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Summary: A sermon that looks at friendship and what it is to have jesus as a friend

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Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Today I feel to talk about friends – having friends – being a friend needing a friend and the Biblical concept of friends.

Jesus had a group of friends around him they were very close and This was the inner circle but there was an inner inner circle of which we can see Peter James and John who were somehow close to the heartbeat of jesus. If friends were important to Jesus then it probably is important that we consider how important friends are in our Christian walk.

A story tells that two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face.

The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand “Today my best friend slapped me in the face”.

They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone “Today my best friend saved my life”.

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?” The other friend replied “When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.”

That seems to epitimise what it is to be a Christian friend!

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

In my life I have found that I have been privileged to have many friends. I have found that in most cases I have friends when I cultivate the friendship. When I was a young man I was in business and I had a group of friends who didn’t really know God and pretty much did what they chose. They were what My parents described as fairweather friends – Friends who were there when things were going well but soon disappeared into the shadows when the theme of my life changed from self to God. I remember as the secular friends vanished into the background that a new group of friends emerged friends who wanted to follow Christ no matter what who served him then and serve him now and who have walked through pains and trials with me always supportive and when we reunite after sometimes decades apart the friendship is still fresh and new.

Why are Christian friends important?

I think you become like the people you hang out with.

Proverbs chapter 13 verse 20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. You see you become like the people you spend time with so it is important that you choose your friends carefully.

1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

This morning I would like to point out some key concepts that will encourage you to grow good friendships.

1. They will help you in times of trial.

In the bible there were three friends who used to hang out together their names were Shadrach Meshach and Abednigo

These three men lived in a nation called Babylon and the King had given the order that every one should worship this 90ft high statue when music was played . These three men Shadrach Meshach and Abednego refused – individually they like Daniel – may have had the courage to refuse but together, as friends, they, were able to support each other and resist the King even though it meant certain death.

any burns, no hairs on their head burned, all their clothes perfectly fine, and no smell of fire on them at all.

At that moment Nebuchadnezzar knew that they worshipped a real God not some fake statue. God had sent an angel to protect them from harm, and even more importantly he realized that they truly believed and trusted in God. They were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.

So from that day on the king made an announcement that all the people, people of all languages could not say anything bad about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego's God or they would be badly punished.

. Friendship is at the very core of what the Church is about in this sense 1 Corinthians chapter 12:12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Good friendships give you courage and strength. They help you in times of trial. Many times in this church Heather and I have felt wonderfully strengthened by the many friends we have made in this parish.

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