Summary: It is the basis of every level of relationship of meaning. You must have a foundation in friendship. Are you a good friend? What qualities should you look for in a friend?
Pt. 4 - Pianos and Pushing
Welcome to "Friend Day". Over the last few weeks we have been discussing the value and importance of friendship. We know that Jesus valued His friends. Like us, Jesus had relationships that progressed to the level of friends. In John 15, we discover that at some point Jesus called His disciples servants but due to the incremental nature of intimacy He progresses to calling them friends. He also tells us why He graduated to this level. He says He could do that because they knew how to handle His business. Jesus knew that although we owe everyone love we only owe those who have proven themselves access. So, associates get your gift but friends get your life (your business).
So we have established that it is essential to choose the correct people as friends and also that we know how to be good friends. To find the right people and to be the right kind of friend we must look for character, honesty and reliability.
In the 1990's we were taught lessons (good and bad) from Ross, Monica, Joey, Phoebe, Rachel and Chandler. Let's see what they help us learn today.
Friends understand and know the power of encouragement. In this clip, we see that power on display. Although they use the power in less than honest manner they push Ross to take a chance and a risk.
The Bible very clearly states, in Proverbs 18, that the tongue is so powerful that it has the ability to produce life or death in the person we speak to. I submit to you today that this power is never more powerful than when words are spoken from friends. Think about that a second . . . when someone I don't know or have no relationship with says something about me bad I can blow that off cause they don't know me. If they say something good I appreciate it but since they don't know me it doesn't cause me to rise up and take a risk. But when a friend speaks bad it is devastating. However, when a friend fills their mouth with encouragement their knowledge of me coupled with their belief in me is an incredible God fused power that pushes me past failure, doubt, fear, and hesitation.
The background is after spending an evening of eating and enjoying each other's company Jesus in Matthew 26 looks at His friend Peter and declares before the rooster crows you will deny me 3 times. Peter protests and miserably fails. Before day break, accused of being a follower of a soon to be crucified Jesus . . . Peter, emphasizing with a curse, says no way. I don't know him. Then Scripture says that Peter remembered what Jesus had said and he weeps! When Jesus needed Peter, His friend, the most Peter fails Him. Thankfully Jesus was a better friend that Peter. After His death on the cross and resurrection, women approach the tomb of Jesus unaware that He is risen. He appears to them and speaks to them. Listen to what He says!
TEXT: Mark 16:6-7
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
Did you hear the push? Did you hear the encouragement? With 2 simple words Jesus throws Peter a lifeline. With 2 simple words Jesus lets Peter know he hasn't been disqualified by his bad day! With 2 words He lets Peter know that although he failed he isn't a failure!
Jesus singles him out and calls his name! Peters denial takes place and the Word says that he went and wept. Now with two words despair is dispelled.
A. Encouragement dispels despair.
We need to single some people out and encourage!
Encouragement causes us to believe the best about ourselves even in the middle of our worst moment. A friend's encouragement pulls the best out of us.
Was that 2 word push important? Did it have an impact? Fast forward to what we as Pentecostals point to as the pinnacle day of our experience Acts 2 and who is center stage? Who takes the mic and with power and confidence preaches a message that causes 3000 people to run to Jesus?
The one and only scared, distancing, less than best friend Peter!
The reason encouragement is such a crucial characteristic to find in a friend and to exhibit as friend is because . . .
B. Encouragement produces courage (just ask Ross . . . just ask Peter . . . just ask anyone who has risked due to the push of a true friend.)