Summary: A sermon used for "Friends Day." Showing the value of Christian friendship
I want to tell you that we are fortunate to have a mayor of the Christian caliber that we have in Mayor Doc Eldridge. He has a heart for people and also the things of God. How many of you read the full page article about our mayor? I am going to keep that in my files. I want to say something that I really feel in my heart. We are a city blessed of God to have a person at the helm of our city government in these turbulent times. It is nothing short of an answer to our many prayers for this city.
And of course I don’t have to tell you how much Dr. Cummings means to me. He received a word from God concerning providing a place in Athens where children could get a Christian education and he has successfully seen that vision become a firm reality.
I you have your Bibles I would like for you to turn with me to Proverbs 18:24 , "A man that hath friends must show himself friendly, and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."
I would like to take the last phrase, "...there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."
Indeed, Solomon in a prophetic moment, not only was talking about close friends, which they tell us that a man only has a few people in his life that are that close to have a closer friendship than that of a brother. He was talking also about the closest, and the dearest friendship a person could ever have in their lifetime, and that is for a person to be able to call Jesus Christ of Nazareth his Friend.
Let’s bow our heads in prayer for a moment:
Heavenly Father, we pray for your blessing upon the reading of Your word. And we pray God that you would speak to us in the next few moments to your glory and honor we pray. Amen.
1. STORY OF THE DISCOVERY ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S POCKETS:
A. Several years ago I was watching The Public Broadcasting Station, sometimes they have some very inciteful broadcasting. Some times it is very boring. During this period of time the Library of Congress was doing a series. The program I was watching featured the National Archives. They were going to open sealed drawers in which had been deposited the evidence of famous crimes. Very dramatically they opened a drawer that had in it a sealed plastic bag with the effects of Abraham Lincoln from the night he was assassinated in Ford’s Theater, April 9, 1865. He was watching a presentation of Our American Cousin, when from the rear of the Presidential Box he was shot by the best-known actor of that day, John Wilkes Booth. Booth jumped from the box onto the stage but ironically his boot spur got caught in the American flag draped in the front of the box. This caused him to fall onto the stage braking his leg. What he said when he limped to center stage gives you an understanding of that time. He said, Sic se per tyrannis(Thus always to tyrants), the motto of Virginia.
B. They put the box on top of the cabinet and opened the plastic container. It had not been opened since the trial of thew assassines. They pulled out some keys, a handkerchief, a little pen knife, and a piece of paper all folded up. and as the program went on they unfolded that paper. Remember it was being unfolded for the first time since the trial, on May 10, 1865. It was a newspaper clipping. And as they looked closer it was discovered that this was a newspaper clipping that was about Abraham Lincoln. As the commentator read the article it was discovered that Lincoln had underlined with a pencil the positive comments that were made about him. It was commented that he had read that paper and then cut it out with his penknife and stuck it in his pocket to read. Also, from the age of the paper it looked as if Lincoln had carried this article in his pocket for some time. Many people do not know what Abraham Lincoln went through during his presidency. First of all he was elected by only a 40% popular vote and then he had to virtually turn the presidency into a dictator ship for the first four years of his presidency to keep the country together. He had many enemies and he was looking for friends. You would have thought that this dearest of all our presidents and the most integral to the thriving nation of America today would not have had a problem getting encouragement. Could you see there in the dimly lit theater box Abraham Lincoln pulling out this little article and glancing at it to gain encouragement.