Psalm 35:14, “I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother…”
Prov. 27:17,“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”
A friend is someone who can make a difference in your life. You being a friend can make a difference in someone else’s life. Everybody needs a friend. How is it that God wants you to be a friend?
1. A Friend Will Love You Enough to Tell You the Truth at All Times
First Thessalonians was penned by Paul at the age 46, sixteen years after his conversion. He was in Corinth on his second missionary journey. At the writing of this book a church member had died. He wrote it to explain what happens to the dead at the Lord’s return. He is tender as walks beside them as a friend.
1 Thessalonians 2:7, “But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:”
2. A Friend Will Be Transparent
1 Thessalonians 2:8, “So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.”
President Thomas Jefferson and a group of companions were traveling across the country on horseback. They arrived at a river, which had left its banks because of a recent downpour and had washed the bridge away. Each rider was to cross the dangerous river on horseback.
A stranger standing on the bank asked President Jefferson if he would take him across the river. The president agreed without hesitation. The man climbed on, and shortly thereafter the two of them made it safely to the other side.
As the stranger slid off the back of the horse, a man in the group asked him, “Why did you ask the president to take you across the river?” The man was shocked, admitting he had no idea it was the president who helped him. “All I know,” he said, “Is that on some of your faces was written the answer ’No,’ and on his face was the answer ’Yes.’”
Many times even our faces can show approval or disapproval.
3. A Friend Will Remind You of the Importance of Laboring for Right
1 Thessalonians 2:9, “For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.”
Two men rested at the top of a high mountain. The first man turned to the second climber and said, “I wanted to quit several times, why did you push me so hard?” The second climber replied, “Well, if you would have quit, I would have been forced to quit also because I trusted you to lead me; besides, you were in front.”
4. A Friend Will Be Authentic
1 Thessalonians 2:10, “Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:”
A Union soldier, bitter in his hatred of the Confederacy, lay wounded at Gettysburg. At the close of the battle General Lee rode by, and the soldier, though faint from loss of blood, looked Lee in the face, and shouted as loudly as he could, “Hurrah for the Union!”
The General heard him, dismounted, and went toward him. The soldier later recalled: “I thought he meant to kill me. But as he came up, he looked at me with such a sad expression upon his face that all fear left me, and looking right into my eyes, he said, ‘My son, I hope you will soon be well.’ If I live a thousand years, I shall never forget the expression on General Lee’s face.”
When you truly care about someone your honesty will show through.
5. A Friend Will Point You to Christ
1 Thessalonians 2:11, “As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,”
1 Thessalonians 2:12, “That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.”