8/13/2017 “Who is your true friend”

<Proverbs 18:24>

Almost everyone in the United States is making friends with hunger without exception. A friend here means a true friend. I saw a lot of people bragging about their friends with their fingers. However, I also hear complaints that they have few friends whom they can depend on.

You already have a lot of friends. But you do not have to make so many friends, and in fact, many friends do not really help you.

The New American Standard has posted this article: "A man of many friends comes to ruin."

That is correct. Having too many friends can be dangerous.

John Carpenter, a 31-year-old Internal Revenue Service Officer, is the only male to win the one-time cash award in US television history, except for the lottery. He received $ 1 million in prize money. When he appeared on the show Regis and Kathie Lee, Cathy Lee spoke to him: 

"John, be careful. You're going to be amazed at how many new friends you're going to make."

I want to share with you today a question about friendship and how to be friends. 

There are three choices for people to decide their fate.

The first choice is the God you worship. The second choice is to live with you for life. The third choice is your friend.

The God you choose determines your eternal happiness. The spouse you choose determines the happiness of your family. The friend you choose determines your social happiness.

KJV Proverbs 12:26 says, "The righteousness is more excellent than his neighbor: but the way of the wicked seduceth them."

Benjamin Franklin said, "Be slow in choosing a friend, and even slower in changing."

The best way to find good friends is to be good friends.

The reason why some people do not have good friends is because they are not good friends.

Dale Carnegie wrote in his book "How to Win Friends and Influence People."

"You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people, than you can in two years trying to get other people interested in you."

You must be good friends. And you have to choose a good friend. I believe that it is good to be friendly with sinners because Jesus is a friend of sinners. But I think that those who want to be our friends must be Christians.

The psalmist said: "I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts." (119: 63)

Listen to Proverbs 16: 24b again: "A whisperer separateth chief friends."

Did you know that they were staying in the hospital today because they chose the wrong friends? Did you know that they are staying in jail today because they chose their wrong friends? Did you know that there are people in hell today because they chose their wrong friends?

Those who go with the wrong crowd like the wrong people. People who listened to the wrong people like to follow the wrong advice. Those who like to follow the wrong advice will imitate the wrong way.

One of the saddest stories in the Bible is the story of Amnon, son of King David. He raped his sister and eventually was killed by his brother. How could this happen?

See 2 Samuel 13: 3: "But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the last of Shimeah David's brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man."

A friend named Jonadab told Amnon that he could seduce her and rape her.

Amnon followed the advice of this "bad friend". So he raped his sister and brought great shame to the king's house. Everything happened because he chose the wrong friend.

George Washington said, "Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation. For it is better to be alone than in bad company."

David was only a 19-year-old shepherd boy, but even without using the sword once, he just threw a stone, knocked out a huge giant 10 feet tall at once, and took hold of the Philistine's sword and drew it from the Scabbard. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.

At that moment, David became the most popular person throughout Israel. He became a national hero. And he soon became a man of the king.

But his glory and happiness did not last long. King Saul began to envy him. People pretended to respect Saul, but David was the one who really respected them. David tried to reach Saul, but there was a great danger ahead of him in the burning jealousy of Saul's heart.

At that very moment, God gave David a friend whom David would desperately need in his life.

See 1 Samuel 18: 1: "Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And he came to pass, and he made an end of speaking unto Saul, that soul of Jonathan."

This verse is translated literally. "The soul of Jonathan was chained with the soul of David."

I would like to call them "brothers of souls." For Jonathan had the greatest love one man could give to another. "Jonathan loved him as his own soul."

Jonathan loved David as much as he loved himself. Do you really know that you need to learn to love yourself before you love others?

I know the secrets to people who are not very adorable. They struggle to love themselves. Jonathan proved how much he loved David.

Jonathan could easily jealous of David. Because he was the heir of the throne as the son of Saul. He was scheduled to be the next king. Instead, Jonathan took his love and friendship with David.

He actually said, "David, I know you will be king of Israel instead of me, but I will keep my position as your friend."

This friendship is more than an emotional thing. It was spiritual. This was much deeper than friendships with ordinary friends.

In verses 3 and 4, Jonathan made a covenant with him because he loved David and himself. “Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.” (I Samuel 18:3-4)

Jonathan knew that David would be king over Israel. So this covenant is important.

With David being chased by his father Saul, Jonathan gives David his garment, the symbol of the future king. He also gives David his sword and to his bow, and even his girdle, which symbolizes his role as commander in charge of the army. Jonathan made a covenant of blood to give up his kingship for the friendship with David.

Jonathan gave David the best he could give as a friend. It is loyal.

Today's verse Proverbs 18:24 says:

"A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."

You do not need a friend when you prosper. You need friends on the day of hardship. A friend you meet when you are prosperous is hard to become a true friend.

A false friend is like your shadow. As long as the sun shines, he 's close to you. But as soon as you walk into the shade, he will soon disappear from you.

A true friend is one who increases your joy and shares your sadness.

A friend is a relationship between an hour hand and a minute hand moving all the time together constantly.

Irma Bombeck said, "A friend is some-body who won't go on a diet when you're fat."

However, my favorite definition of a friend is: "A friend is someone who will walk into your house when the whole world has just walked out."

Friendship lasts through thick, thin, hot, cold, good, bad.

We read again Reverence 18:24.

"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."

Henry Ward Beecher said. "You ought to keep a big cemetery in your backyard where you can bury the faults of your friends."

Somebody has said that the reason why he has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

You never have to worry about what a person will say behind your back.

Some people say that no one can have more than four friends if everyone knows what others have said about them behind their backs. That would be true.

Prov. See 16:28. "A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends."

But true friendship is also a lasting relationship. True friendship will test time, trials, and hardships. There are more "intimate" friends than brothers.

Charles Colson served as Special Advisor to President Richard Nixon from 1969 to 1973, but he was arrested on charges of Watergate scandal in 1974 and served seven months in prison. He was a guest speaker at George Washington University after his release. One day he was talking to the hostile crowd in Washington, DC.

Questions were being thrown at him by rapid-fire, and the crowd was becoming increasingly angry. As a student stood up and told Henry Kissinger about the malicious criticism of Richard Nixon, he asked Chuck Colson, "Do you agree with that criticism?" 

Every eye focused on what he meant. He said: "No, I do not go along with Henry Kissinger's comments." Mr. Nixon is my friend, and I do not turn my back on my friends."

After a while, Colson anticipated criticism from angry antagonists. But the crowd was silent for a while. And as the moment of silence passed, the students stood up and sent a standing ovation for a long time. Because they were impressed by Colson's friendship with Nixon.

Someone said, "In prosperity we get a lot of friends, but in adversity we get a true friend."
Prov. 17:17 says, "A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."

A true friend is someone who wants to be a friend to you when you are in trouble. They are people who do not ask you what you can do for them, but what they do for you.

From 1 Samuel 18-20, Saul tries to find and kill David six times. But at a crucial moment, Jonathan appears before David, telling him that Saul is coming, and seeking David's life.

At last in Samuel 20, they felt that they would never see each other again.

And David arose out of the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded. (1 Samuel 20:41)

God saw the woeful separation of these two men, and he saw them again.

But they stumbled again the next time. David was also being chased from the wilderness like wild animals to King Saul at that time. As for the situation, we read amazing words.

David was in the wilderness of Ziph in a wood. And Jonathan Saul's last arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God. And he said unto him, "Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; And thou shalt be king over Israel. And they made a covenant before the LORD."(23: 16-18)

In an urgent situation where Saul or his men can at any moment run out of the bushes or rocks to kill David, Jonathan is willing to betray his father for David. He takes a risk and finds a chased friend, comforts him and encourages him. He makes a covenant again so that he will not give up the way he received from God.

Proverbs 27:17 speaks. "Iron sharpeneth iron; So a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."

True friends make friendship in the midst of suffering. They draw each other well. They raise each other. They motivate each other to do better.

The friendship of Jonathan and David is the shadow of friendship with us and Jesus Christ today.

The secret of true friendship is not just finding people. The secret to friendship is finding others who have a mind toward God. So David and Jonathan could recognize each other. Because they loved God so much, they loved each other with love.

Jesus does not call us servants. He calls us friends. He showed us his love for us by giving us the cross and giving the church family. We all became friends in Jesus, like David and Jonathan.

I hope that this love can blossom in your friendship.

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