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Sermon:
THE ESSENCE OF TRUE FRIENDSHIP
By:
Bro. Dale Leacock
Date:
May 06, 2001

TEXT: Ruth 1:8-18

INTRODUCTION
  1. Very few relationships take as bitter a beating than that of mother-in-law and daughter in law
  2. Yet we see in this story a tremendous friendship that is an example for all of us.
  3. Ruth was not only a daughter in law but of a different ethnic origin - a Moabitess
Reasons people join a church
  • 01% Join because of a special crusade or revival.
  • 02% Join because of the general visitation by the pastor.
  • 04% Join because of some special and unique need.
  • 06% Just walk in and join on their own.
  • 06% Join because the church has a good pastor.
  • 07% Join because of a good Sunday School.
  • 10% Join because the church has a good program for children & adults.
  • 65% Join because they are INVITED by friends, relatives or church members!

CENTRAL THESIS - The friendship of Ruth and Naomi as indicated by Ruth's promise reveals the true essence of friendship

  1. A TRUE FRIEND STICKS BY YOU THROUGH UNCERTAIN TIMES

    1. When grief rapes you of your joy
    2. When there is no certain place to go
    3. Where there is not certain place to stay
    4. When your identity is not certain

  2. A TRUE FRIEND IS WILLING TO SHARE YOUR FAITH

    1. The greatest bond friends can share is faith:

      Chuck Swindoll says that in the Marines he was taught you should dig a hole big enough for two when preparing for combat. There's nothing quite like fighting a battle all alone. There's something strengthening about having a buddy with you that keeps you from panic. We all need someone to lean on. We all need another's show of support.

      Professional speaker Joe Larson once said, "My friends didn't believe that I could become a successful speaker. So I did something about it. I went out and found me some new friends!" There's some wisdom there. Many of us can think of times when encouragement from a friend made all the difference in the world. Especially when that friend was a person of deep spirituality.

    2. Seeing the difference:

      If your friend can see the difference Christ has made they will respond to your faith positively

    3. When to stop praying:

      When do we stop praying for something? Jesus' answer - you never have to.

      A good example of this comes from the life of George Mueller.

      Mueller was an extremely dedicated Christian who ran an orphanage in England in the 1700's. He was known for having a lot of faith in prayer. He never asked for help or money - he just prayed it in.

      Early in his life he prayed for 5 of his friends to be saved. After 5 years, one of them became a Christian. After 10 years, two more accepted Christ. 25 years went by, and the fourth was saved. For the last one he prayed until the year he died but never saw the man become a Christian. Yet 3 months after Mueller was buried, this man also was saved.

      For this last friend, George Mueller had prayed 52 years. You never have to give up in prayer

  3. A TRUE FRIEND IS PREPARED TO GO AS FAR AS DEATH AND BEYOND

    1. The ultimate friendship is demonstrated by Christ
    2. Friendship is something that is worth taking risks for.

      Friendship definitions
      One who multiplies joy and divides grief
      One who understands our silence
      A volume of sympathy bound in cloth
      A watch that beats true and never runs down
      A friend is one who comes in when the whole world has gone out
      A friend is one who knows where you are, understands where you've been, accepts who you've become and still gently invites you to grow.
      Prosperity begets friends, adversity proves them
      Friends are like good health; you don't realize what a gift they are until you lose them.

    3. Friendship in Christ can even go beyond death "Friends are friends forever if the Lord is Lord of them" - Michael Smith

CONCLUSION

  1. Today this promise of friendship is often used at weddings
  2. Let us commit ourselves to our friends
  3. Let us commend our Lord to our friends
  4. The best gift you can give you friend is a gift of faith.

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