Friendship – The Show

September 20, 1999

Friendship – "The Show" – Part II

Proverbs 18:24 – "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly:
and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."

Recently I’ve been spending time as a mentor/tutor to a young man who is
very special to me. Wednesday night when I picked him up for church, he found
out that the youth group was going to an amusement park on Saturday, so he
asked if he could go, and I agreed to take him. Friday before the trip, I went
over to his house to help him with his homework, but he really did not apply
himself. So I talked to him, and he settled down somewhat but still did not put
forth the effort I wanted him to. I then told him, "I really don’t think
we need to go tomorrow. If you don’t do better we may need to stay home and do

At that moment, he gave me all the effort I wanted, but he still could not
execute properly. He just couldn’t seem to answer the questions correctly. So
after two hours of tutoring, mentoring and encouraging, I found myself
announcing, "We are going to stay home and do homework tomorrow."
However, the Lord had other things in mind. He abruptly interrupted my little
plan and said, "My grace is sufficient." The next words that came out
of my mouth were, "We are going to go to the park tomorrow…. but—from
this point on I want you to give me a better effort. If not, then there will be
no more …. no more …." and I finished with the customary, "Do you

This week we look at the latter half of our text: "and there is a
friend that sticketh closer than a brother." If we quickly read this
scripture, it seems rather odd, but if we meditate on it, we can see its divine
purpose. You see, the first half tells us about the costs of earthly friends
(see last week’s message, "Friendship – ‘The Show’ – Part I"), but
the second half tells us about the gain of a spiritual friend—a friend who
intercedes on our behalf to ensure that we receive grace, just as my young
friend received grace.

Who is this friend that sticketh closer than a brother? I really, truly,
whole-heartedly believe that this friend is the Lord. Also something else to
consider, "The Lord really wants to be your friend!" Why? So that you
can follow his commandments. John 15:14 says, "Ye are my friends, if ye do
whatsoever I command you." Now, from the world’s view the answer to this
statement is, "See… I knew it was a catch. Now you can’t have any fun,
go to the club, smoke dope, or drink liquor no more – man it ain’t worth
it." However, here is the truth on the matter. When you follow the
commandments of the Lord, you get BLESSED, not stressed:

-You’ll be set high above all
nations, blessed in the city, blessed in the country. Your children will be
blessed, your land will be blessed. You will be the head and not the tail; your
enemies will attack you one way and flee seven—just to name a few (See
Deuteronomy 28:1-14).

-Your family will prosper and
be restored. Your enemies will be cursed. Everything you touch will prosper,
and the Lord will delight in you—just to name a few (See Deuteronomy 30).

By keeping His commandments you show the Lord that you love Him. As John
14:15 reminds us, "If ye love [Him], keep [His] commandments." So my
brothers and sisters after seeing the benefits and blessings that come with
becoming a friend to Jesus, this one should be a no brainer. So many have been
tricked to believe that loving Jesus will lead to a boring unfilled life.
Excuse me if I’m wrong, but being set high above all nations doesn’t sound like
anything boring to me. It sounds to me like I’ll have everything I want and
need. Yes, when you’re driving that brand new Jaguar to church and those old
worldly friends are driving hoopties to the club, I’m sure you won’t have to
wonder who is "more fun" to serve then.

Also know this, where you are now is not where the Lord wants you to be. He
wants you to be in the Ephesians 3:20 realm—The Exceeding Abundant!! How many
friends can offer you that? What do you have to give up to get into that realm?
Everything the world wants to offer you! The headaches and heartaches. The bad
attitude friends who keep dragging you down and further from your dreams and
visions. What do you get? Everything your heart desires. All the things that
you never thought you could have. The best of whatever God can deliver you. Oh,
and one more thing you get in return: Jesus who is A Lord, A Savior, An
Intercessor, A Deliverer, A Confidant, and A Friend that will forever sticketh
closer than a brother.