What a Friend We
Have in Jesus
Back in the 1980’s Sam Rayburn - Speaker for the House of Representatives - learned that one of his friends had just lost his teenage daughter. Early the next morning Rayburn knocked on his door and said, “I just came by to see what I could do to help.” The father replied that there was nothing to do. “Well,” Rayburn said, “have you had your coffee this morning?” The man replied that they had not taken time for breakfast. So Rayburn went to work in the kitchen. While he working on making breakfast, his friend came in, and said, “Mr. Speaker, I thought you were supposed to be having breakfast at the White House this morning.” “Well, I was, but I called the President and told him I had a friend who was in trouble and I couldn’t come.”
This is great example of true friend is all about. He is willing to rearrange his schedule no matter how important it might be to help a friend out that is need.
A British publication once offered a prize for the best definition of a friend. Among the thousands of answers sent here are some of the top definitions:
o "One who multiplies joys, divides grief, and whose honesty is inviolable."
o "One who understands our silence."
o "A watch that beats true for all time and never runs down."
winning definition read: "A friend is the one who comes in when the whole
world has gone out." (Bits & Pieces, July, 1991.)
Experts tell us that emotionally healthy people form meaningful ties with other human beings. They don’t just exchange information, they share personal things. They talk about likes and dislikes and their joys and fears. When they have important decisions to make, they get insight and support from their friends.
But those same experts say that there is a disturbing trend going on lately. In the June issue of the American Sociological Review, researchers cited evidence that Americans have a third fewer close friends than just a couple of decades ago.
More disturbing than that, the data suggest that the number of people who have nobody to count as a close personal friend has more than doubled. This data included both males and females those of all races, ages, and educational levels. Even within families, the degree of companionship has diminished considerably. All this information shows that we growing number of people who are feeling lonelier and more isolated than ever. Obviously, this is just one source and not every individual or group of people could be defined by such data, but it does show in part a trend that fewer friendships are being made.
Regardless of who we are or where we are, I want you to understand that everyone single person on face of this earth has the option of having a guaranteed friend that will never turn on you and will always be there for you. Of course that friend is Jesus Christ.
Jesus is a true friend. He is one that can be counted on; one who will always be there in times of trouble; one who is willing to sacrifice for us (we know this because he has already done it).
John 15:9 " As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. 11 "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. 14 "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
Jesus has done this wonderful selfless act of laying down His life for ever single one of us who was, who is, and who is to come.
Romans 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
No one can say that they do not have friend that loves them or cares for them because Jesus has made Himself available for all that are willing to seek Him. When we consider that He is the kind of friend that is willing to put His life on the line and to go through unthinkable torture so that we can gain the benefit of being saved there is no other friend quite like Jesus.
Jesus has all the characteristics of a true friend and then some. For example a true friend loves you no matter what. As:
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.
Of course this does not mean that they will approve of the sinful things you do, but their love is real and they will be there for you and will encourage you to do the right thing. Jesus love is like this. He loved us when we were sinners and was willing to die for us. He loves us in spite of our faults and failures. There is nothing we can do to end that love for us. However, we can live in such a way that we neglect the salvation He offers, but we can’t terminate his love for us.
Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
A true friend tells you the truth.
Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
A friend always has your best interests at heart, even when it means telling you something that hurts your feelings. But you can trust in their truth. You can know that they will let you know when you gone beyond the boundaries of righteousness because a true friend will want you to be right with God so that you can go to heaven.
Truth sets the foundation for a relationship.
Proverbs 27:9 Ointment and perfume delight the heart, And the sweetness of a man's friend gives delight by hearty counsel.
Jesus is such a friend because He has our best interest at heart. He wants what the Father wants:
1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Jesus has provided us with the knowledge that we need to be pleasing to God so that we can be reconciled to Him and be saved. We can know that Jesus tells us many things that are hard for us to deal with in our daily lives, but we can know that Jesus will tell us exactly what we need to do and how we should do it so we can make it to heaven. There is no other friend that can do this like Jesus can, which makes Him a friend above all friends.
A true friend is there when you need help.
Job 6:14 " To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend,
A true friend is willing to listen. Sometimes we do more good for a friend when we don’t say anything because our presence and our compassion speaks volumes. Sometimes a person just needs someone to listen to their woes, so they can get the hurt out of their heart. When it comes to helping a friend it is not always convenient, but a true friend will do their best to be their for their friend and reach out to them in their time of need no matter what is going in their life.
Jesus did this for us. He knew that if He did not leave His heavenly that we would remain afflicted by sin, and we would remain lost. Jesus gave up the riches of heaven and became poor so that we might become rich because He was willing to put us first above His own needs because that is how much He loves us:
Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
How many friends do you have that would be willing to make this kind of sacrifice? I would say very few, but then I would have to ask, how many friends to you know that would make such a sacrifice for humanity? Well, one thing we know for sure Jesus was not just willing, He did it.
A true friend encourages you to be a better person.
Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
When you have a friend that is fellow Christian, they will do what the can in their power to influence you and encourage you to be faithful to God. A friend loves to see you succeed and help in anyway they can to make that possible.
In similar way Jesus, has put everything in place for us in His Word to make us successful, and we know when read about Him and the valuable lessons that He teaches us that He definitely wants us to be better people. He loves it when we succeed especially when we overcome our sin. As we read in Luke 15, we know the entire host of heaven rejoices when the lost comes back to God. Jesus encourages us to follow in foot steps. When we follow His lead, we can know that we will not improve our lives, we will enjoy a peace in our life that no other friend can offer.
A true friend is faithful.
Proverbs 18:24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
A true friendship is not a one sided event. While one person can do everything a friend should be and do, there will never be a true bound or a friendship that will last unless both parties are committed to the friendship.
Jesus is always willing to do His part. He will never take advantage of you or expect anything from you that He would not give to you. Jesus always keeps His promises, and He doesn’t even show partiality. You will not have to worry about Him showing favoritism to someone else because He will treat us all the same. He longs for each us to be in heaven with Him, which why He said:
John 14:1 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
When it comes to Jesus, we can rest assured that He is a faithful friend who never let us down, which why we can say that Jesus is the greatest friend we could ever have and His friendship is available to all who are willing to accept it. We must realize that we too must show that we are Jesus friend and that we have just as much interest in Him as He has in us. We show our sincerity of our friendship by obeying His commands:
John 15:14 "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
Whether you have any friends or not on this earth, you can NEVER say that you cannot make at least one close personal friend in this life because Jesus is ready and willing to be your friend, the question is are you ready to be His friend.
God also knows the importance of earthly friends. In fact, friendship makes up part of the foundation of God purpose for the church. One of key ingredients of having a good friendship is to find people that have a similar goal and similar friends. Every Christian that has Jesus their friend and heaven as their goal are going to be part of the church. What better place to start finding the kind of friends that will help you grow as person and that will be there for you than your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
The more Christian friends you have, the more support you will have. Solomon describes this way:
Ecclesiastes 4:9 Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
When you have a faithful Christian as friend that is doing their best to follow Jesus’ example, then you are going to have a friend that has similar Characteristics to Jesus, which I have already shown is the greatest friend we could ever have. For example the N.T. teaches us how we should treat each other and lift each other up as fellow Christians:
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another,
Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
Galatians 5:13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Galatians 6:2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
Philippians 2:1 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
The list of Scriptures could go on and on, but if you want to have a friend that will be loyal and the has best interest in heart and will help you to get to heaven, then a faithful Christian is one the best earthly friends you can have. I realize that some of us probably have really good nonChristian friends that would do just about anything for us, and there is nothing wrong with having such friends unless they are the kind of friends that try to get you do things that go against God’s Word, but those friends that have the same mindset as you as being pleasing to God and living their life for Him are going to be some the greatest earthly assets you can have.
One thing we must always keep in mind is the human factor in any earthly friendship we have because no matter how loyal are friends may be, they can fail us because they are not sin free, which is another reason that Jesus stands in league of His own because where earthly friends can fail you, Jesus never will because He will never forsake us. He is the one that has said:
Matthew 11:28 "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
With Jesus as our friend, we know that we will have access to Father as well.
2 John 1:9 He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.
John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me.
So, I say, what a friend we have in Jesus.
My question for you this morning is this:
If you have never repented of your sins, confessed the name of Jesus and been washed in His blood in baptism, you do not know Him and He is not your friend, but you can take care of this morning by obeying His commands. He is waiting to be a part of your life and become your friend in the life and remain your friend throughout eternity, but the choice is up to you.
Adapted in part from Greg Dial