THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP
Hebrews 3:12-14 (NIRV) Brothers and sisters . . . Do not let an unbelieving heart turn you away [apostatize] from the living God. But build one another up [encourage, strengthen, comfort] every day. Do it as long as there is still time. Then none of you will become stubborn. You won’t be fooled by sin’s tricks. We belong to Christ if we hold tightly to the faith we had at first. But we must hold it tightly until the end.
- I’m saved by the blood of Jesus.
- I’m empowered by the Holy Spirit.
- Jesus Christ is my only Savior and Lord.
The secret of enduring till the end is friendship.
Proverbs 12:26 (NLT) The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.
1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV) Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
Pastor Charity says, “Friends are like elevators. They will either take you up, or bring you down.”
Proverbs 22:24-25 (CEB) Don’t befriend people controlled by anger; don’t associate with hot-tempered people; otherwise, you will learn their ways and become trapped.
King Solomon was the wisest person on the planet!
1 Kings 4:29-40 (NLT) God gave Solomon very great wisdom and understanding, and knowledge as vast as the sands of the seashore. In fact, his wisdom exceeded that of all the wise men of the East and the wise men of Egypt. He was wiser than anyone else . . . . His fame spread throughout all the surrounding nations . . . . Kings from every nation sent their ambassadors to listen to the wisdom of Solomon.
1 Kings 3:10-12 (NLT) The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. So God replied . . . “I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have!”
Solomon, with all of his wisdom, was corrupted by his relationships.
1 Kings 11:1-10 (NLT) King Solomon loved many foreign women . . . . The Lord had clearly instructed the people of Israel, “You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.” Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway . . . . In Solomon’s old age, they turned his heart to worship other gods instead of being completely faithful to the Lord his God, as his father, David, had been. Solomon worshiped Ashtoreth [Ishtar], the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech, [Nimrod] the detestable god of the Ammonites . . . he even built a pagan shrine for Chemosh [Tammuz], the detestable god of Moab . . . . The Lord was very angry with Solomon, for his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. He had warned Solomon specifically about worshiping other gods, but Solomon did not listen.
You cannot outsmart this principle: close companions influence you.
Ecclesiastes 12:1-2, 13-14 (NLT) Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.” Remember him before the light of the sun, moon, and stars is dim to your old eyes, and rain clouds continually darken your sky . . . . Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.
We serve the God of the second chance! Still, bad friends aren’t worth it!
Hebrews 10:23-27 (CW) Let’s hold firmly without wavering to the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. God is faithful and can be trusted to do what He promised. So let’s be compassionate and give some thought to how we can spur each other on toward love and good deeds. Don’t give up the habit of worshiping together as some have already done, but encourage each other all the more as you see signs of the Great Day [the great apostasy].
. . . Discover creative ways to encourage others . . . – TPT
. . . keep watch over each other . . . – WAY
. . . Our gatherings are . . . essential fellowship where we remind one another of our true identity. – MIRROR
1 John 1:7 (ICB) God is in the light. We should live in the light, too. If we live in the light, we share fellowship with each other. And when we live in the light, the blood of the death of Jesus, God’s Son, is making us clean from every sin.
John 21:15-17 (NIV) Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”