There Is A Friend
THERE IS A FRIEND
Scripture: Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
a) Defined: Friendship is a deep inter-personal relationship between two people that is characterized by trust, honesty, communication, caring and intimacy.
b) Types of friendships as defined in scripture: There are two Hebrew words translated friend in verse 24. The first is rea’, and it means associate or neighbor. The second word is ‘ahab, and it comes from a root word meaning to have affection for. So, the first word deals with a neighborly kind of relationship, whereas, the second word involves an affectionate, caring relationship such as David and Jonathan.
ISam. 18:1 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
So we can put it this way, rea’, involves relationship. Whereas, ‘ahab, involves fellowship.
c) Need for friendship: It is wise and extremely important for every person to have at least one close friend - at least on ‘ahab. We are created to be interdependent upon each other and friendship is a means whereby our need for interdependence is achieved. The connection we experience in friendships provide us with needed strength. Solomon said it this way in Eccl. 4:9-12, Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.10. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. 11. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?12. And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
True friends provide the following:
a) A true friend tells you what you need to hear and not what you want to hear. A true friend would rather hurt your feelings with words of wisdom than see you take pleasure in flattery.
b) To a true friend, your overall well being means more to them than your temporary crushed ego.
Prov. 27:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.
v. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
c) Not having a friend to tell you the truth about yourself is like dressing every morning and never looking in the mirror. There is no reflection of your true self.
Prov. 27:19 As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.
d) Friends don’t always get along.
Prov. 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
Marriage is not an easy ride of uninterrupted bliss and happiness. Marriage was never meant to make us happy. As a matter of fact, God uses each person in the marital relationship to sharpen the other. When the iron is rubbing together so to speak, we have the uncomfortable test of necessary friction to sharpen us to make us better Christians for the overall glory of God.
Therefore marriage is about to “dull” friends coming together in a God ordained covenant relationship with a commitment to sharpen one another to improve their character, holiness and dependence on God.
A true friend provides consistent, reliable, unchanging companionship through every adversity. The apostle Paul was left alone by so called friends when things got tough.
IITim. 4:10, For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. 11. Luke is the only friend I now have with me. Call for Mark on your way and bring him with you, for he is a great help to me in my ministry.
16 (Wey.) At my first defense I had no one at my side, but all deserted me. May it not be laid to their charge.
Prov. 17:17A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Job 19:14My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me. v. 19 All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me.
IV. THERE IS A FRIEND
There is a friend that sticks closer that a brother. I want to emphasize the word “a”. There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Jesus called Lazarus His friend. He had twelve disciples, but His closest friends were Peter, James and John. You see, we cannot choose our family members, but we can chose our friends. Jesus chose Lazarus. He chose His disciples. He told them in John 15:16 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.
He told them also that, This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15. 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.
Jesus is the friend that will give you counsel. He is called Wonderful Counselor.
Jesus is the friend that will be your companion. He says I not leave you comfortless. I will come to you.
He is such a wonderful Friend until He left the glory He had with the Father before the world began to die for us so that He could be our Friend.
He created man in His own likeness and in His own image but, man sinned yet He still wanted to be man’s friend.
Man’s heart was on evil continually. So God sent the flood to destroy man but, He saved eight because He wanted to be man’s friend.
He raised up Abraham and taught him to walk by faith. But Abraham lied and had a child of the flesh but God still wanted to be man’s friend.
God raised up Moses to lead Israel to the promise land. They rebelled and God in His wrath wanted to kill all of them and start all over, but He changed His mind because He wanted to be man’s friend.
He came unto His own and they know Him not and they received Him not, yet He still wanted to be man’s friend.