Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Relationships that work and last for eternity are steered by honesty and authenticity. They are also maintained by a commitment that will last for eternity. The only way they can endure the test of time is for them to be formed and based in God’s love.

Relationships that Work!

Thesis: Relationships that work and last for eternity are steered by honesty and authenticity. They are also maintained by a commitment that will last for eternity. The only way they can endure the test of time is for them to be formed and based in God’s love.

Introduction: God designed us to have relationships with one another. Really relationships are what the church is all about. The Bible is full of stories about people who have relationships with one another and with God. Today I want to focus on friendship style relationships. Les Parrot in his book Relationships has a chapter called “Friends to Die For”.

He makes a statement that when I read it impacted me and prompted me to reflect on relationships and their importance. He stated, “…most people do, in fact, find a kindred spirit or two. In fact, only seven percent of people say they don’t have someone in their circle of friends who, at any given time, they can rely on as a best friend.”

I agree with this but for most people this becomes their spouse. But today I want to talk about friendship with others – not with your spouse! Joseph Addison stated, “The greatest sweetener of human life is friendship. To raise this to the highest pitch of enjoyment is a secret which but few discover.”

I agree with this statement “Few have discovered that friendship makes life sweeter, makes life more enjoyable, makes life easier to handle.” Friends – good friends do make all the difference in this world especially when we deal with life’s challenges on a daily basis. A good Godly friend is one who is there to help us face the harsh realities of life. A good friend is one who is not a fair weather friend who is their in the good times but disappears in the bad times. It’s one as Proverbs says” …loves at all times.”

Leslie Parrot has this to say about friendship:

Friends make the ordinary-running errands or eating lunch, for example-extraordinarily fun. And good friends ease our pain and lighten our heavy load….Not only are friends good for the soul but for the body as well. Friends help us ward off depression, boost our immune system, lower our cholesterol, increase the odds of surviving with coronary disease, and keep stress hormones in check. A half dozen top medical studies now bear this out. Their findings didn’t seem to be influenced by other conditions or habits such as obesity, smoking, drinking, or exercise. The thing that mattered most was friends. What’s more, research is showing that you can extend your life expectancy by having the right kind of friends (75).

How important are friendships with others? They in reality can extend your life span. They help you live happily and healthier. I really believe that friendships-relationships that are genuine and godly are rear today. I just think about the latest hit movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”. Have you wondered why this is such a hit. I really believe it was successful because of the strong, deeply committed relationships revealed in the movie. The one

s that you knew would last a life time. I also sat and pondered this week about how counseling is on the rise. Have you ever thought about it? One reason I believe counseling is on the rise is because in our society there are few deep meaningful relationships between others. So people have to go pay a counselor to talk and have someone to listen. Think About it!

Today I have asked Kathy to share with you about a real close relationship she has with her best friend Avis. It’s one that has lasted a long time and many would die to have. Listen to how meaningful this relationship is with her friend Avis.

5 minutes -- Kathy is going to share what it means to have a really good friend.

Kathy has shared the importance of having a good friend and we all need to see the value of these types of relationships.

Chuck Swindoll in his book Dropping Your Guard has to this to say about the importance of relationships with in the Body of Christ:

Before anyone can ever be convinced of the value of involvement and mutuality, that person must come to terms with the consequences of isolationism. The fact is, we need each other. The other side of the coin is axiomatic: Without each other, unhealthy and unhappy things happen to us. Empirical studies and psychological analyses strongly suggest that individuals cannot function effectively without deep links to others. Continuous meaningful, and secure bonds are essential or we risk losing our humanity (20).

Even though it is easy to buy into the selfish lifestyle and opt for isolationism instead of involvement, the consequences are bitter and inescapable. That’s why the simple, profound counsel of Solomon remains so needed: ‘Two are better than one…”Swimming with the current of today’s me-ism mindset has a way of eclipsing the contrasting light of Scripture. If you will return with me to that ancient king’s comment, you’ll find several reasons behind his statement “Two are better than one…” This is true because:

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