Summary: Fanny Crosby captured the essence of this sermon when she wrote, "What A Friend We Have in Jesus."

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John 15:12-16

12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

14 You are my friends if you do what I command.

15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-- fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

Today I want to talk to you about something that is probably the most precious thing you possess: A FRIEND!

Friends are like good health; you don’t realize what a gift they are until you lose them.

Howard Hughes, the billionaire, once said, “I’d give all my wealth for one good friend.”

A friend is someone who knows the truth about you and loves you anyway.

A friend is someone who comes in when the whole world goes away.

A friend is someone who tells you the truth.

Illus.: “She Bought Me Another Dog”

Pepper Rogers, coach of UCLA’s football team suffered through a poor season back in the 1970’s. He came under intense criticism and pressure from alumni and fans. Things got so bad that he felt as if all his friends were gone. “My dog was my only true friend,” he said. “I told my wife that every man needs at least two good friends–and she bought me another dog.”

A friend is a person who does his knocking before entering instead of after he leaves.

Dr. Lloyd John Ogilvie has put together a 5-way test of friendship–5 words, each beginning with the letter “L.”

LOVE. A friend loves unconditionally. Friendship is not dependent on performance or perfection.

LOYALTY. Two friends can count on each other to be there for each other, defending them when they are criticized, and remain steadfast in discouraging times.

Illus.: “Heads Shaved”

High School basketball player who got cancer and lost his hair. To show support, all the other members of the team shaved their heads.

LISTENING. We all long to have someone hear what we are saying and what we mean beneath the level of words.

LAUGHTER. Without ever laughing at us, a friend helps us to laugh at ourselves.

LONGSUFFERING. A true friend endures the test of our failures and takes the long view, seeing what we will be, not what we’ve been.

It’s Up to You

One song can spark a moment,

One flower can wake the dream.

One tree can start a forest,

One bird can herald Spring.

One smile begins a friendsahip,

One handclasp lifts a soul.

One star can guide a ship at sea,

One word can frame the goal.

One vote can change a nation,

One sunbeam lights a room.

One candle wipes out darkness,

One laugh will conquer goom.

One step must start each journey,

One word must start each prayer.

One hope will raise our spirits,

One touch can show you care.

One voice will speak with wisdom,

One heart can what’s true,

One life can make the difference,

You see, its up to you!

Illus.: “Seventy-One and No Friends”

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