Everybody Needs A Friend!

Everybody Needs a Friend!

James 2: 23

There is within us a profound need for friendship.
This is rarely achieved.
Friendship is perpetually sought, but is so elusive.

Everybody needs a friend.
There are many who live out their entire lives without a genuine, authentic friendship.
There is probably no greater tragedy than to go through live without a friend.

Without a friend, life is filled with loneliness as one's only companion.
Without a friend, the only conversation one hears is the monotony of talking to oneself -- to me, myself, and I.

Everybody needs somebody, everybody needs a friend.

  • We need somebody who is loving and loyal.
  • We need somebody who is trusted and true.
  • We need somebody willing to be our confidant.
  • We need somebody who is willing to be our caring counselor.
  • We need somebody who will be devoted in the dark hours of life.
  • We need somebody who will be present in moments of pain.
  • We need someone who will be sympathetic in times of sickness.
  • We need somebody to be with us when the road gets rough and the hills get too steep to climb.
Everybody needs a friend.

A good friend is difficult to find.
Everyone with whom you have a social relationship may not qualify to be a genuine friend.
We must be mighty careful when we choose our friends.
We must remember that a person is known by the company he keeps.
Whether we like it or not, the world judges us by the character of the persons we call, "friend."

We must also remember that everybody that claims to be our friend may not be our friend at all.
What seems to be a friend may not be a friend.

Remember Samson and Delilah.
Delilah proves that even your lover may not be your friend.
Remember, Delilah was the one who cut the seven locks of hair on Samson's head
and put him into the hands of his enemies.

Job had three so-called friends.
One was named either Eliphaz.
One was named Bildad.
And one was named Zophar.
In the time of Job's deepest distress and in the time of his greatest need,
all they could do was to sit for seven days and never say a word.
And when they did say something, it was only to put him down.

Even Jesus had a close associate -- Judas Iscariot, the treasurer of the disciples --
who sold Him for 30 pieces of silver.

A real friend is difficult to find.
Husbands and wives can live in the same house, eat the same meals, share the same bed,
and still not be friends.

Of course, there are many who have no friends because they do not make themselves available to be a friend.
We cannot develop an authentic friendship if we are always negative and gloomy.
We won't experience the sweet communion of friendship if we never have anything good to say.

The Bible says if we are going to have a friend, we must first be found friendly.
We cannot expect to have a friend if we don't know how to be a friend.

If you have a real friend, then thank God for that friend.
I certainly thank God for my friends.

Now let us look at the friendship that James said existed between God and Abraham.
James said, "Abraham was called 'the friend of God'."
  • Moses was the general of that great march from slavery to freedom.
  • Isaiah was God's prophet whose lips were touched by the burning coals of incense from the altar.
  • Amos was God's agent for justice.
  • Solomon was God's repository of love and wisdom.
  • Ezekiel was God's preacher in a cemetery.
  • Job was God's example of a man who persevered in spite of his predicament of pain.
  • Nehemiah was God's builder when the walls of Jerusalem had fallen down.
  • Paul was God's molder of the missionary movement.
  • David was the apple of His eye.
But only Abraham was known as "the friend of God."

What does it take to be God's friend?
What made the friendship of God and Abraham so special?
Abraham and God had a solid relationship because Abraham had his priorities in the right position.

A good friend isn't always looking to get something.
A good friend is willing to accept things.

Do you remember that occasion when Abraham and Lot had a controversy over
who would claim the land?
Lot took the best land -- the most fertile.
Abraham said, "I'll take whatever God gives me. I'm not worried about the land.
My priorities are not in property
."

You can almost hear Abraham say,
"The God I served told me a long time ago that the earth is His, the sea is His,
the cattle are His, the gold is His, the silver is His, and whatever my Friend wants for me will be all right
."

God's friends do not have their priority in property or in possessions.
Jesus said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you."
(Matthew 6: 33)

This friendship of God and Abraham was based on the fact that they knew how to talk with each other.

Not only did they talk with each other, but they didn't always agree.
We must remember that in order to be a good friend, we don't need somebody that agrees
with us all the time.
We don't need a friend who takes our side on every issue, and always thinks our point of view
is the best point of view.

Good friends disagree, but refused to be disagreeable.
Good friends do not always see eye to eye, but they must be willing to listen
to what the other has to say.

Do you remember the discussion that God and Abraham had one day?
God looked down on the city of Sodom and decided that He would destroy it
because of its great evil practices.
But Abraham asked God if he could find 50 righteous men or 45 or 20 or even
one other righteous man in the city -- would God spare the city.

God said, "Okay Abraham, if you can find one righteous man,
I will not destroy the city
."

Abraham and God were friends because they talked to each other.
If you are God's friend, you can sing:
"I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses;
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear, the Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known
."

God also found in Abraham the quality of faithful obedience.
This is the epitome of friendship.

When God said, "Go," Abraham had no questions.
God said, "Abraham, there are two things I'm going to do.
The first thing I'm going to do is to tell you to get out of your country.
Leave your kinsmen and go to a country that I will show you.
I'm not giving you a map. Just go where I send you
."

When God tells us to do something, we'd better do it.
God's Word tells us that "to obey is better than sacrifice."
Even though we do not understand, and even though the way does not seem clear -- we must obey!

"When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey
.

Trust and obey -- for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey
."

The second thing that God told him was that he was going to change his name.
God was say to Abraham, "Since you've proven to be so faithful,
I'm going to change your name
."
God was going to alter his identity.

If you are a child of God, and if you are God's friend, He will change your name.
  • Jacob had his name changed to Israel.
  • Saul had his name changed to Paul.
  • Simon had his name changed to Peter.
  • Abram had his name change to Abraham.
If you are God's friend you can say with the slaves of old, "I know I've been changed."

Finally, God and Abraham found a solid foundation for their friendship,
because both of them encountered a significant birth experience.

Read the birth announcement that said,
"Rabbi and Mrs. Abraham Are Pleased to Announce The Birth of Their Son, Isaac."

We have heard God's birth announcement when He dispatched a legion of angels to herald the news:
"Unto You Is Born This Day In the City of David A Savior, Which Is Christ the Lord."

The significance of the birth of Isaac came to its zenith when God told Abraham to take his only son, Isaac,
up to Mount Moriah and lay him on the altar of sacrifice.
What a day that was, when Abraham took his only son and laid him on the altar.

You can hear Isaac say, "I see the altar, and I see the wood,
and I know this is the mountain of sacrifice, but where is the lamb
?"

God waited 42 generations to answer Isaac's question, "Where is the lamb?"

Abraham: "But God, why did you let Isaac live when I was ready to offer him in sacrifice?"
God told Abraham, "I let your son live in order to save the nation.
I let your son live because in Isaac was Jacob and in Jacob was Reuben, Simeon, and Levi.
In Jacob was Judah, Zebulun, and Issachar.
And in Jacob was Naphtali, Joseph, and Benjamin.
I let Isaac live in order to save the nation
.

But, Abraham, My Son died to save the world.
My Son died to answer Isaacs question: "Where is the lamb?"
He is the lamb.
He is the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world.
He is the Lamb.
He is the dying Lamb
."

"Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power,
Till all the ransom church of God
Be saved to sin no more
."

It is wonderful to have a good friend.
I want a friend who will be with me through thick and then.
I want a friend who will go with me to the end.

I don't need a friend who is only with me as long as I'm all right,
I want a friend who will be with me when I'm wrong.
  • Are you looking for a friend like Naomi and Ruth to say,
    "Wither thou goest, I will go"?
  • Are you looking for a friend like Aquila and Priscilla to have a church in their house?
  • Are you looking for a friend like Paul and Silas to sing in the midnight and pray behind prison bars.
  • Are you looking for a friend like Peter and John to run a foot race to the empty tomb?
  • Are you looking for a friend like those two men on the Emmaus Road who told the world,
    "Did not our hearts burn within us while the man of God talked with us by the way?"
If you're looking for a friend, I am here to let you know that I have found a Friend
who will stick closer to you then a brother.
I have found a Friend who is nearer than your own breathing.
I have found a Friend:

"Jesus is all the world to me,
My life, my joy, my all;
He is my strength from day to day,
Without Him I would fall
.

When I am sad to Him I go,
No other one can cheer me so;
When I am sad, He makes me glad --
He's my friend
."

If you need a friend, a true friend,
a loving friend who will love you unconditionally, forever -- Jesus is that friend.

Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White