Summary: This sermon examines the qualities of a best friend as well as our need to forgive others.
"YOUR BEST FRIEND!"
 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
A real friend is someone who knows all about you
and doesn’t tell anyone.
A real friend is someone who knows the worst about you
and still loves you.
A real friend is able to take all the things you are,
to gently sift it like wheat,
to carefully blow away the chaff
and to keep the grain.
Do you have a friend like that?
Not everyone is a true friend!
There are people we know fairly well.
There are fair-weather friends.
There are good friends.
And there are best friends.
Jesus Christ fills that last category to a "T!"
Let me tell the story about a woman named Kimberly.
Kimberly had a "secret friend".
When Kimberly was sick
somebody sent her “Get Well” cards.
When Kimberly had a birthday or an anniversary
Somebody never failed to send her a card.
When Kimberly was going through a tough time…
somebody never failed to send a “thinking of you” card.
Or an “I’m praying for you” card.
Somebody would send flowers to Kimberly…
which filled her days with sunshine.
This secret friend is an example of the kind of friendship
Jesus Christ wants to share with each of us.
There are some truths we ought to consider
in regard to our friendship with Jesus.
As our Best Friend:
JESUS KNOWS HOW TO LIFT OUR SPIRITS:
Jesus had a way of knowing
when people needed cheering up and encouraging.
"And behold, they were bringing to Him a paralytic, lying on a bed; and Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, ’Take courage, My son, your sins are forgiven.’"
When we are suffering some physical problem…
Jesus has a word of cheer for us.
The disciples were on the Sea of Galilee.
They saw Jesus walking to them on the water
and they were afraid.
"But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ’Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.’"
When we are in frightening situations,
Jesus can bring peace and calm to us.
· Listen to what happened to Paul
just before he was shipwrecked Acts 23:11
"the Lord stood at his side and said, ’Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also.’".
When we are doing God’s will and suffering for it,
He has a word of hope and encouragement for us!
· Jesus described His mission
while reading from Isaiah in the synagogue. He said,
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are downtrodden, To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord." Luke 4:18-19.
The King James has the phrase,
"to heal the broken-hearted."
· Does Jesus know when you are tired down to the bone?
· Does He care when you feel like giving up?
· Does it matter to Him
that life has you backed into a corner?
· Does He care when you feel like
you’ve been knocked down for the count?
· The answer is "Yes!"
· And not only does He know and care,
but He knows how to lift our spirits:
· To the tired and weary He says,
"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28.
· To the desperate and defeated He says,
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."
· To those who are beaten and battered, He says,
"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?" Romans 8:31.
· To those who are sorry He says,
"I do not condemn you; Go and sin no more!" John 8:10-11.