Summary: The Bible encourages a child of God to be careful in choosing the kind of people he surrounds himself with.
INTRO. Every time I enter into the pages of the Bible, I am struck by the marvelous company a Christian finds himself in. As a preacher, I see myself among such men as Enoch, who was raptured before the flood; and Noah; and Isaiah, the man who saw God in his temple in Heaven and to whom God said, "Go, tell these people."
As followers of the one true God, you and I are in such company as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, all the prophets and apostles and countless millions who have lived and died with their faith in God.
We ought to emulate their lifestyle and pattern. That is part of what the Psalmist means in the text. While the people I have been talking about are our companions in the faith we ought also to have such companions in our daily life and activities.
I. WE OUGHT TO HAVE PRAYING COMPANIONS LIKE DANIEL.
A. The story of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and his threat to kill all the wise men because they could not reveal it to him. (Dan. 2:17-18a)
1. When Daniel stood before the king he said, (Verses 27-28)
2. Daniel’s three friends, the 3 Hebrew children, learned that they could always go to God in prayer and expect an answer. (note that these same fellows had their own share of problems later - fiery furnace)
3. Daniel in the lions den because of his praying.
B. Here are two wonderful comforts:
1. Companions that you can be sure are praying for you ...and...
2. The sure knowledge that God will hear yours and their prayers.
II. WE OUGHT TO HAVE GODLY COMPANIONS LIKE DAVID.
A. It is said that each should stay with his own kind.
1. News story about a moose in Montana that thought he was a cow and had joined the herd.
2. My dog, Bruno crowing like a rooster at sun up because the house next door had chickens..
3. Saints have no place in the company of sinners (unless they are witnessing). Some Christians must think they are chameleons. A chameleon is a lizard that can change his color to match the background. It is excellent camouflage.
4. It should be noted here that someone will say, "But Jesus spent a lot of time in the company of sinners!" That is true....but He was never confused for one.
B. But Christ died to make us different and in salvation he has called us out of the world.
1. (Acts 1:8) - "Ye shall be witnesses (imitators) of me."
2. If we are known by the company we keep then we should be careful about that.
3. Think about it this way: Nobody likes Judas Iscariot because he was a traitor. He pretended to be a Christian when he wasn’t. But what is the difference in Judas, who pretended to be a Christian when he was not and a Christian pretending to be a sinner when he is not? Do they not both betray Christ?
III. WE OUGHT TO HAVE LOVING COMPANIONS LIKE PAUL.
A. Recap Paul’s troubles in Ephesus with Demetrius and the silversmiths over the idol Diana.
B. His companions knew there might be trouble and that they might get caught up in it but they stuck with Paul.
C. Now here is the thing you should understand: the love that made them stay and face the danger with Paul was not a love for Paul nearly as much as it was a love for Jesus and the Gospel and lost souls.
IV. WE OUGHT TO HAVE BUSY COMPANIONS LIKE EPAPHRODITUS.
A. Have you ever had worldly friends or relatives complain that you are too busy working at the church... or that you are spending entirely too much time there?
B. I can find worldly friends by the thousands but there is only one Jesus. I want to spend time with Him, work for Him, praise Him, serve Him.
V. WE OUGHT TO HAVE HOLY COMPANIONS LIKE JOHN.
A. All of us at times need guidance, strength, encouragement, or advice. What a blessing it is to have
godly friends there at such a time.
B. I will never call on my whiny, gripy, gossipy friends when I need ministering to on a personal level.
C. John was cast away on a lonely island but he knew that he had godly friends who were in even greater tribulation than he was. But he also knew that they would never betray the faith and they would always be praying for him.
CONCLU. Our Christian life would be stronger, smoother and happier if we would keep such companions as these.