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Summary: A sermon that explores our basic need for a friend and concludes in the one true friendship we have in Jesus

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There is a song that has these words.

James Taylor wrote:

In my mind I'm gone to Carolina

Can't you see the sunshine?

Can't you just feel the moonshine?

And, ain't it just like a friend of mine

To hit me from behind?

Yes, I'm gone to Carolina in my mind

In his mind Carolina was an escape place when his friend had betrayed him.

“aint it just like a friend of mine shows that often his deepest friendships end in betrayal.

Not a great thing really. Going to Carolina in his mind was a very short term solution.

We all need friends but friends – indeed most friendships, can end in disappointment and often tears.

I heard the story of two friends who were camping in the woods. As they were having their morning coffee, they heard rustling in the bushes. Coming toward them at full speed was a very large grizzly bear with a very hungry look on his face. One of them started pulling on his running shoes. His buddy turned to him and said, "You don't think you can outrun that grizzly bear, do you?"

"No," the man said. "I don't need to. All I have to do is outrun you."

That is how a lot of so-called friends are. They run away at the first sign of difficulty. It has been said, "A friend is one who walks in when others walk out."

Proverbs chapter 18 24 says New International Version

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

In fact how we choose our friends is really important – The bible has plenty to say about that.

1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

Psalm 26:4-5 I did not sit with liars, and I will not be found among hypocrites. I have hated the mob of evildoers and will not sit with wicked people.

1Psalm 1:1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

Our friends are important and if we choose well then we walk in a place of blessing.

David – in the bible made friends with Johnathon and their friendship was of the highest quality – but eventually Johnathon died and again David finds him self without the true and deep friend that Johnathon was.

We read. 1 Samuel 18English Standard Version (ESV)

David and Jonathan's Friendship

18 As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.2 And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father's house. 3 Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul.

The connection between Johnathon and David was at the deepest level – their souls were knit together .

More than that it was covenanted that is they vowed to keep the friendship there is something deeply spiritual like this and it is for this spiritual quality that you need to choose your friends very carefully . Booker Washington said “Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone then in bad company.”

This knitting together not only will make you more powerful in what you are doing it will influence your life greatly. “You become like the 5 people you spend the most time with. Choose carefully.”

It doesn’t matter though who you are in the world sometimes you can feel that – right now – in the midst of what you are going through – You need a friend!!.

Caroline Beaton an American Psychologist discovered The General Social Survey found that the number of Americans with no close friends has tripled since 1985. “Zero” is the most common number of confidants, reported by almost a quarter of those surveyed. Likewise, the average number of people Americans feel they can talk to about ‘important matters’ has fallen from three to two.

Mysteriously, loneliness appears most prevalent among millennials.

loneliness is contagious. A 2009 study discovered People who aren’t lonely tend to then become lonelier if they’re around people who are.

Loneliness is epidemic – I was in Dunedin by a busstop on Thursday about six people at the bus stop five of them were on their phones – we live in the most connected society ever – many people have 5 or 600 friends on facebook – but suicide is epidemic and people have less friends than in 1948 – What is going on.

My only conclusion is People need a friend.

I am sure that there are many different conclusions we can make sociologically,Spiritual – Psychological and demographic conclusions - but my thesis this morning when you get one friend sorted all the other friendships get sorted.

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