Review the MEMORY VERSE: “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17 NIV
In our corporate worship service, Pastor Jamey taught us to:
1. Practice incarnational ministry - Be in God’s presence and BE God’s presence for others
2. Practice an involved ministry - Be with God’s people physically and connected emotionally
3. Practice intentional ministry - Meet both physical and spiritual needs
4. Practice illogical ministry - Be willing to befriend the friendless no matter who they are or where you meet them.
As we learned today, the ministry of friendship may sometimes be inconvenient, uncomfortable, and messy, but we are called to love others just like Jesus did.
READ Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.
According to Solomon, the writer of Ecclesiastes, why are “two better than one”?
Let’s notice a few things from this passage about friendship. First, in verse 9, we are told that two are better than one because they have a “good return for their work.” This phrase literally means that friendship is a wise investment that yields profitable dividends! Friendship is worth the investment of your time and energy because the reward will be great.
Second, two are better than one because backup is always available (verse 10). No one can do it all, and everyone falls down at some point. When the going gets tough, it’s nice to have a friend to call in for backup. When you become weak and weary, it’s a blessing to have a hand of help from a friend.
Third, verse 10 tells us that a friend can provide comfort in the cold. Now, most of us are probably not worried about the possibility of being stranded in a blizzard by ourselves. But, we can all agree that the world is sometimes a cold, cruel place, and thing happen beyond our control. When we’re stuck in the “cold,” enduring challenging circumstances, it’s always helpful to have a friend there to comfort you.
Fourth, two are better than one because a friend can help protect you from the enemy (verse 11). Now again, the majority of us will not be engaging in hand-to-hand combat anytime soon, but the verse can still apply to us. We are all at war against a very real spiritual enemy, who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). To avoid temptation, flee from sin, and fight Satan, we need the support and accountability of friends.
Do you invest your time and energy in stuff or people?
What are some of the possible rewards from investing in friendships?
How has a friend ever helped you, comforted you, or fought with you? Have you thanked that person?
1. Thank God for the friends He has placed in your life.
2. Send a card or message to a friend, thanking him/her for the times he/she helped you.
3. Look for and act on opportunities to invest in friendship.