Summary: Characterstics of a good friend as seen in the life of Joash

1. Title: You Could Use a Good Friend

2. Text: 2 Chronicles 22-24; 2 Kings 12

3. Audience: Villa Heights Christian Church, AM crowd, June 18, 2006, Father’s Day, 5th in the series “The Kings and I”

4. Objectives:

-for the people to understand the importance of having and being a good friend, and for this to especially be understood by fathers; to be able to recognize the relationships in their life are good and to contrast these with those that are harmful

-for the people to feel concerned that they surround themselves by godly influences; to care about being a godly influence on the people in their circle of friends; to feel that the role of fathers is vital, and to feel the necessity of supporting and encouraging fathers to be their best

-for the people to do a “Friendventory” and assess if the relationships in their life are building their faith or harming it; to reaffirm to some dads that they are appreciated and needed as leaders and guides in our lives

5. When I finish my sermon I want my audience to be convinced that our friendships are very vital, and that our lives are being influenced by and are influencing those around us

6. Type: biographical

7. Dominant Thought: Strong friendships carry the potential to be a great influence for good in our lives

8. Outline:

Intro: It’s Father’s Day, and in addition to talking to and about fathers this morning, I want to talk to everyone about the importance of right friendships in our life. Fatherhood is far more than friendship, but it includes friendship, and I’m finding that many of the qualities that apply to good friendship apply to fatherhood as well.

The fact is, everyone could use a good friend. People who try to deny this are making a choice that makes them less than they could be. You could use a good friend. It’s the whole reason that there are things called “support groups.” You know, you get together with people who share some struggle you have, and you encourage each other and help each other through it. It’s the reason there are groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous. Having a friend helps. In the movie, “Finding Nemo,” it’s the reason there’s a support group for sharks who are trying to change their image of being mindless eating machines and to stop eating fish. (clip from Finding Nemo – 20:15-22:30)

You could use a good friend.

You’ve heard the old story, maybe even seen it in some movie. The kingdom is ruled by oppression. The king who’s on the throne shouldn’t be. He got there by some kind of coup, and had all the rightful heirs of the throne destroyed – all but one, who escaped. The tyrant king would love to get his hands on him to kill him. Somewhere, within the kingdom, a group of loyal subjects maintains a covert resistance. At the risk of being caught and killed, they’re hiding an infant, the rightful heir to the throne. They’re loyal to him, not because of his leadership, but because that baby represents the restoration of things as they ought to be in the kingdom. When the moment is right, they’ll declare him king and launch their move.

It makes a great story, doesn’t it? Great material, only, it’s not just a fairy tale. It’s really what happened in Judah right before King Joash. Athaliah, the former king’s mother, took over when her son died, and at the same time had all of the royal heirs of the family line of David killed.

2 Chronicles 22:11

But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram, took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes who were about to be murdered and put him and his nurse in a bedroom.

For the next 6 years, while the wicked Athaliah ruled Judah, Jehosheba and her husband kept their baby nephew, the rightful heir to the throne, hidden away in the temple. They lived there, in the temple, because Jehoiada was high priest. It’s no wonder that the boy would grow up with a real deep concern about the temple. Then, when Jehoiada had everything ready and in place, he had Joash declared king, and Athaliah put to death.

2 Chronicles 24:1-2

Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty years…Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the years of Jehoiada the priest.

Take special note of that last line, because it’s the key to applying this story to our lives. Joash was a good king, as long as he had the influence of Jehoiada in his life. Right after Jehoiada died, it all changed. Jehoiada had been his good friend, and even like a father to him.

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