Pastor Shane Ham : God’s Gift Of Spiritual Friendship

Unchanging · 44:09 · Recorded August 9, 2020

God’s Gift of Spiritual Friendship

Hebrews 2:10 (NCV) God is the One who made all things, and all things are for his glory. He wanted to have many children share his glory, so he made the One who leads people to salvation perfect through suffering.

Ephesians 1:5 (TLB) His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And he did this because he wanted to!

Galatians 3:26 (NCV) You were all baptized into Christ, and so you were all clothed with Christ. This means that you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

What makes it so special?

It reflects God’s relational character.

Genesis 1:26 (NLT2) Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like ourselves.”

John 17:21 (NLT2) “I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.”

It’s the only relationship you get to choose.

Acts 20:36-37; 21:1-6 (NCV, NIV) When Paul had said this, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. And they all cried because Paul had said they would never see him again. They put their arms around him and kissed him. Then they went with him to the ship… 1After we had torn ourselves away from them, we put out to sea and sailed straight to Cos. The next day we went to Rhodes and from there to Patara. We found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, went on board and set sail. After sighting Cyprus and passing to the south of it, we sailed on to Syria. We landed at Tyre, where our ship was to unload its cargo. Finding the disciples there, we stayed with them seven days. Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. But when our time was up, we left and continued on our way. All the disciples and their wives and children accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray. After saying good-by to each other, we went aboard the ship, and they returned home.

What does “friendship” look like?

1. Friendship is a sign of spiritual maturity.

1 Corinthians 12:21 (NLT) The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

2. Friendships mean privileges.

3. Friendships mean responsibility.

Acts 2:42 (NIV) They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

They share their feelings.

Proverbs 18:1 (CSB) One who isolates himself pursues ⌊selfish⌋ desires; he rebels against all sound judgment.

They share their things.

They share their faith.

Hebrews 3:13 (NRSV) But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

They share the decision.

Acts 20:22 (NCV) But now I must obey the Holy Spirit and go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what will happen to me there.

Acts 21:12-14 (NCV) When we all heard this, we and the people there begged Paul not to go to Jerusalem. But he said, “Why are you crying and making me so sad? I am not only ready to be tied up in Jerusalem, I am ready to die for the Lord Jesus!” We could not persuade him to stay away from Jerusalem. So we stopped begging him and said, “We pray that what the Lord wants will be done.”

James 3:17 (NIV) But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

They share their time.

Acts 21:13-15 (NCV) But he said, “Why are you crying and making me so sad? I am not only ready to be tied up in Jerusalem, I am ready to die for the Lord Jesus!” We could not persuade him to stay away from Jerusalem. So we stopped begging him and said, “We pray that what the Lord wants will be done.” After this, we got ready and started on our way to Jerusalem.

They share the commitment.

4. Friendship “in Christ” is forever.

John 15:15-17 (NCV) “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know what his master is doing. But I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I heard from my Father. You did not choose me; I chose you. And I gave you this work: to go and produce fruit, fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you anything you ask for in my name. This is my command: Love each other.”

  • After hearing today’s message, do you feel a greater responsibility to the body of Christ? Does knowing that God has “made you for his people” cause you to stop and evaluate your role as a friend? Of those whom you call your friends? What steps can you take to be a better friend, especially within the community of Christ?
  • As you think about the character and attributes of God, how does “relational” fit with sovereign, omnipotent, incomprehensible?
    (For more study on God’s character: “None Like Him” by J.Wilkin; biblestudytools.com; bibleproject.com)
  • Who is the friend you can call in the middle of the night? The one who will stand with you no matter what? What is it about that person and your relationship that makes you know they are one to be counted on even when others might be counting you out? Call that person this week. Thank them for their friendship and tell them how much you value them!
  • In point #3, Pastor Shane talks about the responsibility of friendship. Which of the six items he listed do you do well? Where could you improve? Which of these do you need most from your friends? How are they at providing them? Spend time in prayer thanking God for calling you his friend and for the people he’s put in your life that you call friend. Thank him for the truth they speak into your life, for the time they share with you, and that the faith you share means your friendship will never end.
  • Parents – Check out the information on our kid’s page at northpointe.org/kids where you’ll find info on Sunday services and family resources to help you as you navigate this current season.

For more information on Baptismnorthpointe.org/baptism

For more information on Small Groupsnorthpointe.org/smallgroups

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