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Summary: God desires that we be friends to all who are hurting just as He is. Nobody ever had a Friend like Jesus!

Do Your Have a Real Friend?

15 ¶ Once again the Philistines were at war with Israel. And when David and his men were in the thick of battle, David became weak and exhausted. 16 Ish-bi-ben-ob was a descendant of the giants; his bronze spearhead weighed more than seven pounds, and he was armed with a new sword. He had cornered David and was about to kill him. 17 But Ab-ish-ai son of Ze-ru-iah came to his rescue and killed the Philistine. After that, David’s men declared, “You are not going out to battle again! Why should we risk snuffing out the light of Israel?” 2 Sam. 21:15-17 (NLT)

25 ¶ One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what must I do to receive eternal life?” 26 Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” 27 The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” 29 The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied with an illustration: “A Jewish man was traveling on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes and money, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. 31 “By chance a Jewish priest came along; but when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. 33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt deep pity. 34 Kneeling beside him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with medicine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two pieces of silver and told him to take care of the man. ‘If his bill runs higher than that,’ he said, ‘I’ll pay the difference the next time I am here.’ 36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. 37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now o and do the same.” Lk. 10:25-37 (NLT)

1. Share the Story of Sir Earnest Henry Shackleton

Shackleton’s epic tale of survival and courage began with dreams of being the first expedition to cross the Antarctic continent. En route, the Endurance became beset in the ice deep within the Weddell Sea and drifted with the pack for ten months before finally being crushed and sunk in November 1915. Shackleton’s party sledged lifeboats over the ice toward Paulet Island, eventually taking to the sea, and landing on Elephant Island. After setting up a small camp at nearby Cape Wild, Shackleton and five other men first braved the freezing, stormy ocean in their 22-foot lifeboat, the James Caird, on an 800-mile journey to South Georgia Island. Then, he and two of the men traversed the 6,000-foot mountain range to reach help at Stromness, a whaling station on the opposite side of the island.

One night nearing the end of this desperate journey across the frozen wasteland Shackleton woke to find a friend who he would have entrusted his life to at a moments notice opening the food box of their companion.

They were down to their last pieces of food and the other man was extremely weak from the terrible journey. That night Shackleton couldn’t sleep. It ran over and over in his mind, a picture of the man who he never dreamed could steal another man’s last food reaching into his box.

When they awoke the next morning Shackleton is both relieved and encouraged when he learns that his friend has not stolen the other man’s food, but instead had opened his box in order to place his own ration inside.

Perhaps this quote from Sir Raymond Priestley, a member of Shackleton’s earlier expedition on the Nimrod, puts it best:

"For scientific leadership, give me Scott, for swift and efficient travel give me Amundsen. But when you are in a hopeless situation, when you are seeing no way out, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton."

2. Our world is built on the concept of what I would call, DISPOSABLE RELATIONSHIPS!

3. Benjamin Franklin said, “Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing!!!”

4. North American Indian’s word for friend. “One-who-carries-my-sorrow-on-his-back”.

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