Summary: A true friend is Caring. And true friend never gives up on a friend
The Bible is full of examples of friendships! Some were good, others not good!
Here are some good ones!
Abraham & God ( 2 Chron 20:7 ; Isa 41:8 ; James 2:23 )
Ruth and Naomi
Ruth 1:16-17 - "But Ruth replied, 'Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.'" (NIV)
David and Jonathan
Sometimes friendships form almost instantly. Have you ever met anyone that you just knew immediately was going to be a good friend? David and Jonathan were just like that.
1 Samuel 18:1-3 - "After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond between them, for Jonathan loved David. From that day on Saul kept David with him and wouldn’t let him return home. And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, because he loved him as he loved himself." (NLT)
Jesus & Lazarus (Jn. 11)
I: TRUE FRIENDS ARE CARING
A. They care enough to be available (v.3)
B. They care enough to take the sick to the doctor (v.2)
-Sharing about salvation
-Identifying what a friend needs and doing their best to meet that need
Proverbs 27: 9 : “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.”
Proverbs 27: 6 “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”
C. They care enough to pay the cost (v.4)
Job 6:14 - “He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.”
Prosperity begets friends, adversity proves them. Unknown.
II: TRUE FRIENDS NEVER GIVE UP ON THEIR FRIEND (v.4)
To be a friend to someone who is dependent on basic support is to take on a serious responsibility. After all, this paralytic, depending on the severity of his physical challenges might not have been able to bathe, dress, get to the toilet, or even feed himself. To become the friend of a person who has physical limitations is to enter into an intimate covenant relationship in which help is often assumed and necessary.
Paralysis comes in many forms, you know. Not just in the physical. There is also spiritual paralysis, and emotional, and psychological. We freeze-up with fear sometimes, or with anxiety about tomorrow, or with self-pity or grief or blame, a sense of helplessness that gets a grip on us and seizes our ability to move forward in life.
Proverbs 18: 24 : “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
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 volume of sympathy bound in cloth."
"A watch that beats true for all time and never runs down."
"Someone who knows all about you and likes you just the same."