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The Best Thing You Can Do for Your Friend

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The Best Thing You Can Do for Your Friend

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Introduction: Some of you may remember the birthday card I shared with you after my birthday in December. It was from a dear friend in Witt, Illinois. She has a great sense of humor. The card read, “Getting Older is kinda like frying bacon in the nude…You know it’s gonna hurt but you’re not exactly sure where!” Well, I just got another little note from her. It shows a little red haired girl diving into a delicious salad and says, “Friends are the Bacon Bits in the salad bowl of Life.”
The last few weeks we’ve been focusing on the theme of friends. We considered the wonderful idea expressed in the hymn we sing from time to time, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” We also study the friendship of Barnabas and the Apostle Paul and were reminded how important it is to be a good friend and encourager. Last week we took a trip to the Land of Us and listened in of the visit of Job’s three friends who came to see him and there we learned a few things about what not to do or say if we are going to be a true friend.
Introduction: The last few weeks we’ve been focusing on the theme of friends. We considered the wonderful idea expressed in the hymn we sing from time to time, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” We also study the friendship of Barnabas and the Apostle Paul and were reminded how important it is to be a good friend and encourager. Last week we took a trip to the Land of Us and listened in of the visit of Job’s three friends who came to see him and there we learned a few things about what not to do or say if we are going to be a true friend.
The last few weeks we’ve been focusing on the theme of friends. We considered the wonderful idea expressed in the hymn we sing from time to time, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” We also study the friendship of Barnabas and the Apostle Paul and were reminded how important it is to be a good friend and encourager. Last week we took a trip to the Land of Us and listened in of the visit of Job’s three friends who came to see him and there we learned a few things about what not to do or say if we are going to be a true friend.
This morning I want to spend a few minutes and consider the Best Thing You Can Do for Your Friends. It is, I’m sure you will agree, and most important topic. We’ll begin by learning about an incident that happened a long time ago in the land of Samaria...
This morning I want to spend a few minutes and consider the Best Thing You Can Do for Your Friends. It is, I’m sure you will agree, and most important topic. We’ll begin by learning about an incident that happened a long time ago in the land of Samaria...
Syrian King Ben-Hadad and his army had surrounded the city of Samaria. He was permitting no food, no water, and no provisions to enter. It was already a time of famine, and the king was determined that he was going to starve the Samaritans into surrender. He nearly succeeded. Inside the city of Samaria the situation got so desperate that The Living Bible says that a donkey’s head sold for $50 and a pint of dove’s dung brought $3. The Bible even tells us of two women who were so hungry that they resorted to cannibalism in an effort to survive ().
Syrian King Ben-Hadad and his army had surrounded the city of Samaria. He was permitting no food, no water, and no provisions to enter. It was already a time of famine, and the king was determined that he was going to starve the Samaritans into surrender. He nearly succeeded. Inside the city of Samaria the situation got so desperate that The Living Bible says that a donkey’s head sold for $50 and a pint of dove’s dung brought $3. The Bible even tells us of two women who were so hungry that they resorted to cannibalism in an effort to survive ().
Meanwhile, four lepers were sitting at the city gate. One of them said, “Look, if we just sit here, we’re going to starve to death. It’s time for some action. Why don’t we just walk into the enemy camp? They’ll probable kill us, but so what? We’re going to die anyway. On the other hand, maybe they’ll take us captive and put us in a cell and feed us. Either way, it’s better than just sitting here starving. We’ve got nothing to lose.
Meanwhile, four lepers were sitting at the city gate. One of them said, “Look, if we just sit here, we’re going to starve to death. It’s time for some action. Why don’t we just walk into the enemy camp? They’ll probable kill us, but so what? We’re going to die anyway. On the other hand, maybe they’ll take us captive and put us in a cell and feed us. Either way, it’s better than just sitting here starving. We’ve got nothing to lose.
So they just walked into the enemy camp. But, to their amazement, they found the entire camp deserted. The Lord had caused a strange noise to surround the Syrians, and the soldiers panicked. They concluded it was the thunder of horses’ hooves in the distance, and that the Hittite and Egyptian armies were coming to rescue the Samaritans. In a panic, they fled and left behind all of their provisions.
So they just walked into the enemy camp. But, to their amazement, they found the entire camp deserted. The Lord had caused a strange noise to surround the Syrians, and the soldiers panicked. They concluded it was the thunder of horses’ hooves in the distance, and that the Hittite and Egyptian armies were coming to rescue the Samaritans. In a panic, they fled and left behind all of their provisions.
The lepers walked into the camp with their hands up ready to surrender, but nobody was there. They walked into the mess hall and found food spread out on the tables, and they began to gorge themselves until they were full. Then they went into individual tents and discovered clothing and gold and silver, which they began stuffing into their pockets.
The lepers walked into the camp with their hands up ready to surrender, but nobody was there. They walked into the mess hall and found food spread out on the tables, and they began to gorge themselves until they were full. Then they went into individual tents and discovered clothing and gold and silver, which they began stuffing into their pockets.
Then the lepers said to each other, “Hey! This isn’t right. This is wonderful news, and we aren’t sharing it with anybody. Even if we wait until morning, some terrible punishment may fall on us. Let’s go back to the city and tell the people what we’ve discovered.”
Then the lepers said to each other, “Hey! This isn’t right. This is wonderful news, and we aren’t sharing it with anybody. Even if we wait until morning, some terrible punishment may fall on us. Let’s go back to the city and tell the people what we’ve discovered.”
So they returned to Samaria and informed the people that the siege was over and there was plenty of food in the enemy camp. But the people of Samaria were hesitant to believe them. They concluded that the news was too good to be true—it must be a ploy by the enemy to ambush them. The lepers had a hard time convincing the people that the message was true. Finally, the people believed, stampeded out of the city, and took advantage of the food that God had provided for them. ().
So they returned to Samaria and informed the people that the siege was over and there was plenty of food in the enemy camp. But the people of Samaria were hesitant to believe them. They concluded that the news was too good to be true—it must be a ploy by the enemy to ambush them. The lepers had a hard time convincing the people that the message was true. Finally, the people believed, stampeded out of the city, and took advantage of the food that God had provided for them. ().
That Old Testament story contains a lesson for us today. In the kingdom of God, we have found food for hungry souls. We have found riches for the poor in spirit. We worship week after week, being fed from the Word of God and renewed by the Spirit of God. It’s refreshing and strengthening to be a Christian. But if we care anything about others, our friends, we realized that it’s wrong not to share the good news of Christ with them.
That Old Testament story contains a lesson for us today. In the kingdom of God, we have found food for hungry souls. We have found riches for the poor in spirit. We worship week after week, being fed from the Word of God and renewed by the Spirit of God. It’s refreshing and strengthening to be a Christian. But if we care anything about others, our friends, we realized that it’s wrong not to share the good news of Christ with them.
God has called each of us to both privilege and purpose. Our privilege is what Christ has done for each of us. Our purpose is what He expects from each of us. Basically, He expects us to be His servants—to be people helpers. To care about others with a genuine love. We have been blessed so that we can be a blessing. We have been blessed with friends...some of them are very close friends. We have the obligation to be a blessing to them by sharing Good News with them. We have found bread...the Bread of Life...they need that bread or they will perish!
God has called each of us to both privilege and purpose. Our privilege is what Christ has done for each of us. Our purpose is what He expects from each of us. Basically, He expects us to be His servants—to be people helpers. To care about others with a genuine love. We have been blessed so that we can be a blessing. We have been blessed with friends...some of them are very close friends. We have the obligation to be a blessing to them by sharing Good News with them. We have found bread...the Bread of Life...they need that bread or they will perish!
Someone has offered this as a definition of evangelism: “It’s one beggar telling another beggar where to find food.” For our consideration this morning we would say, “Evangelism is one friend sharing with another friend the greatest news in all the world.”
Someone has offered this as a definition of evangelism: “It’s one beggar telling another beggar where to find food.” For our consideration this morning we would say, “Evangelism is one friend sharing with another friend the greatest news in all the world.”
Good friends share with each other. We may share a cup of coffee; or a meal; or a hobby; or we may spend time with them...then younger generation calls is “hanging out”; we may share concerns about our children, or our job pressures; or, swap stories and jokes, or, zeal about our favorite ball team; or, small talk about the weather; sometimes it may mean being with them to comfort them in a loss or illness or celebrate with them in a joyful event. All of these have their place. But let’s be honest...none of these would qualify as the most important thing we need to share with our friend. The best thing we can do for our friends is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with them!
Good friends share with each other. We may share a cup of coffee; or a meal; or a hobby; or we may spend time with them...then younger generation calls is “hanging out”; we may share concerns about our children, or our job pressures; or, swap stories and jokes, or, zeal about our favorite ball team; or, small talk about the weather; sometimes it may mean being with them to comfort them in a loss or illness or celebrate with them in a joyful event. All of these have their place. But let’s be honest...none of these would qualify as the most important thing we need to share with our friend. The best thing we can do for our friends is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with them!
Now, in order to do that there are some principles that we need to remember about our responsibility of sharing Christ with our friends. Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians can help us do this effectively. ().
Now, in order to do that there are some principles that we need to remember about our responsibility of sharing Christ with our friends. Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians can help us do this effectively. ().

I. We Must Be Sincere (5:11-14)

I. We Must Be Sincere (5:11-14)
1. , “Since then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.”
1. , “Since then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.”
2. Reader’s Digest carried a story about a woman who traveled fifty miles to visit a friend. When she went to the car to drive home, she discovered she had locked her keys in the car. She didn’t know what else to do, so she telephoned her husband long distance. He was exasperated with her, but he finally said, “You just stay there, and I’ll drive out and bring me keys to you.” The woman went back out to her car and found that actually one of the back doors was open. She raced back into the house and telephoned her husband, but he had already left.
2. Reader’s Digest carried a story about a woman who traveled fifty miles to visit a friend. When she went to the car to drive home, she discovered she had locked her keys in the car. She didn’t know what else to do, so she telephoned her husband long distance. He was exasperated with her, but he finally said, “You just stay there, and I’ll drive out and bring me keys to you.” The woman went back out to her car and found that actually one of the back doors was open. She raced back into the house and telephoned her husband, but he had already left.
“What are you going to do when your husband arrives?” her friend asked. “He’s really going to be mad when he finds out that the trip was unnecessary.”
“What are you going to do when your husband arrives?” her friend asked. “He’s really going to be mad when he finds out that the trip was unnecessary.”
She said, “I’m going to do what any red-blooded American wife would do!” And she went out and locked the door and slammed it shut!”
She said, “I’m going to do what any red-blooded American wife would do!” And she went out and locked the door and slammed it shut!”
3. None of us like to admit our imperfections. We often times work hard at concealing our real selves to the world, even our friends. Some Christians think that the way to influence others is to leave the impression that they never fall and they have all the answers. Such phoniness actually turns people off. Then credibility is lost.
3. None of us like to admit our imperfections. We often times work hard at concealing our real selves to the world, even our friends. Some Christians think that the way to influence others is to leave the impression that they never fall and they have all the answers. Such phoniness actually turns people off. Then credibility is lost.
Paul says, “I don’t cover up. What I am is plain to God and it’s plain to you.” Paul was a great Christian, but he referred to himself as the chief of sinners. He, in fact, admitted that he struggled spiritually.
Paul says, “I don’t cover up. What I am is plain to God and it’s plain to you.” Paul was a great Christian, but he referred to himself as the chief of sinners. He, in fact, admitted that he struggled spiritually.
. But it was his sincerity that made him irresistibly persuasive. Someone has defined a friend as a person who knows all about you and still likes you.
. But it was his sincerity that made him irresistibly persuasive. Someone has defined a friend as a person who knows all about you and still likes you.
4. One thing that is essential to have a vital friendship with another is honesty. And honesty requires that we are transparent in our relationship. We need to admit to others that we are imperfect and that we don’t have all the answers, but that we believe in a Christ who forgives sins, is perfect and provides the answers in His Word.
4. One thing that is essential to have a vital friendship with another is honesty. And honesty requires that we are transparent in our relationship. We need to admit to others that we are imperfect and that we don’t have all the answers, but that we believe in a Christ who forgives sins, is perfect and provides the answers in His Word.
5. Our motivation for sharing Christ with our friends in verse 14, “Christ’s love compels us.” The word “compel” means to “hold together.” It is Christ’s love that keeps us from falling apart in the midst of a world that is. It is Christ’s love that keeps you and me committed to being involved in a ministry for the benefit of others. It compels us to live rightly. It compels us to share the best news there is with them.
5. Our motivation for sharing Christ with our friends in verse 14, “Christ’s love compels us.” The word “compel” means to “hold together.” It is Christ’s love that keeps us from falling apart in the midst of a world that is. It is Christ’s love that keeps you and me committed to being involved in a ministry for the benefit of others. It compels us to live rightly. It compels us to share the best news there is with them.
6. William Barclay wrote, “A man’s message will always be heard in context with his character.” If we want to influence our friends for Christ, our testimony must be backed up by genuine lives. , “live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God.”
6. William Barclay wrote, “A man’s message will always be heard in context with his character.” If we want to influence our friends for Christ, our testimony must be backed up by genuine lives. , “live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God.”
7. Next Paul mentions “fear.” “Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord...” (5:11). Proverbs tells us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (1:7). William Barclay noted, “It’s not the fear of a dog that cowers awaiting a whipping. It’s that reverence that keeps even a thoughtless man from doing things that would break the heart of someone he loves.”
7. Next Paul mentions “fear.” “Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord...” (5:11). Proverbs tells us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (1:7). William Barclay noted, “It’s not the fear of a dog that cowers awaiting a whipping. It’s that reverence that keeps even a thoughtless man from doing things that would break the heart of someone he loves.”
8. The word fear goes beyond the concept of terror. On a higher level, it is an awesome reverence, a genuine respect for God. , “Through the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil.” The Preacher in the Book of Ecclesiastes concluded that the whole duty of man could be summed up: “Fear God and keep His commandments.” A healthy fear of God and His holiness can motivate us to be concerned for our friends and family regarding their salvation!
8. The word fear goes beyond the concept of terror. On a higher level, it is an awesome reverence, a genuine respect for God. , “Through the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil.” The Preacher in the Book of Ecclesiastes concluded that the whole duty of man could be summed up: “Fear God and keep His commandments.” A healthy fear of God and His holiness can motivate us to be concerned for our friends and their salvation!

II. We Must Have Conviction (5:15)

II. We Must Have Conviction (5:15)
1. It’s been said that one man with convictions is worth 99 with opinions. As Christians, we should be thoroughly convinced of the truth of the Gospel. “We are convinced that one died for all,” Paul said in 5:15.
1. It’s been said that one man with convictions is worth 99 with opinions. As Christians, we should be thoroughly convinced of the truth of the Gospel. “We are convinced that one died for all,” Paul said in 5:15.
2. That means that not only did Christ die for you but He also died for your friends. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, God laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Jesus’ death was not simply a martyr’s death. It was a vicarious death...a substitute death. He died in our place. God laid on Him all of our sins. 5:21, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us.”
2. That means that not only did Christ die for you but He also died for your friends. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, God laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Jesus’ death was not simply a martyr’s death. It was a vicarious death...a substitute death. He died in our place. God laid on Him all of our sins. 5:21, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us.”
3. Let’s recall what Jesus said to His friends: There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. (). We should also remember what Paul wrote in : But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 4. If you are really convinced about this—that when you accept Jesus Christ as Savior, your sins are forgiven and you’re going to rise from the dead and live forever—then that is News that needs to be shared. You are going to be persuasive because you believe it.
3. “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” Yes. That some of what Paul was getting at in his teaching about baptism in
4. If you are really convinced about this—that when you accept Jesus Christ as Savior, your sins are forgiven and you’re going to rise from the dead and live forever—then that is News that needs to be shared. You are going to be persuasive because you believe it.
4. If you are really convinced about this—that when you accept Jesus Christ as Savior, your sins are forgiven and you’re going to rise from the dead and live forever—then that is News that needs to be shared. You are going to be persuasive because you believe it.
5. “It’s bubbling, it’s bubbling, it’s bubbling in my soul.
5. “It’s bubbling, it’s bubbling, it’s bubbling in my soul.
There’s singing and laughing since Jesus made me whole.
Folks don’t understand it, but I can’t keep it quiet.
It’s bubbling, bubbling day and night.
6. There’s nothing as contagious as enthusiasm, and once you are genuinely convinced about who Jesus is and what He is doing in your life, it’s just going to bubble over as you share it with your friends.
6. There’s nothing as contagious as enthusiasm, and once you are genuinely convinced about who Jesus is and what He is doing in your life, it’s just going to bubble over as you share it with your friends.

III. We Must Have a Spiritual Perspective (5:16-19)

III. We Must Have a Spiritual Perspective (5:16-19)
1. The world measures people’s worth by physical, external means. James Dobson suggests that our number one criticism for determining worth in America today is appearance. If somebody is very attractive, we put him on a pedestal of worth. An article entitled “A Real Lift for Mr. Blackwell” told how the designer who created the “Ten Worst-Dressed List” received an award from the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery for outstanding contributions to the field. In 1985, Blackwell told People magazine that his ears stood out like open taxi doors until he had surgery. He said, “Before my facelift, I looked like an aging Basset hound on a drunk, but now, thanks to cosmetic surgery I have a reason to live—a whole new life. I have courage enough to have dreams and fantasies.”
1. The world measures people’s worth by physical, external means. James Dobson suggests that our number one criticism for determining worth in America today is appearance. If somebody is very attractive, we put him on a pedestal of worth. An article entitled “A Real Lift for Mr. Blackwell” told how the designer who created the “Ten Worst-Dressed List” received an award from the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery for outstanding contributions to the field. In 1985, Blackwell told People magazine that his ears stood out like open taxi doors until he had surgery. He said, “Before my facelift, I looked like an aging Basset hound on a drunk, but now, thanks to cosmetic surgery I have a reason to live—a whole new life. I have courage enough to have dreams and fantasies.”
He had a facelift—so what? He’s still the same age, and he’s still the same character inside. He’s still getting older, and one day he’s going to die. But that’s an indication of the kind of value our world places on appearance. The world looks at externals.
He had a facelift—so what? He’s still the same age, and he’s still the same character inside. He’s still getting older, and one day he’s going to die. But that’s an indication of the kind of value our world places on appearance. The world looks at externals.
2. But notice was Paul wrote, “From now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.” (5:16). Paul had great ambitions. He was going to be a member of the Sanhedrin, the Supreme Court of the Jews. Nothing was going to stop him. When Jewish people began to be converted to Christianity he saw Jesus and the Church as a threat to his goals. He tried to stamp out Christianity. But he was stopped dead in his tracks and he was turned around on the road to Damascus and then he wrote, “Whatsoever what to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ “ (). No longer did he look at Christ in the same way. No longer did he look at people the same way.
2. But notice was Paul wrote, “From now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.” (5:16). Paul had great ambitions. He was going to be a member of the Sanhedrin, the Supreme Court of the Jews. Nothing was going to stop him. When Jewish people began to be converted to Christianity he saw Jesus and the Church as a threat to his goals. He tried to stamp out Christianity. But he was stopped dead in his tracks and he was turned around on the road to Damascus and then he wrote, “Whatsoever what to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ “ (). No longer did he look at Christ in the same way. No longer did he look at people the same way.
3. If we are going to influence our friends for the Lord, we’ve got to begin to look at them from a spiritual perception...as people for whom Christ died. Don’t focus on the externals...look at the heart. We need to look at them and see their most important need...Christ! No Christian can seek to be pleasing to Christ unless he changes the way he looks at people...for whom Christ died.
3. If we are going to influence our friends for the Lord, we’ve got to begin to look at them from a spiritual perception...as people for whom Christ died. Don’t focus on the externals...look at the heart. We need to look at them and see their most important need...Christ! No Christian can seek to be pleasing to Christ unless he changes the way he looks at people...for whom Christ died.
4. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (5:17). There’s no one who can’t be changed if he will yield his heart to Jesus Christ. When we begin to see people through that perspective, it affects our attitude. We begin wanting to see the lost won. So,
4. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (5:17). There’s no one who can’t be changed if he will yield his heart to Jesus Christ. When we begin to see people through that perspective, it affects our attitude. We begin wanting to see the lost won. So,
a. As a parent, how do you see your children?
a. As a parent, how do you see your children?
b. As an employer, how do you see the people who work for you?
c. As a teacher, how do you see your students?
d. As a friend, how do you see your friends?
5. When we start seeing people as sinners who need Christ, just like we needed Christ, we’ll begin to persuade them with the claims of the Gospel.
5. When we start seeing people as sinners who need Christ, just like we needed Christ, we’ll begin to persuade them with the claims of the Gospel.
6. Notice verse 18, “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” Now we are back to the idea of privilege and purpose. Each of us are to be participants in the ministry of reconciliation. We are to be living vessels pointing people...especially our friends to Christ. He expects us who have been saved to be interested and concerned in saving others. He expects the beggar who has found bread to be interested in telling other beggars where that bread can be located. This is one ministry...one service that all of us are to be pursuing. Not to do so negates our own reconciliation! And that is a very dangerous place to be! So...
6. Notice verse 18, “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” Now we are back to the idea of privilege and purpose. Each of us are to be participants in the ministry of reconciliation. We are to be living vessels pointing people...especially our friends to Christ. He expects us who have been saved to be interested and concerned in saving others. He expects the beggar who has found bread to be interested in telling other beggars where that bread can be located. This is one ministry...one service that all of us are to be pursuing. Not to do so negates our own reconciliation! And that is a very dangerous place to be! So...

IV. We Must Be Urgently Motivated (5:20-6:2)

Note : God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 1. “We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God,” Paul wrote. And, he continues, “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” (5:20-62). The word “implore” is the same idea as “beg.” So, we are back to the idea of a beggar. This time the beggar is Paul…he’s found the bread…so he’s begging his friends to be reconciled to God. As beggars who have found food we now implore others to come see where the food is…Jesus, the One who declared, “I AM the Bread of Heaven!” 1 John says, “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son, does not have life!”
IV. We Must Be Urgently Motivated (5:20-6:2)
1. “We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God,” Paul wrote. And, he continues, “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” (5:20-62)
1. “We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God,” Paul wrote. And, he continues, “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” (5:20-62)
2. Now it is true that we can be so aggressive with our witness style that we repel and turn our friends off. But most of us probably go to the opposite extreme. We tend to have such a casual spirit about our faith that people might not even know that we are Christians. They may not be aware of what we’re convinced about. Many don’t even look for opportunities to speak up for Christ.
2. We can be so aggressive with our witness style that we repel and turn our friends off. But most of us probably go to the opposite extreme. We tend to have such a casual spirit about our faith that people might not even know that we are Christians. They may not be aware of what we’re convinced about. Many don’t even look for opportunities to speak up for Christ.
3. Let’s never leave the impression, especially with our friends or our family members, that it doesn’t matter whether someone turns to Christ or not. We need to acknowledge that time is passing. Decisions are being made daily that affect lives and families for eternity.
3. Let’s never leave the impression, especially with our friends, that it doesn’t matter whether someone turns to Christ or not. We need to acknowledge that time is passing. Decisions are being made daily that affect lives and families for eternity.
4. Martin Niemoller was a Lutheran minister who was imprisoned by the Nazis during World War II. He told of a horrible dream he had one night in the concentration camp. He heard the voice of God ask, “What’s your excuse?” and a voice behind him answered, “No one ever told me about Jesus.”
4. Martin Niemoller was a Lutheran minister who was imprisoned by the Nazis during World War II. He told of a horrible dream he had one night in the concentration camp. He heard the voice of God ask, “What’s your excuse?” and a voice behind him answered, “No one ever told me about Jesus.”
Niemoller awakened in a sweat. He recognized the voice of the responder as that of Adolf Hitler. Niemoller remembered that in the mid-thirties he had been seated at a banquet with Hitler right beside him for several hours, and they just made small talk the whole night. He thought maybe he would just befriend Hitler and talk about the Lord at some other, more convenient time, but the more convenient time never came.
Niemoller awakened in a sweat. He recognized the voice of the responder as that of Adolf Hitler. Niemoller remembered that in the mid-thirties he had been seated at a banquet with Hitler right beside him for several hours, and they just made small talk the whole night. He thought maybe he would just befriend Hitler and talk about the Lord at some other, more convenient time, but the more convenient time never came.
I can think of no sadder feeling that attending the funeral of a friend who had no relationship with the Lord and regretting all the missed opportunities when you could have shared your faith and testimony about Jesus.
You could make a great difference in your friend’s life just by making a brief comment or extending an invitation to them to attend worship with you.
You could make a great difference in your friend’s life just by making a brief comment or extending an invitation to them to attend worship with you.
Have you found food? It’s not right to keep it to yourself. It needs to be shared.
Have you found food? It’s not right to keep it to yourself. It needs to be shared.
Conclusion: The greatest words we’ll hear when we get to Heaven will be the words of Jesus, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”
Conclusion: The greatest words we’ll hear when we get to Heaven will be the words of Jesus, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”
The next best words will be from a friend: “Thank you. I’m here because you invited me here.”
The next best words will be from a friend: “Thank you. I’m here because you invited me here.”
You may have seen the movie Hacksaw Ridge. It’s a true story about a conscientious objector, Desmond Doss, who signed up out of a sense of duty to his country and wanted to serve. His objection was not to fight but to be a medic. He was at the front line at Hacksaw Ridge in Okinawa, with his unit, the 77th Infantry Division, under heavy fire. He proceeded to help the wounded and bring them to safety by lowering them down the steep ridge one by one . The rope badly burned his hands but still he worked…long after every one had pulled back. Even with the enemy close on his heels he continued to rescue his men, one by one, rescuing 75 wounded friends. On into the night he work even though he was alone and totally exhausted. He was heard to pray, “Lord, help me get just one more…just one more, Lord.” Private Doss was the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor, for service above and beyond the call of duty.
Might that be our prayer…yours and mine…that we would win just one more…while there’s still time. Lord, help us win just one more!
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