Sermons

Summary: Preaching on the importance of building & maintaining friendships. Encourages members to invest time in relationships & cultivate a ‘Friendship Factor’ within in the church & learn about its healthy benefits.

THE FRIENDSHIP FACTOR (Part 1)

By Pastor Daniel Harman on INTERNATIONAL FRIENDSHIP DAY

MEDIA CLIP: Ice Age, Lethal Weapon or Friends

OPENING SONG: I’LL BE THERE FOR YOU (FRIENDS THEME TUNE)or YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND (Nat King Cole) or LEAN ON ME

Theme: Friendship

Anagrams: DR FINE HIPS / RED FISH PIN (used for youth congregation to guess what sermon was about, not used in adult service)

Aim: encourage people to see the importance of building friendships, investing time in relationships, cultivating a ‘friendship factor’ in the church.

Introduction:

How many of you want to live a long & healthy life? How many of you would like to have a positive INFLUENCE on the lives of those around you? How many of you want to be the ‘best friend’ that you could possibly be? Today I’m going to be talking about Friendship. We’ll be looking at What Friendship is defined as, Friendships in the Bible, The Healthy Benefits of Friendship & How Friendship Can Change Lives

WORLD WAR 1 FRIENDS – Powerful Illustration

Out of the furnaces of war come many true stories of sacrificial friendship. One such story tells of two friends in World War I, who were inseparable. They had enlisted together, trained together, were shipped overseas together and fought side-by-side in the trenches. During an attack, one of the men was critically wounded in a field filled with barbed wire obstacles, and he was unable to crawl back to his foxhole. The entire area was under a withering enemy crossfire, and it was suicidal to try to reach him. Yet his friend decided to try. Before he could get out of his own trench, he sergeant yanked him back inside and ordered him not to go. "It’s too late. You can’t do him any good and you’ll only get yourself killed."

A few minutes later, the officer turned his back, and instantly the man was gone after his friend. A few minutes later, he staggered back, mortally wounded, with his friend, now dead, in his arms. The sergeant was both angry and deeply moved. "What a waste," he blurted out. "He’s dead and you’re dying. It just wasn’t worth it."

With almost his last breath, the dying man replied, "Oh, yes, it was, Sarge. When I got to him, the only thing he said was, ‘I knew you’d come, Jim!"

One of the true marks of a friend is that he is there when there is every reason for him not to be, when to be there is SACRIFICIALLY COSTLY.

GENESIS – IT’S GOOD, IT’S GOOD, IT’S NOT GOOD!

Throughout Genesis we read, ‘and God saw that it was good.’ It is a recurring theme – that is, until God created Adam. Then He said: ‘It isn’t good for…man to live alone…’ (2v18) Think: even though the fall had not yet happened and Adam was enjoying uninterrupted communion with His Creator, because he was without human companionship God said it was not good. Inside every one of us there is a void that only God can fill. But there is also a people-shaped void that God will not fill. And nothing else can either – not jobs, houses, cars, or money. The One who created you for connection says, ‘Do not be interested only in your own life…be interested in…others’ (Philippians 2:4 NCV). So, the answer to loneliness can be found in reaching out; in finding an unmet need and pouring ourselves into it.

HEALTHY BENEFITS OF FRIENDSHIP

A in depth study revealed that people with friends enjoy better health, live longer, are happier and find greater fulfilment in life. Time spent with friends will ENRICH our lives & make us healthier – it acts as medicine to help boost the immune system against both physical & mental illness. On the other hand, the study indicates that the more isolated the person, the poorer the health & the higher the death rate.

Definitions / What is Friendship (Are you that kind of friend?):

Our culture seeks to redefine almost everything, including what it means to be, or have, a “friend.” Many who say to us, “I want to be your friend,” do not really know what this requires. Every person needs a friend and, in turn, to be a friend to others. But what does this word mean??

INTERACTION POINT – How Would You Personally Define Friendship?

A British publication once offered a prize for the best definition of a friend. Among the thousands of answers received were the following:

"One who multiplies joys, divides grief, and whose honesty is inviolable."

"One who understands our silence."

"A watch that beats true for all time and never runs down."

The winning definition read: "A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out."

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