I. We need Godly friends!
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9–12
· We also need to build friendships with non-Christians. Jesus was a friend of sinners.
· We are not called to be lone Ranger Christians. We need each other.
· Friends of all shapes and sizes. Different types of people. Not all just like us. Near, Far, Jews, Gentiles, Slave, Free, Thief, Doctor, Young, Old, Men, Woman
· These were friends, not just associates or co-workers – Acts 24:23
II. Friends encourage us in our walk with the Lord.
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
· “A servant in the Lord”
· Sent to encourage the hearts of the Colossians
· Probably founded church in Colossae
· Mature and fully assured in the will of God
· Encouraged to fulfill his ministry in the Lord
· Letters were to be shared with Laodicea (Ephesians?)
· Two men listed would be used by God to write 2 of the 4 narratives of the life of Jesus.
III. Friends are Trustworthy.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. Proverbs 27:6
Tychicus – Knew details about Paul’s personal life, details about his activities possibly that could be harmful against his criminal case. Paul trusted him to share this only with those who he should and to share it completely and accurately. He also trusted Onesimus to do the same. Onesimus may have been a thief before coming to Jesus.
We need Godly friends who we can trust. And trust enough to speak into our lives. Sometimes things we would rather not hear. And who will do what’s best with what they know about us even if we don’t always like it. Tough love.
IV. Friends care for one another like family.
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24
· Family of God through faith in Jesus – Jesus says his brothers and sisters are those who do the will of God
· Beloved Brother
· Nympha opened her home to the church
· For some following Jesus meant rejection by family. The church would become their eternal family.
V. Friends walk with us through difficulty.
Then he gave orders to the centurion that [Paul] should be kept in custody but have some liberty, and that none of his friends should be prevented from attending to his needs. Acts 24:23
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17
Tychicus –faithful minister, with Paul in Acts 20:4 where he traveled with Paul to Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, Paul was arrested. Went though unfair trials and eventually appealed to Rome. He endured a dangerous journey including being shipwrecked. 2 years later, Tychicus is still by Paul’s side ministering to him. Maybe or maybe not with Paul the whole time, but he is now.
Luke – traveled often with Paul through the book of Acts. Everywhere else we see this medical missionary is ministering to Paul while Paul is in jail
Aristarchus – fellow prisoner, Seized by mob in Acts 19:29, also went to Jerusalem and voyage to Rome – Possibly choose to remain with Paul while being held under guard even though he does not have to.
Others weren’t with him but remember him in prayer and gave financially to meet his needs.
VI. Friends pray for one another.
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. Philippians 1:3–5
· Epaphras was a prayer warrior
· We need to have friends not only that we will pray for, but pray with.
· Some of my closet friends are those that we have spent time praying for one another / one another’s family’s.
VII. Friends may disappoint us.
For it is not an enemy who taunts me— then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me— then I could hide from him. But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. Psalm 55:12–13
Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.” Psalm 41:9
· (Acts 15:37-39l Col; 4:10; 2 Tim. 4:11)
· A friendship that had a rocky start that became a very important one
· Philemon 24, Col 4:4, 2 Tim 4:10
· Did he abandon Paul or Jesus?
· He abandoned Paul and this hurt
Paul knows what it means to be hurt by a close friend. So does Jesus.
VIII. Jesus is the friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15
Is Jesus your best friend? You can become a friend of Jesus through faith in Him! (Romans 4:3)