by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Psalms 119:57-64


I.         You can tell much about a person by the friends he keeps

            A.        “Wait a minute! I’m my own person!”

            B.        Perhaps, but outside our family, our friends hold a strong influence in our lives

            C.        You can’t choose your family, but the people you choose to be your companions tell others a lot about what you think is important

II.        The value of true friends

            A.        Examples

                        1.         Jonathan and David - I Samuel 18:1

                        2.         Ruth and Naomi - Ruth 1:16-17

            B.        Having God as your friend is the best thing you can obtain

                        1.         Abraham - II Chronicles 20:7

                        2.         Moses - Exodus 33:11

            C.        A true friend is permanent - Proverbs 17:17

                        1.         True friendship lasts through difficulties - Proverbs 18:24 (last part)

                        2.         The example of God

                                    a.         Joshua 1:5 - I will not forsake you or fail you

                                    b.         Isaiah 54:10 - God’s love for us will last longer than the hills

            D.        Friends are mutually beneficial; they improve each other - Proverbs 27:17

                        1.         They help each other out - Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

            E.        Our greatest friend is Jesus, who, not thinking of himself, laid down his own life for his friends - John 15:13

III.       To have friends, you must be a friend

            A.        “A man who has friends must himself be friendly ...” (Proverbs 18:24 NKJV)

            B.        Don’t leave your friends behind. - Proverbs 27:10

                        1.         Friendships grow when you lean on your friends for help

            C.        But you must be careful who you claim as friend

                        1.         I Corinthians 15:33 - Evil companions will corrupt our good morals

                        2.         Gluttonous friends (people without self-restraint) will bring shame, not just to yourself, but also to your own family - Proverbs 28:7

                        3.         Hang around angry people and you will learn their ways - Proverbs 22:24-25

            D.        Evil must always be resisted

                        1.         Proverbs 1:10, 15 - Don’t be enticed, don’t consent

                        2.         Psalms 141:4 - Don’t eat the delicacies of the wicked

IV.      Sometimes having God for your friend makes it hard to have friends in this world

            A.        Psalms 31:11 - Every one leaves. This world does not follow God and does not understand His gentle ways.

            B.        Job too experienced rejection of his friends during his trials - Job 19:19

            C.        Even Jesus experience abandonment

                        1.         Though He loved His disciples to the end - John 13:1

                        2.         They left him and fled in his time of greatest need - Mark 14:50

V.        Pick for yourself good friends

            A.        Psalms 119:63 - A companion to all who fear God and keeps His laws

            B.        Proverbs 13:20 - Walk with the wise and it will rub off on you

            C.        I John 1:6-7 - There are friends waiting with common belief, won’t you join them?

            D.        That we all can say as Paul, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.” - Philippians 1:3

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