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Summary: 5 of 5 messages from Colossians. This message focuses on the importance of faithful friends.

Life 101: Connecting with Others

The Faithful Friend

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24

Two friends were out hunting. As they were walking through the woods, one of them yelled and the other looked up to see a huge grizzly bear charging at them. The first friend started to frantically put on his tennis shoes. When his buddy saw this, he anxiously asked, “What are you doing? Don’t you know you can’t outrun a grizzly bear?” To which the first guy responded, “I don’t have to outrun him. I just have to run faster than you do!”

With Friends like that – who needs enemies!

This morning I’d like to speak with you about the importance of having faithful friends…

Let’s look at Colossians 4:7-18. Follow along in your text or just listen as I read. After we’ve read the text I’ll have a few quick observations to share with you.

The Faithful Friend

Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. 8 I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about oura circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. 9 He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.

Colossians 4:7-18

10 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) 11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.

16 After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.

17 Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord.”

18 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

Faithful Friends

…Are the Measure of True Wealth

Paul mentions over 100 people by name in his New Testament letters! In Romans 16 alone, there are 26 people listed. Here, in Colossians 4, he mentions 10 individuals.

It’s very clear that the apostle Paul was not a lone ranger. Paul was as a member of a team and a part of a family – the family of God.

One of the critical characteristics of the followers of Jesus is that there is an incredible connection we have to one another – we are family! We are brothers and sisters. Now, that doesn’t mean we have to go around saying it to one another. Hello, brother Bob. Good morning, sister Susan. Do you say those kind of things to your biological family members? I don’t. If I went to my brother Dave and said, Good morning brother Dave, How are you feeling today, he would look at me like I was a martian.

I don’t have to say that to him because he knows that he’s my brother and he knows that I know he’s my brother. We’re connected by life experience, by DNA, by heritage.

So are we as followers of Jesus. We share a bond that is impossible to fully explain.

Fred Zenz, an elder in the church in St. Joseph, MI – my first church – shared with me some 35 years ago that he was closer to his spiritual brothers and sisters than he was to his biological twin brother who was not a follower of Jesus.

We have something incredibly special in the connection we have a part of the family of God. This is the family room where we come together.

By the way, this should give us incentive to work harder at remembering people’s names – after all they are family.

By the way this connection we share is unique among Christian believers according to George Barna. Athiests according to Barna in a poll done this last month found that Atheists and agnostics, who comprise about one-tenth of the population, were… least likely to look forward to spending time with friends.

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