God Loves Friendship

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All Christians are children of God but not all are friends of God, although God would love that we all were. This message unpacks this theme and encourages everyone to be a friend of God, describes how to be a friend to anyone, how to show love to another and how the members of our fellowship can build better friendships so we can be ready for the harvest of souls God is going to send us. Time to strengthen relationships so we can bear the weight of the additional ministries God is giving us.

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God Loves Friendship

  1. 1. God Loves Friendship What is the most important question in the universe? Who? Who is the most relational Being in the universe? God What is God’s most intense attribute? Love What are the three main commandments of God? Love God, love your neighbor, love one another. How important to God is loving God? A 10 How important to God is loving people? A 10 1 John 4:20 NIV: If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." ( Gal 5:14) What is life on earth and in heaven all about: Loving relationships ( God, saints, angels, 24 Elders) What is one major way God has designed us to show fervent love to others outside of our families? As Friends
  2. 2. He loves to see people love one another as friends. The scriptures shout this theme over and over. Friend or friends used over 100x in Bible. It is a relationship that has deep meaning and value for God. Proverbs 18:24: There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 27:5-6: Wounds from a friend can be trusted Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Proverbs 17:17: A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Acts 27:3: “The next day we landed at Sidon; and Julius, in kindness to Paul, allowed him to go to his friends so they might provide for his needs. Matt. 11:19 “The Son of Man came...a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ GOD ALWAYS HAD CLOSE FRIENDS James 2:23: “and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called the friend [philos] of God.” EX. 33:11 The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” Doesn’t God love everyone? Yes--but he allows some to get closer to Him than others. God has friends who are part of His inner circle of confidants.
  3. 3. How so you become a friend of God’s? Ps. 25:14: “Friendship with the LORD is reserved for those who fear him.” Acts 13:22: “God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do Jesus  had  many  disciples  who  followed  him,  but  Jesus  also  had  friends:  The   12-­‐-­‐even  Judas  until  Judas  betrayed  Him.   John 15:12-15 : “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” Jesus had three close friends in His inner circle: Peter, James & John. •These three did things with Jesus the other 9 did not: Raised Jairus’s daughter from the dead, •Were with Jesus on mountain when Jesus disclosed His heavenly glory & talked to Elijah and Moses •Jesus asked just those three to be close to Him as He suffered in the Garden before His death. Jesus had a BFF--Best Friend Forever!
  4. 4. John refers to himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved" five times in the book of John. John is the only disciple not to die a martyr’s death. Jesus seems to have spared him that as a reward for his close friendship. Benefits of Being God’s Friend God reveals things to them and not to others ( john 15). Abraham, Moses, David, the prophets, Peter, James and John. Friends became a synonym for Christian brethren: 3 John 1: “Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.” God  Wants  Friendship  From  His  Children Every Christian can be a friend of God, but it is not automatic. Sonship is automatic at conversion: John 1: 12: “ Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” Every Christian is a child of God. But every Christian is not a friend of God. Friendship comes from deliberately drawing close to God consistently--like any human friendship. It takes lots of time, energy and lots of love. Like Jesus said to His own 12: “You are my friends if you do what I command.” Apathetic, self- centered or rebellious believers cannot be friends of God even though they are children of God. Like every parent, God loves all His children immensely, but He is closer to some more than to others because that child makes a greater effort to love and enjoy God.
  5. 5. I cannot prove this conclusively because the Bible does not state this principle definitively but there are clues that this is so. How to be Friends 1. Be a friend of God. God’s friendship with you will enable you to be a better friend to others. He will love them through you. 2. Ask God to guide you as you make friends. He will prepare some people for that. Not everyone is ready to be your friend at the same time. 3. Pray for your friends. Bless them daily in prayer. Ask God to speak to you about your friends so you can have His heart for them. 4. Honor & serve your friends whenever you can. Look for opportunities to brag on them to others. Always try to honor them more than you honor yourself. Look for ways to give to them. 5. Listen well. 6. Keep your promises. Be dependable 7. Apologize when you have made a mistake 8. Be honest 9. Don’t use people 10.Keep confidences 11.Allow them to be different from you. Respect their differences. 12.Forgive quickly. Return good for evil always. Blessings for pain. How to Really Show Love to Someone--including God) I. Eye contact: Look them in the eyes and tell them: (Intimate love language ) A. you love them B. You admire them C. They have a great future D. You are proud to be their friend II. Touch: Touch them with appropriate affection (worship) III. Quality time: Focused attention. Do things that please them, things they asked you to do. (obedience)
  6. 6. How To Grow Friends in ALF 1. Hospitality 2. Small groups: bi-weekly ( Thompson’s, need more) 3. Prayer together as spouses, friends: in person, on phone, Skype, Google chat, Thursday Prayer 4. Be a friend to have friends. you take the initiative! God Wants Us to Be Friends with One Another Every other Christian in the world is our brother and sister but we in this fellowship are called to be friends--to share a deeper, closer, more committed relationship. That’s what God told me to tell you today. God has given us a high calling to be a people who help bring abundant life to others by preaching the Good News to them, healing the sick of body, soul and spirit and by delivering others from demonic forces of evil. This is what Jesus did. This is our calling, as Is. 61:1-3 describes. God has friends. Jesus has friends. He is calling us to be friends. Let’s pray: Help Lord. • Thank you for the friends we have and have had. • Free us from fears of having friends. • Heals us from hurts from former friends. • Guide us to new friends. • Set us free from things that hurt our friendships. • We forgive former friends now. • Help us to be a good friend to others • Most importantly, help us to be Your good friend. Tell me if you want to be in a small group, host or lead a small group. We can help you start one, get trained to lead one or host one. Pray for Youth Group soon.

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