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Summary: This message uses Paul’s friend, Onesiphorus, as an example of the kind of friend we should be to one another.

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“THE PICTURE OF A FRIEND” 2 Tim. 1:16-18

INTRO – Are we a “friend”-ly church? Not talking about how we make guests feel when they come in, although that is important.

- New members sharing some great insights as to what it is like to walk into MBC for the first time.

- Room numbers, Wed. night suppers, intercessory prayer room, offering envelopes.

- Are we ready EVERY week for guests to come to our SS classes and worship services?

o Greeters ministry

o Welcome Center

o Children’s SS classes

o Preschool classes

o Youth classes

o Adult classes

o Teachers here! Here early! Prepared!

o Only get one chance to make a first impression

Not talking about the fun we have together. Not talking about the amount of laughter we have when we have a get-together or fellowship time, although these are important, too.

Are we a church that is made up of people who are friends? Are we a church that is made up of Christians who are concerned about being friends – true friends – w/ other believers w/in the body of Christ?

FRIENDS – word that is used a lot. TV show, “Friends,” ended a few weeks ago. Hugely popular. Why? B/c people want to know that they have some true friends in life. Michael W. Smith wrote song, “Friends,” back in 1983 that is still his signature song. Struck such a chord in so many people’s hearts. Why? B/c people have a longing to know that they have some true friends.

Read story of a new homeowner whose riding mower had broken down. He worked to 2 hours trying to get it going again. Suddenly, one of his new neighbors showed up carrying a handful of tools. “Need some help?” 20 minutes later, the neighbor had mower running again. “Thanks a million. And what do you make w/ such fine tools?” “Mostly friends. Call me anytime.”

In these verses in 2 Tim., we get a picture of a friend. The friend’s name is Onesiphorus. And Paul gives us a strong indication that Onesiphorus was a good friend to him. What traits do we see in his life show us that he was a good friend?

I. HE OFTEN REFRESHED PAUL.

A. His friendship was not a one-time thing. He was a part of Paul’s life and often refreshed him.

a. Gk. word lit. means “to make cool.”

b. Paul uses it here in a figurative sense meaning to refresh, or to relieve when under distress.

B. Onesiphorus did this often for Paul. Came to Paul during times of distress and brought a sense of cooling to him.

a. Like a refreshing, cooling breeze after a storm has passed through.

C. Wouldn’t you love to have a friend like that? Are you a friend like that to others?

a. “Value a friend who, for you, finds time on his calendar – but cherish the friend, who, for you, does not even consult his calendar.”

II. HE WAS NOT ASHAMED OF PAUL’S CHAINS.

A. Paul was in prison. Many people thought Paul had done something wrong. Had to have done something to get thrown in jail. Stigma attached to a person who is doing jail time.

B. But when others were ashamed of Paul and didn’t want to be seen w/ him, Onesiphorus was there.

a. “A friend has been defined as the first person who comes in when the whole world has gone out.”

C. Are you the kind of friend that will go to another brother or sister in Christ when no one else wants to go?

a. When they’ve done something wrong

b. When they are embarrassed

c. When no one else wants to go

III. HE SEARCHED HARD FOR PAUL.

A. Onesiphorus didn’t give up on Paul. Kept on searching and searching until he found him.

a. Don’t know how many jails or prisons he had to go to to find Paul.

b. Don’t know how much time he took out of his personal schedule to do this.

c. But he kept on until he found his friend.

B. Do you have a friend who is gone?

a. Physically

b. Spiritually

c. Socially

C. Are you searching diligently for your friend?

a. Are you staying w/ it no matter where you have to go or how long it takes?

b. SS teachers – what about those folks on your SS roll who are never here? Have you written them off? Given up on them? How long has it been since you tried to make contact w/ them, since your searched for them?

IV. HE HELPED PAUL IN MANY WAYS.

A. Scripture does not tell us specifically the ways that Onesiphorus helped Paul. Paul just said that he helped him in many ways.

B. How many different ways has a friend helped you?

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