A wise man once said, “A new friend is like new wine, when it has aged you will drink it with pleasure.” The Bible promotes good friendship and teaches us how to fellowship with each other and enjoy life (Acts 2:46). Sadly, sometimes even good friendships end badly because of sin usually in the form of offense, jealousy or hatred. And not all friendships are good for us when we spend time with the ungodly. We will learn today about choosing the right friends and providing the right place for them in our lives.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27, “24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES DEFINITION: The commands and practices a disciple “show” in their life to “grow” spiritually because they “know” God.
TWELVE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES:
- Bible Reading
- Family Order
- Scripture Memorization
- Soul Journaling
- Praying & Worshipping
- Discipleship & Christlikeness
- Christian Service
- Public Evangelism
- Spiritual Meditation
- Financial Stewardship
- Christian Fellowship
- Church Involvement
- ACQUAINTANCES (The Crowd): Jesus shared His space with the crowds at times when he taught and miraculously feed the 5,000 (John 6:10). This would be like your classmates, co-workers, neighbors and people in church.
- CASUAL FRIENDS (The 500): After Jesus rose from the dead He appeared to those from the crowds who believed in Him and shared that special moment with them (1 Corinthians 15:6); the 120 who waited for the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room were most likely from this group (Acts 1:15). This would be like your Facebook friends and those you have small talk with every now and then because of pleasant moments you’ve shared together.
- GOOD FRIENDS (The 72): Jesus had 72 people around Him (both men and women) that were willing to preach and be His disciples (Luke 10:1). These friends are like those on your job you have lunch with, church friends in life groups and those you share interests with.
- CLOSE FRIENDS (The 12): Jesus appointed 12 disciples to be His close friends and be with Him everyday (Mark 3:14). These are the friends that you text and talk to often, meet up with and hangout all the time and share life together.
- INTIMATE FRIENDS (The 3): Jesus had a very special relationship with Peter, James and John because He shared His heart with them in a unique and special way (Matthew 17:1-2;26:37). This would be the 2-3 people in your life you love deeply like David did Jonathon (2 Samuel 1:26).
10 BIBLICAL TRAITS OF A GOOD FRIEND
CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP: Christians that share friendship together according to God’s Word.
- BE RELIABLE: Proverbs 18:24, “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
- BE WISE: Proverbs 13:20, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”
- BE LOVING: Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”
- BE NOT EASILY ANGERED: Proverbs 22:24-25, “24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, 25 or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.”
- BE TEACHABLE: Proverbs 27:5-6, “5 Better is open rebuke than hidden love. 6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”
- BE SHARP: Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
- BE SACRIFICIAL: John 15:12, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
- BE GOOD: 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’”
- BE RIGHTEOUS: 2 Corinthians 6:14-15, “14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?”
- BE GODLY: James 4:4, “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” C.S. Lewis