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Summary: This was my message for our annual Friend Day about the friendship we can have with God through Christ.

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What A Friend

John 15:9-17

May 18, 2003

Morning Service

INTRODUCTION

I. The Story of Rudy

II. What is a friend?

A. Definitions

1. Friendship definitions

a.) One who multiplies joy and divides grief

b.) One who understands our silence

c.) A volume of sympathy bound in cloth

d.) A watch that beats true and never runs down

e.) Winner - A friend is one who comes in when the whole world has gone out

2. Another Great Definition

a.) A friend is one who knows where you are, understands where you’ve been, accepts who you’ve become and still gently invites you to grow.

b.) Prosperity begets friends, adversity proves them

c.) Friends are like good health; you don’t realize what a gift they are until you lose them.

B. Why is friendship so important?

1. Friends make life complete

2. Friendship allows us to be ourselves without fear or despair

3. Friendship gives us a glimpse of the love of God

BODY : The Qualities of the Friendship of Jesus

I. Jesus offers unconditional love

A. Jesus offers divine love

1. The love of Jesus is supernatural

a.) The love that Jesus gives is beyond our human ability to fully understand

b.) The love that Jesus gives has the power to transform lives

2. The love of Jesus cannot be earned

a.) There is no possible way for you to ever be able to earn the love of Jesus

b.) There is no possible way for you to ever be able to lose the love of Jesus

No way to earn or lose

Fullness is found in following

a.) Fullness of Christ’s love is transforming – once you have it you are no longer the same

He is the greatest master I have ever known. If there is anyone greater, I do not know him. Jesus Christ is the only master supremely worth serving. He is the only ideal that never loses its inspiration. He is the only friend whose friendship meets every demand. He is the only Savior who can save the uttermost. We go forth in His name, in His power, and in His Spirit to serve Him. David Livingstone

b.) Fullness brings us new joy in life – Life with Jesus is filled with joy

The friendship Christ offers

1. Christ has laid down His life

a.) Jesus has died in your place

b.) Jesus lives to reveal the depth of God’s love for you

Set during the french Revolution, it is the story of two friends, Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton. Darnay is a young Frenchman who has been thrown in a dungeon to await the guillotine. Carton is a wasted English lawyer whose life has been one of careless reprobation.

In a beautiful allegory of Christ’s atonement for us, Carton slips into the dungeon and exchanges clothes with the prisoner, allowing Darnay to escape. The next morning, Sydney Carton makes his way up the steps that lead to the guillotine. His final words are triumphant:

"I see the lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy, in that England which I shall see no more -- it is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."

2. Christ wants to call you His friend

a.) Christ allows us special status

b.) Christ wants to share in your life


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