Sabbath 3/7/15 Daytona SDB Church Pastor Wray sermon “Being a Real Friend”

Sabbath 3/7/15 Daytona SDB Church Pastor Wray sermon “Being a Real Friend” Phil 2:19-21

In our text, Paul is by himself and he is wondering, “Where are my friends? “ As he thought about his relationships, he wrote about Timothy in this letter. In verse 21 he said that “they all seek after their own interest and not those of Christ Jesus”. I challenge you to think this morning and to ask yourself the question, “who is your best friend?’. Most of us talk about our friends as people we have a long term and casual relationship with. It could be a coworker, fishing buddy or someone else. We think friends are people we come together with for times of food, fun and fellowship. The truth is that most of these folk are more like acquaintances than true friends. You are lucky if you have five real friends in your lifetime.

There are several words in the Old Testament that are translated into Friend. The most important word is “Rea”. This means an associate with whom we have a reciprocal agreement. We have a reciprocal relationship. In the New Testament, the Greek work “Philos” is often used for Friend. It carries with it a sense of endearment and comradery. It means loved dearly or the actual nature of love. In its truest form, it means a friend is a person that we love dearly with a love that expects nothing in return. This is the love that only Jesus Christ can place inside of us.

The Apostle Paul had this type of love for the Christians at the Philippian church. He prayed for them and longed to see them. In verses 1 thru 8, Paul tells them how much he wants to see them. Paul had more than a casual relationship with these believers. His heart had been knit together with them. They were an important part of his life and ministry because of the love that controlled him. Paul is in prison and can’t visit his Philippian brothers but he hopes to send Timothy to them shortly. Timothy was a young trusted colleague and a friend of Paul. In verse 20, Paul tells us something special about Timothy. He says they are of kindred spirits. What does kindred spirit mean and what are the marks of a real friend?

  1. A Real Friend is Trustworthy:

    Paul trusted Timothy and had no reason to doubt the heart of this friend. He was sure that Timothy was concerned about the welfare of the Philippians. Timothy was trustworthy because he cared for the interests of Christ Jesus. One of the greatest needs in our personal lives is the fellowship of people that we can really trust. Paul had in Timothy a young man that would come along beside him, listen to him, encourage him and love him no matter the cost. Paul was sure that Timothy loved and was concerned about him and that Timothy didn’t care what anybody else thought about that. Don’t you wish you had some friends like that? Most people look for someone they can be open and honest with, without fear of reprisal or judgment. While it is true that sometimes our friends will disagree with us or even correct us, we need not fear them because they are trustworthy. They do not desert you in times of trouble.

  2. A Real Friend is Available:

    Sometimes friendship means to be available at inconvenient times. Timothy may have had things of his own to do in his ministry of preaching and teaching. Timothy’s plate was full but he was available to be a friend to Paul in his hour of need. Today we all live busy lives and are scheduled to the max with all this new technology. If we are to be a genuine friend, we must make ourselves available to those who are around us.

  3. A Real Friend is Genuine:

    Paul says that Timothy is genuine in his concern for the Philippian church. The word that is used can be translated as “naturally” or “legitimately”. It means that it is real. So many people posing as friends are illegitimate and looking for something in return. These phony friends are asking what can they get out of the relationship. Most genuine relationships are reciprocal but that cannot be the motivation for the relationship. Paul said Timothy has genuine concern for the welfare of the believers in the church.

    Our motivation for being involved with others must never be “what it does for me”. It must always be “what it does for the other person”. Paul commends Timothy to the Philippian church as a genuine, legitimate friend who is only concerned about the believers at the church. It can be wonderful when a friendship is a two way street, but we must be wiling for it to be one way sometimes. Our motivation must be “what it does for you”. The Bible commands us to be friendly and today there is a great need for friends.

So many people posing as friends are illegitimate and looking for something in return. These phony friends are asking what can they get out of the relationship.
Indeed this is so often very true....painfully true.
Foretelling of Judas Iscariot, David wrote:
Psa 41:9. Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. Kjv
Joh 13:18. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, 'He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.'Esv

Our world is so full of these illegitimate friends, especially as the days grow closer to the end.
Mat 24:10. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.Esv.
A time of testing the metal of friendships is coming.
There is only one "friend" that I can trust all the time.

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

Joh 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Joh 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.