sermon shared by Bruce Rzengota

April 2002
Summary: IF WE ARE TO FULFILL GOD¡¦S PLAN FOR OUR LIVES WE MUST GIVE CAREFUL CONSIDERATION TO HOW WE PICK OUR FRIENDS
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
How to Pick your Friends to Influence People
Mark 3:13-19

INTRODUCTION
Earl C. Willer tells the story of two men who grew up best friends:
Though Jim was just a little older than Phillip and often assumed the role of leader, they did everything together. They even went to high school and college together.
After college they decided to join the marines. By a unique series of circumstances they were sent to Germany together where they fought side by side in one of history’s ugliest wars.
One sweltering day during a fierce battle, amid heavy gunfire, bombing, and close-quarters combat, they were given the command to retreat. As the men were running back, Jim noticed that Phillip had not returned with the others. Panic gripped his heart. Jim knew if Phillip was not back in another minute or two, then he wouldn’t make it.
Jim begged his commanding officer to let him go after his friend, but the officer forbade the request, saying it would be suicide.
Risking his own life, Jim disobeyed and went after Phillip. His heart pounding, he ran into the gunfire, calling out for Phillip. A short time later, his platoon saw him hobbling across the field carrying a limp body in his arms.
Jim’s commanding officer upbraided him, shouting that it was a foolish waste of time and an outrageous risk. "Your friend is dead," he added, "and there was nothing you could do."
"No sir, you’re wrong," Jim replied. "I got there just in time. Before he died, his last words were ’I knew you would come.’"

T.S. One of the most precious gifts we have in our lives is the development of friendships and relationships with others. Friendships can bring joy or heartache. And they should not be entered into lightly.
In 1936 Dale Carnegie wrote his book on friendship and leadership How to Win Friends and Influence People. It is still required reading in many business courses and leadership classes.
Jesus surrounded himself with 12 very close friends. He experienced hardship with them, and joy with them, and he even experienced betrayal from one of them.
Jesus is our model if we truly want pick the type of friends that will help us be all that God wants us to be.

T.S. TURN WITH ME TO MARK 3:13-19

Jesus Chooses the Twelve Apostles
13Afterward Jesus went up on a mountain and called the ones he wanted to go with him. And they came to him.14Then he selected twelve of them to be his regular companions, calling them apostles. He sent them out to preach,15and he gave them authority to cast out demons.16These are the names of the twelve he chose:
Simon (he renamed him Peter),
17James and John (the sons of Zebedee, but Jesus nicknamed them "Sons of Thunder"),
18Andrew,
Philip,
Bartholomew,
Matthew,
Thomas,
James (son of Alphaeus),
Thaddaeus,
Simon (the Zealot),
19Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him).


T.S. Our relationship with God is dramatically impacted by the friends choose.

ƒt IF WE ARE TO FULFILL GOD¡¦S PLAN FOR OUR LIVES WE MUST GIVE CAREFUL CONSIDERATION TO HOW WE PICK OUR FRIENDS

We must learn . . .
I. PICK OUR FRIENDS SERIOUSLY
In America today nearly half of all adults no longer even have time for friendships.
In his book Bowling Alone, Robert Putman says the following statistics are indicators of the decline in community life in America over the past 25 years:
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