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Summary: Purpose: Have the listener realize we all need a friend to help us stay sharp in Jesus.

"Sharpen One Another"

Scripture: (Proverbs 27:17)

Purpose: Have the listener realize we all need a friend to help us stay sharp in Jesus.

Introduction: The mayor of Philadelphia and his wife were sitting at a McDonald’s restaurant one day when the mayor noticed his wife in deep conversation with a clown that was doing a birthday party. As they were leaving the mayor asked his wife if she knew the man. “Know him?” she said, “I used to date him!”

The mayor smiled in a self-satisfied sort of way. “You could have been married to a clown!” he said. “That’s not the way I look at it,” his wife replied. “If I’d married him, he’d be mayor!”

Have you ever thought about the people you have known in your life time, about how they have influenced you? Who is in your lives that keep you sharp for God? If your answer is no one, then how do we find someone that we can rely on to help us along our spiritual journey, some one to keep us sharp as Christians to become the people that Jesus desires us to be?

There is a proverb that tells us actually this. (Proverbs 27: 17) As Iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. (NLT)

This proverb is widely recited and memorized within the Christian group of “Promise Keepers”. A group of Christian men that “sharpen” one another to become that which God desires us to be. The application of this truth can affect our lives, men and women alike, in a positive way. We should ask ourselves one fundamental question,..

I. WHO’S KEEPING YOU SHARP?

1. You know we have some fantastic leaders in our church. At least one of our Elders stops by to visit with me throughout the week to go over various things about the ministry. They always asks me, “How is your walk with Jesus?”; “How are your daily devotions?”, “How are things at home?” I am blessed to have men in my life that asks questions like this.

2. Who asks you the tough questions? “How’s it going at home? How’s your thought life? Walking too close to the edge in any area?” (pause) "Who is keeping you sharp?"

3. Most of us have some casual acquaintances that pass in and out of our lives and though our lives are impacted by all of our relationships, the greatest influence comes from those we call close friends. Little teams of people who help us try again when we fail, encourage us when we’re discouraged, lighten our load when it gets too heavy, and give us strength against the evil forces we all face.

4. Our friends either help us become and stay sharp or they facilitate our becoming and remaining dull. It’s like there is an invisible membrane between friends, and what passes between close friends are values, convictions, morals, habits, and goals.

5. If you want to know what kind of person you are becoming, then ask yourself: “Who are my friends?”

- Our youngest son Hazen shares a class room with Drew Cunningham and we are slowly but surely finding out that we are sharing our home with a carbon copy of Drew Cunningham. He is beginning to sound, act, and he is even walking like him now. We become those that we are in association with.

6. We all need a Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy.

- Paul: an older person willing to invest in your life. Somebody who’s been down the road and is willing to share the lessons they have learned and the experiences that have shaped their lives. An older person to spend time with you, and show us some of the ropes.

- Barnabas: a soul brother or sister who loves you where you are and encourage you to become the person you can be. People seemed to change for the better when Barnabas was around. We need to surround ourselves with these kinds of people because we become that which we are surrounded by.

- Timothy: a younger person into whose life you come to offer help. A person that you can help reach their potential. Every youth today needs someone who will care about them enough to get involved with them.

7. I’ve seen too many people try to go it alone. You get dull real quick. Who are you spending time with? (pause) "Who’s keeping you sharp?"

II. WHO HAS YOUR BACK?

A. In the Army, your fellow soldiers would always say to one another just before we would go through an obstacle, “Hey, I’ve got you back.” I really enjoyed hearing that, it made me feel a bit more confident as tough things would be before us.

1. (1 Samuel 18: 23), tells of a story of a special friendship that developed between David, who became the greatest king in the history of Israel, and Jonathan, Saul’s son. David had a friend who kept him sharp and had his back. Numerous times, Jonathan saved his life by warning him.

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