Summary: The characteristics of a good friend
Introduction: Friendship is a need of us all. We call many our friend, but are our friendships profitable? In 2 Timothy 4:11, Paul is lonely and says, Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. Mark had forsaken him earlier, but now Paul said he was profitable in the ministry. That is a great necessity, but profitability needs to go to another level. Are we profitable friends?
In our text, in vs. 15, we see a sad statement; Paul had many in Asia turned on him. It is not clear why they turned on the Apostle Paul. No matter the reason, it hurts when friends, or at least people who claim to be friends, fall short of the expectations of friendship or when they turn on us. Paul probably felt like Job, Job 16:20; My friends scorn me: but mine eye poureth out tears unto God.
Proverbs 17:17 tells us “A friend loveth at all times,” so these that had forsaken Paul were exposed as fake friends. Loyalty is a lost attribute in our society.
A true friend is loyal. Paul’s true friends would not forsake him. Proverbs 27:10) The loss of friends brought pain to Paul, but then he reveals a true and profitable friend. His name was Onesiphorus; he was from Ephesus. Onesiphorus (name means -"bringing profit") He was a true friend, a profitable friend.
I. The Comfort of a Friend - Refreshment - vs. 16 Most of the time refreshment in the Scriptures is dealing with rest; Not here or in Acts 3:19.
B. Cooling - Refresh the word means to cool one from the effects of heat
1. Cooling others in their Weariness
2. Cooling others in their Wanderings
II. The Compassion of a Friend - vs. 16 He was not ashamed of Paul’s chain, his condition or being associated with a genuine Christian.
A. The Disgrace of His Position - Paul was in prison for the Gospel.
B. The Disdain of His Place - Paul was chained to a Roman Soldier. Association brought:
III. The Concern of a Friend - to Seek - vs. 17
A. His Purpose (a real friend)
B. His Passion - Very diligently
C. His Persistence - He found Paul, He did not quit.
Have you sought anyone that has gone by the wayside? Are you their friend? Call them. Pursue and Pester them. Surround the house with people and sing amazing grace. Bring them back. Be a friend.
2 Corinthians 12:1 “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.
Proverbs 18:24 “ A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
What a friend we have in Jesus! He has many friends, because He was our friend first. Ask not who your friend is; ask who knows that you are their friend?
IV. The Consistency of a Friend - vs. 18
A. The Action of a Friend - He ministered unto me (vs. 18)Whether
Paul was in jail or in Ephesus, Onesiphorus ministered to Paul.
B. The Accolades of a Friend - Paul declared to Timothy, "you know how good a friend Onesiphorus has been unto me"?