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Jesus, my best friend

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The specialists tell us he was born in springtime. ... I could tell you about our trip to Spain, our experiences ... He can't tell me with wisdom from above. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Jesus, my best friend


1
Jesus, my best friend
  • 25 December 2005

2
  • Introduction
  • I wish you all welcome. Today is a little out of
    the ordinary since we just ate together, and in a
    bit well be reminded that this is Christmas when
    we exchange funny gifts.
  • Thats also why I wanted to preach on a subject
    other than Hebrews 11.
  • Right away I remind you my choice isnt because I
    think Jesus was born two thousand years ago in
    December.

3
  • The specialists tell us he was born in
    springtime. So religiously speaking, Christmas
    is a non-existent holiday.
  • Nowhere will you find it mentioned in the Bible,
    its the invention of man an invention that is
    not bad if it serves to reunite families and
    causes good to be done. But it becomes wrong if
    we celebrate it as if God had commanded us to.
  • So today I dont want to celebrate Jesus birth,
    but use some traditions to enjoy a good day with
    my family.

4
  • I hope you understand what Im trying to say.
  • Since we have guests among us, I want to talk
    this afternoon about friendship.
  • Friendship is a precious thing, isnt it?
  • Cicero said this one day the use of friendship
    is the only thing in the world on which everyone
    agrees.
  • We need it to warm our hearts and souls!
  • Sam Walter Foss wrote Let me live the length of
    a path and become the friend of all who pass, and
    I will be happy.

5
  • We all aspire to experience at least one
    beautiful friendship in our lives, whether were
    young or old, Belgian or French, rich or poor.
  • Who was your best friend as a young child? Can
    you remember? Funny how we forget many things
    from this period, but not our friends names.
  • I can still tell you my friends names there was
    Vincent, Jean-Michel, and Yves. We spent so much
    time playing together.
  • Then there were the friends of my teenage years,
    the best of which was Frederic.

6
  • We became friends when his dad killed himself. I
    remember like it was yesterday.
  • His parents had just divorced, his father fell
    into alcoholism. One night he invited his kids
    to eat, but Frederic preferred to stay and play
    with us. When his father was alone he thought of
    all he had lost and jumped out the window of his
    4th story apartment.
  • From that moment Fred was like my adopted
    brother. We did the 400 hits together. I could
    tell you about our trip to Spain, our experiences
    dating girls…

7
  • ...huge snowballs we made to block cars in the
    road. We loved to watch them stop and skid as
    they backed up on the frozen road.
  • Friendship is a really beautiful thing when we
    experience it.
  • When I look back at my life and the years passed,
    I see the different faces of those who marked my
    heart.
  • But I also see the changes the years brought.
    Unfortunately these friendships didnt remain
    unchanged. With time, there was an evolution.
    We took different paths. We no longer live in
    the same place…

8
  • …our thoughts have changed and our centers of
    interest also.
  • Do you understand what Im saying? Have you felt
    the same thing? Time changes things, eh?
  • I change, you change, our friends change.
  • Its the nature of life. In growing older, my
    values arent what they were in my youth.
  • Today my faith defines who I am. The Bible
    defines what I believe and do.
  • And faith creates in me the need to look in
    another direction, an encouragement that is
    necessary for me to function as I want.

9
  • My childhood friends cant help me in the path
    Im on now.
  • Sure, they can still help me if I have a physical
    need. Frederic became boss of a photo store. He
    can help me if I need a new camera, or to develop
    some pictures. Id bet if I needed to borrow
    money, I could still talk to him.
  • But he cant help me if I need advice on how a
    Christian father should raise his children, or
    how a husband should love his wife. He cant
    tell me with wisdom from above.

10
  • So my friends as an adult are different from
    those I made before. My friendships are
    different.
  • You see what I mean? Have you experienced the
    same thing?
  • Who are your friends today? Not your buddies,
    but your friends. Has there been a change with
    the years?
  • And if so, do your new friends mean a lot to
    you?
  • I have a certain sadness for those who tell me
    they havent found a precious friendship.

11
  • Im always perturbed when I meet people who have
    adopted a negative view of friendship because
    theyve been hurt and betrayed, who refuse to
    make new relationships because theyre still
    bleeding.
  • Ben Franklins one of those who probably had such
    an experience because he wrote there are only
    three faithful things in this world an old wife,
    an old dog, and money saved.
  • C.C. Coltons not much better. He wrote Ive
    always noticed a note jealousy, even in best
    friendships.

12
  • Socrates said Friends…but there are no true
    friends!
  • Oh I want so much to bring these great men out of
    the tombs to present them with some of you who
    Ive come to see as friends. Praise God for the
    way hes touched my life through some who are
    here today! Praise God for those hes brought in
    my life whove allowed me to see things
    differently from Colton or Socrates or Franklin.
    Praise God for those Ive known since my 20s and
    still hold in high esteem.

13
  • And praise God if you also have friends who mean
    a lot to you and encourage you in the faith.
  • Think of all of this when you leave tonight and
    tell God how appreciative you are of them. Its
    a gift from him to have found a good friend.
  • This said, I want to develop 3 thoughts for the
    rest of my lesson.
  • Firstly, I want to define in a bit more detail
    friendship.
  • Secondly, I want to talk about who we should
    choose as best friend.

14
  • Thirdly, I want to talk about the attitude you
    must have towards your best friend.
  • I. Definition of friendship
  • Lets focus firstly on the definition. When we
    look in a dictionary, we find a friend is a
    person one knows well, for whom we feel affection
    and for whom one has an affinity.
  • So a friend is more than an acquaintance. A
    buddy, a colleague or an acquaintance know
    certain things about us, but dont know us well.

15
  • Likewise, we all go to church together, we are
    brothers and sisters according to the Bible, but
    we dont all know each other in depth.
  • Do I know your dreams today? your hopes, and your
    fears? Do you know mine?
  • Do I know what you like and hate? Do I know what
    irritates you and about what things you are
    passionate? Do you know for me?
  • True friends are generally close enough to know
    these things about one another. They know what
    goes on in the head…

16
  • …and heart of each other. There is an intimate
    sharing.
  • Acquaintances dont know these things. There
    share a job, maybe the same bank, school or
    pastime, but it doesnt go much further.
  • The Bible says in Proverbs 1824…
  • But lets come back to the dictionary definition.
    Its not just someone we know, but for whom we
    feel a great affection.
  • In other words, someone we like or who likes us
    in spite of our faults.
  • Did you know that in Hebrew the word…

17
  • …meant the beloved? The term is ahab.
  • Maybe thats why Solomon says in Prov. 1717…
  • A friend loves at all times, that is to say even
    when all isnt going for the best, when youre in
    the depths of despair.
  • The opinion he has of you isnt based on what you
    are today, doesnt depend on how you feel this
    month. His point of view is based on what your
    life has been thus far.

18
  • He sees beyond your discouragement, your
    momentary problems. He sees into the depths of
    your personality, whats in your heart. He sees
    your integrity and doesnt doubt you.
  • A friend keeps believing when others lose hope.
    He keeps walking with you because he knows the
    potential hidden in you. He bears all, loves
    despite all, accompanies despite all for he knows
    the little seed hidden in your heart will yet one
    day produce a marvelous flower.

19
  • A friend, you see, chooses to ignore the impolite
    exterior, the eventual problems of money, work,
    family, occasional misplaced pride at a success.
    A friend doesnt condone all, but continues to
    love in spite of all. He continues to encourage
    like Barnabas did for Paul or Mark.
  • I would also say a friend hurts with you. When
    your burden is too heavy, he puts his shoulder to
    the load and starts to carry the weight with you.
  • Like the Arab proverb says, a friend is one who
    will get off his horse to help you…

20
  • …get your chariot wheel unstuck from the mud.
    Hes not afraid to dirty his hands for you.
  • Finally a friend is one in whom one can trust.
  • Isnt this so? Why do you share your worries,
    heart problems, and doubts with your friends?
    Because you know a friend wont add to your
    hurt.
  • You know he or she would be ready to die rather
    than hurt you intentionally.
  • I found a good illustration it happened during
    the first centuries.

21
  • When Dionysus became emperor, he began to rule
    with cruelty. Quickly certain rebelled and
    formed groups to resist him.
  • A man named Damon became a leader of the
    rebellion. The emperors soldiers sent spies and
    managed to arrest him. When they brought him to
    the king, he was immediately sentenced to
    execution. So Damon begged the emperor to let
    him go say goodbye to his family before dying.
    The tyrant couldnt believe his ears. Damon,
    why should I let you do that? Youd just use the
    chance to escape.

22
  • To which the prisoner replied, I give you my
    word that Ill come back. Your word, laughed
    the king, whats that worth?
  • To this someone in the crowd that was present
    came forth and said I will take his place until
    he returns and if he doesnt, Ill die in his
    place. This mans name was Pythias…you
    understand he was Damons friend. The emperor
    was very surprised at this offer, when he saw the
    expression of love and trust that prevailed
    between these two men. Wanting to see how far
    this friendship went, he said to Damon

23
  • Ill give you 6 hours, not a minute more. If
    youre not back exactly then, Ill take your
    friends life. Dont underestimate me!
  • 5 h 55 min later the king brings Pythias in front
    of him and said, your friend isnt back. In a
    few minutes, youll be executed. He let you die
    in his place.
  • The executioner takes him, forces him to his
    knees, and raises his sword to cut off his head.
    At this moment, Damon appears crying stop, stop,
    Im here! Hes out of breath, he comes toward
    Pythias and says, sorry, my horse died of
    exhaustion, I made him run so much. I couldnt
    find…

24
  • A replacement. Pythias pushes Damon back, turns
    toward the emperor and says, let me die in his
    place, I beg you! The emperor, stupefied by
    this request, responds, surely youre out of it.
    You cant be serious, you want to die in his
    place? Pythias didnt have time to respond
    because Damon speaks up no king, the punishment
    is mine!
  • This story tells how for the first time in years
    the tyrants ice heart was touched. He melted
    before this demonstration of love. He lets them
    live, but they must show what made their
    friendship so strong.

25
  • Do you have a friend like that today? One who
    loves you enough to die for you? I do!
  • II. Who should be your best friend?
  • I arrive at my second point.
  • I dont like to tell people who to spend time
    with or not. I dont lead a sect, but a group
    where each is free to choose.
  • However today Im going to make an exception and
    tell you your best friend should absolutely be…

26
  • Can you guess? You should absolutely have the
    same best friend as I that is, Jesus.
  • I tell you, if you let him, Jesus will be
    absolutely the best friend you could have. You
    cant find one better.
  • Think of all I said a couple minutes ago.
    Firstly, a friend is one who should know you
    well. Who knows you better than he? He knows
    the number of hairs on your head, what goes on in
    your heart, and whats brewing there. He knows
    perfectly the way you think. I bet you dont
    know yourself as well as he knows you.

27
  • Ill give you an example how many hairs on that
    skull of yours?
  • Not only that, he loves you more than all. Paul
    says in Eph. 314-19…
  • Has anyone ever loved you like Jesus has? Anyone
    ever died for you? Jesus did.
  • Do you want to know how much he loves you? Look
    at his pierced hands and feet. Look at his
    crowned forehead where blood flowed for you.
    Listen to his voice that cries Father forgive
    them for they know not what they do! (Jean
    1513)

28
  • While we were still sinners Christ died for us.
    He saw your heart and said youre worth it!
    Daniel I love you no matter what youve done to
    your wife, no matter what youve done to your
    daughter or to your son. I love you no matter
    who youve hurt, stolen from, abused, or lied to.
    I love you despite what youve done to me!
  • I ask you, can you find a better friend than this
    one?
  • And I add still that Christ wont ever leave you
    if you choose him as best friend in your life.
    Revelation 15 he is faithful!

29
  • A man once brought an accusation before Plinius
    the younger. He had committed the crime of being
    a Christian. The governor told him Ill banish
    you! To which the man replied You wouldnt
    know how, for the world is my fathers house.
  • So Ill kill you and destroy you! The man
    replied you wouldnt know how, my life is
    hidden in Christ.
  • Ill take all your goods Plinius told him.
    You wouldnt know how, even if you wanted to,
    for my treasure isnt of this world, but in
    heaven.

30
  • So Ill chase you far away from men and youll
    have no more friends.
  • The Christian finally told him You wouldnt
    know how, for I have a friend from whom you can
    never separate me.
  • Jesus, if hes youre friend, will never leave
    you. Need I say more?
  • So will you let Jesus be your best friend, if he
    isnt already?
  • He wants it more than anything. Thats why he
    says in John 1515…

31
  • III. The attitude to have toward my friend
  • Finally I arrive at my last point What attitude
    should I have toward my friend?
  • I dont have the time to expand, but I want to
    quickly mention 4 things
  • 1. I should always confide in him.
  • 2. I should live for him.
  • 3. I should always follow him.
  • 4. I should always try to obey and fight for
    him.
  • I want to finish with a verse John 1514…

32
  • Conclusion
  • Today are you in relation with him? Do you live
    a life that shows him to be your best friend? If
    not, I tell you make place for him in your heart.
    It will be the best decision youll ever make.
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