[biblegateway passage=”1 Samuel 18″]
In the relationship between David and Jonathan, I’ve found 4 ways that a good friend shares – 4 things we can do to become a Jonathan in other people’s lives.
I always laugh when she calls me Pastor Tim. Especially when it’s at home and she’s calling me to dinner, hey Pastor Tim come get dinner. That doesn’t happen, I’m kidding.
I’m a little punchy this morning, you guys might have a good time here in the next few minutes. Open your bibles at 1 Samuel, chapter 18 with me, we’re going to be looking at that today. I’m excited that this summer there’s a lot of good things happening.
On the Wednesday night Debra was talking about doing the power of a praying church and going through that book study together over in the prayer chapel, because we’re going to be doing some technology updates in here. If you’ve even been in this room when the lights were flickering or the videos were going out or the sound just cut out, you’re all going to happy that we’re going to move ahead a little bit.
Right? Amen. Have any of you ever thought I’ going to have to get my cellphone out and turn on the flashlight to get some light going on in here, maybe you’ve missed those times. We found out the other day we actually have one piece of technology that’s running some of this stuff that’s running on Windows 98.
I think we ought to keep it just for a museum piece. It’s like a computer from before the turn of the century. That’s really great, so we’re going to be doing some upgrades here and that’s really long overdue so we get to do that this summer.
Sunday mornings will be in here though and one of the things that I’m excited about, I’m going to give you a little preview, we’ve got a series coming up called Mixed Tape. Do any of you remember mix tapes? For all you young people in here, it’s kind of like a playlist, except you put it on a cassette tape and it would take me too long to tell you what one of those are.
I’m a little bit old, but we’re going to be, I’m going to be doing some different sermons that come from different places in the bible and we’re going to be introducing some of our pastoral staff and they’re going to be helping me. We’re actually going to be doing some things together, so I’m excited.
But for now, we’re in a series called I am David. Can you say those 3 words with me? I am David.
My belief is, we talked about last week, is that everybody is called to be a David. What I mean by that is that I’m called and you’re called to be a person after God’s own heart. So we spent 2 weeks talking about David the Sheppard, the sweet shamus Israeli dude right? The anointed king.
This man after God’s heart and we looked and examined how we could become a man or a woman who gains God’s heart and today I want to look at David’s best friend, Jonathan. Because I believe that one of the best way to develop a heart after God is that to have a friend or friends who are passionate in their own pursuit of God. I’m telling you my best friends in the world, I’ve been blessed enough that my very closest friends are people that always encourage and inspire and sharpen me to become all that I can be in Jesus.
We all need a friend. They’ll get next to us and behind us and spur us on and a friend that their iron can sharpen our iron and our iron can sharpen their iron. Nod your head if you agree with me. We need friends that can support us and be with us and I’m very grateful to have friends like that.
Everybody, anyone of us would be helped by a Jonathan. All of us. Turn to somebody next to you and say to them You need a Jonathan. They do.
But I have to tell you; in today’s society it’s even become unlikely to even have a close friend. One of the way, we talked about this a little bit at the beginning of this year in the series, You’re not alone. Do you remember that?
I’ll repeat a couple of things we said back in January, but one of the way that the enemy is attacking humanity and specifically rising generations is through an epidemic of loneliness. An epidemic of loneliness. If you Google the word, the phrase, epidemic of loneliness, you will find hundreds of entries from social scientists and think tanks that are talking about the fact that our world is becoming more and more disconnected than ever.
It doesn’t shock me that that’s the case because the first time the enemy would attack our relationships and cause us to be lonely. Because if you real all the way back in the bible to Genesis you’ll find in the first chapter of Genesis, God is creating all kinds of things and He keeps saying this is good. This thing is good, the sun’s good, the moon’s good, the earth’s good, the plant’s good, the animal’s good and human’s oh they’ve very good.
This is great. The very first time we every see or hear God say something isn’t good is He looks at Adam and he said it’s not good for man to be alone. It’s not good. It’s not good to be lonely, it’s not God’s plan, so of course the enemy is going to try to mess up God’s design for friendship and true companionship.
We have a lot of internet friends and followers in our culture. Maybe you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or something and I guarantee you if you are, you have more friends than you actually have friends. You have more followers than people who actually know you very likely.
We have casual connections with people and we have acquaintances, but many people in our world today lack true friends. The studies that I was telling you about a minute ago, the social scientists do, I looked one of them up, a massive study. Thousands of people were interviewed by the mental health foundation.
They said that our culture is experiencing an unprecedented epidemic of loneliness. They found out that 18 to 34 year olds in this culture today, the study was done a couple of years ago. For the first time since studies began on these kinds of things that 18 to 34 years old are more lonely than people over 55.
I know that’s hard to believe because we generally think of older people as they’re separated from family and they get lonely but we’re looking at a generation that’s rising up that once they’re out of high school, once they’re out of college, once they’re in the world, they’re living alone they done have friendships. The kinds of friendships and relationships that we see on TV are really most of the time a lie.
They don’t have true deep, deep connections. For all our social media connections, society is becoming increasingly disconnected. I think it’s profound what the Christian author Patrick Moorely observes when he wrote this while most men could recruit six pole bearers almost nobody has a friend he could call at 2 am. Think about that.
Most people could find six people that would be willing to show up to their funeral and take their body to the grave, but not a lot of people have someone that if they’re in a lot of trouble they could pick up the phone and call at 2 o’clock in the morning. Why? It’s because of a culture of isolation.
A couple of weeks ago one of my best friends, John Fallen, you heard him speak, and in his church he has a couple that saw a moving van across the street and the wife made, I think it was banana bread, to welcome the family into the new neighborhood. She made the bread and she walked across the street and knocked on the door. The door was open and she said hey we just wanted to welcome you into the neighborhood.
She was just trying to be friendly and Christian like, right? And the person said wow thanks so much for your hospitality and your graciousness. This is a little bit embarrassing, we’re actually moving out of the neighborhood. We’ve lived here for 8 years.
Our culture of isolation, we don’t even know our neighbors. We don’t even know who’s right next to us. And we have the most immediate forms of communication and connection in history and yet we’re surrounded by people digitally and literally and yet many of us are increasingly, utterly alone.
I’ll prove it to you. If you pick up your phone and you text somebody and they don’t text you right back, do you wonder if they still like you? You know what I’m talking about right?
I’m always wondering if Debra still likes me, I’m just are you there? Why do you have a phone, you’re not getting back to me. Never mind, that’s a marriage issue, we’re in counseling, we’ll get through it.
I’ll get over it. We retreat to the glow of our phones, we check in on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, we want to keep up on our friends across the country. Our “friends” across the country, all the while ignoring the people right in front of us.
Listen I’m not suggesting that we get rid of our phones or get rid of social media. I think it could be a really positive tool for cultivation. But I am advocating for face to face, authentic, deep connected spiritual friendships. How many of you know you need a deep friendship, spiritual friendship?
Face to face, not somebody across the country, not somebody just across the world. You need somebody that’ll be in your life and you’re going to be in their life. But some of us don’t even know what that kind of friendship looks like, particularly if you’re a younger person. You’re a young adult maybe and you go I’ve never actually seen this kind of healthy spiritual friendship that you’ve been talking about.
Some of the older ones in here, you experience great friendship and fellowship earlier, decades earlier, but there are people who’ve never seen that kind of a relationship. And today I want us to talk about deep, connected, spiritual friendships.
Again, I believe that everybody is a David and that everybody would be helped by a Jonathan. We all want a close friend; even the most introverted person in here wants a close friend. But I won’t make you raise your hand and tell me you want a close friend because if you’re that introverted person you will not raise your hand.
But deep in your heart you want a close friend. We all want a close friend and you know what my mama told me when I was growing up? Because we’d use to move, every year we’d use to move to a new place, we’d move to a new town.
I went to as many schools as I had years in school and every year, here’s what I learned, if you want a close friend learn to be a close friend. If you want a good friend then you ahead and learn how to be one. So the sermon today church isn’t about you going yeah how come my friends are more like Jonathan?
I’m a David and I need a Jonathan in my life. No, the sermon today is us asking ourselves how can I be a better Jonathan? How can I be a better friend?
Yes everybody’s a David, but I believe that everybody needs a Jonathan to help us pursue God with all of our hearts. Let’s learn how to be like Jonathan today. The best friendships I know aren’t marked by getting.
What are they marked by? Giving. They’re not marked by hey give more to me, they’re marked by I give you more. In the iron sharpen the iron relationships; one of the parts doesn’t suck the life out of the other part.
They are not always needy and always needing the other person the help them. By the way if you’re always needy there’s a place for you, we love you. There’s a place for you in the church, we want to serve you.
But in a really good, spiritual friendship both people are bringing something of giving to the table. And not one person giving, giving, giving and the other person always receiving, receiving, receiving. Both have a sharpening factor, if you want to be a good friend you have to learn how to truly share your life not just suck somebody else’s life.
And in [biblegateway passage=”1 Samuel 18″] we find out about a friendship that have this kind of sharing, this kind of mutual edification. This kind of support. Let me give you a context of [biblegateway passage=”1st Samuel 18″] because it comes right on the hills of 1st Samuel 17 which is one of the most famous chapters in the bible.
You may not know what it is but as soon as I tell you what it is you’ll go oh yeah I remember that story. Even if you never went to church you probably know a little bit about David and Goliath. Goliath, the 9 foot tall, big champion of Gath, the Philistine, who day after day after day defied the armies of the living God, and said you’re God is nothing. The armies of God, the armies of Israel, they’d line up in battle formation every day, Goliath would stride out and he’d start mocking then and instead of Israel saying we can take this guys on they all said run away, run away, and they ran right.
So one day, after a few weeks of this, David the shepherd boy shows up to the battle lines, he’s not even in the army. He shows up because he’s dad sent some cheese, hey go take some cheese to your brothers and their commander. Here’s the cheese boy of Bethlehem, showing up to this army and sees what’s going on.
Goliath stands up and defies the armies of the living God and David says we’re not taking that. Why are we taking that, why are we accepting that, I’ll go out and kill him. Here’s this teenage boy and all these military men saying are you crazy?
They didn’t have a better idea, that’s how bad it was. They didn’t have a better idea and they were well if he’ll do it, so they sent him out. We’re going to talk a little more about it in a few weeks, so I don’t go into every detail, but I love this story because he goes out and he realizes that his God is bigger than any giant that every survived.
And by the way your God is bigger than any giant you might be facing to. And he goes out and he takes the sling, and poof, right on the head and boom. I’m doing sound effects now, I’m not telling you anything, you can pick up the whole idea. He falls down and David takes out Goliath sword, cuts his head off.
Goliath is dead, he’s got a sword. Now by the way this is the 3rd sword in Israel, there are only a couple of swords before this. Maybe that’s why they were afraid of fighting the Philistines, and so David takes the sword back and Saul go wow this isn’t just a shepherd boy, this is a worrier, this is a man with courage and that’s where we pick up in chapter 18.
It says: after David have finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David and loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. By the way in chapter 16 we find out that Saul had been experiencing some emotional and mental distress and was looking for a harpist to come gig at his place whenever things were going bad and David was a really good harpist.
So he was hired to come and play in the background, but now Saul’s noticing, he’s recognizing him. He’s saying wait, wait who are you? And he goes I’m not going to let you go back to your father, I’m going to let you stay with me, not as a harpist as much this time but now a worrier.
It goes on to say Jonathan, who is Saul’s son, made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David along with his tunic and even his sword, his bow and his belt.
In the relationship between David and Jonathan I found four ways that a good friend shares. Four things we can do to become a Jonathan in other people’s lives. So that we can support, so that we can maybe become the kind of people that are open to actually having a Jonathan, David relationship.
The first way a good friend shares is that he shares or she shares sacrificially.
Sacrificially. You’ve heard the phrase he’ll give you the shirt off his back. Anybody hear that before?
I’m not the only one right, okay. It’s an actual phrase that is actually said, I just want, my parents didn’t teach it to me and just messing around with me and here’s a phrase that people say and now I’m saying it and you’re all what? He’ll give you the shirt of his back, you’ve heard the phrase.
When I first said it you were all just staring at me. Just making sure I got it. He’ll give you the shirt of his back, that’s what Jonathan did literally. Gave him the shirt of his back.
The first time we see David and Jonathan meet in scripture, there was an immediate connection, they knew they were going to be friends and the first thing that Jonathan does, the thing that makes the friendship, the thing that marks the friendship, is that he freely sacrifices his own resource and he shares with David what he would surely need as a worrier.
Remember when I said there were only a couple of swords in all of Israel. The military equipment for that time for the people of Israel was incredibly limited because the Philistines kind of had a grip on Israel and they wouldn’t even let Israel have weapons so when this war started they were radically underfunded, they were radically under resourced, and Jonathan notices a worrier spirit in David and says this is my kind of guy.
This is a friend I can have and here’s how I’m going to show it. I’m going to take off my robe, which represents kingly authority. I’m the king’s son and I’m the rightful aire to the throne but I’m telling you I’m sharing this authority with my new friend and I’m going to take off my armor, the bible says the tunic, but it can be translated armor, and I’m going to give this place of protection to armor, to this friend David even though it’s limited.
And I’m going to give my sword and my bow that represents strength, and I’m going to make sure that David has a sword because here’s a mighty worrier who’s going to be a friend of mine and it says that he even gave up his belt. His belt. When I think of a belt, I think of something that holds it all together.
It kind of ties it all together, it may be in fashion. If you wear brown boots you have a brown belt. I did good today. Sometimes if you’re paying attention, normally brown boots and a black belt.
I’ve learned. But it’s not just a fashion sense, a belt ties it all together especially in ancient culture. A belt would keep it all together and when I read this about Jonathan giving David his belt, I started thinking about the New Testament.
First of all I thought about this. We could all a friend that helps us hold it all together. And then I thought in the New Testament, the belt that God gives us as part of the armor of God, the belt is the belt of what? Truth.
Not the belt of what I want to hear today. The belt of truth so if I have a friend that helps me hold it all together, if he’s a true friend or she’s a true friend, she’s also going to tell me the truth while she’s doing it. You’ll also not just tell me what I want to hear but the belt of truth that holds it all together is helpful to me.
[biblegateway passage=”Proverbs 27:5″] says that the kisses of an enemy are not to be deceived but faithful are the wounds of a friend. You’ve ever had a friend that wounded you but in a good way so that you could grow? They cared about you enough to tell you the truth even if it hurt a little bit?
Because if you don’t have a friend like that and you’re not a friend like that then we’re missing the reality of what true, deep, spiritual friendship is. Another Proverb in 17 17 says this, a true friend and a brother loves at all times and is always there in times of trouble. Sometimes sacrificial giving isn’t about the giving, it’s not about the belt, or the sword or the armor or anything else. It’s about sticking with you friend in times of trouble.
Because if you’ve ever been in trouble and you knew you needed a friend by your side, you knew that you had a friend that you could call at 2 am and they’d be there with you, they are a true friend. So are you the kind of friend to anybody who you’re going to drop everything and be with them because they’re in trouble?
David was in trouble. Jonathan’s dad Saul wanted to kill David. Jonathan’s dad Saul wanted to hold on to the kingship that had already been prophesied by Samuel, that God was taking it away from him and giving it to somebody who had a heart after God. That person was David and I think Saul had an ink link of that.
So when he saw David rising in the ranks Saul started thinking how can I get rid of this guy because I don’t want to lose my kingdom ship and when I do die I want to pass it off to my son, Jonathan. Jonathan would have none of that even though it would benefit Jonathan; he sacrificed his own future because he loved his friend so much.
And in chapter 20 he goes to David. When Saul’s on the move trying to kill David and he says to David I’m going to get you out of this, whatever it takes and he risked his own life to help David escape. Solid relationships are built on sharing freely and sacrificially. Being a great friend means that you take on whatever it takes mentality.
Whatever it takes to help out. Jonathan expressed this because he loved David as he loved himself. He says it twice in those 4 versus, Jonathan loved David as he loved himself.
Where else do we hear this phrase? Hundreds of years later in the New Testament, somebody would ask Jesus, Jesus what’s the greatest commandment? And Jesus would say love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Oh and there’s another one a lot like it, love your neighbor as yourself.
Love your neighbor as yourself. So the very thing that we’re called to be as Christians, people that love other people like we love ourselves. Jonathan displayed this to David and this is the kind of deep, spiritual friendship that we’re called to. Self-sacrificial love, where we lay our own lives down like Jesus did.
When it says in Philippians, that even though he had the very nature of God, he took the nature of God and put it aside and he became human like us so that he could die for us, Philippians 1 says don’t consider yourself so highly that you don’t lay down your life for others. We have to learn that. If we’re going to be a good friend we have to be sacrificial.
Number 2 is a good friend shares a mission. One reason why Jonathan and David hit is off so quickly is they both shared the same goals and values. Jonathan and David were both interested in defeating the Philistines, each of them wanted to see the good if Israel and each of them had stories of famous courage that they displayed.
Of course we know about David and Goliath but fewer of you might know about Jonathan. Walking along a path of the armor bear when the Philistines were in total control of Israel and Israel’s trying to break free of the Philistines and Jonathan looks up a hill and sees about 20 Philistines and he says to his armor bear well let’s go climb up there and take care of them because I guess God can take care of this and if not we’re dead anyway.
So he climbs up with his hands and feet and he takes on the Philistines and what ensues in the bible reads like a really cool action movie. If you haven’t read the story of David and Jonathan you really need to do that and please be creative as you’re reading it because you can see all the pictures in your head. It’s really fun.
I don’t know why nobody has made a really good movie about David yet, but I keep being disappointed, so one of you please make a good movie about David. I will see it; I will even take everybody with me to see it. Jonathan and David both had amazing courage; they had these things in common.
They were both courageous worriers, they both wanted to see Israel, God’s people rise from the ashes. They both were passionate for what God wanted. Friendships are often formed not because two people are enamored with one another, two people enamored with one another, that’s not friendships, that’s lovers.
People that only look at each other, they gaze lovingly into one another’s eyes, they can’t keep their hands off of each other. You know the kind of people when you say, you think to yourself oh come on. Anybody with me?
I know you love each other but can you do that somewhere else, I mean gosh. That’s lovers looking at one another. Or if it’s only one person that’s looking at the other person that’s not looking back at them, that’s called stalkers.
Some of you had to deal with that to, right? True friendship isn’t like lovers and it’s not like stalkers. True friendship isn’t looking at each other; it’s looking the same direction. It’s saying we’re doing something together.
One of the best and most profound quotes I’ve ever heard about this subject came from CS Lewis who wrote more than a half century ago. Lovers are always talking to one another about their love; friends hardly ever about their Friendship. Lovers are normally face to face, absorbed in each other; Friends side by side, absorbed in some common interest. Think about the really best relationships you’ve had, think about the relationships you’ve made maybe on the sports field when you were in high school or college, and you were with each other, having the same direction, having the same vision.
You wanted to try and win the game and by trying to win the game together, even if it’s somebody you didn’t get along with very well, you became better friends. Maybe some of you served in the military together and while you were training for battle or maybe some of you while you were in the middle of battle, there were people that might be really different from you but you bonded a strong friendship.
Maybe it wasn’t war or military, maybe it was simply the battlefield of business of work and something that you do with somebody else, spending a lot time with, and you say we both have the same ideals, we both have the same vision, we both have the same mission, we both have the same goals. That’s where friendships form. Can I tell you where I think friendships form the most?
And I’m not just saying this because I’m a pastor, I promise. I think the best friendships in the world form when you do ministry with somebody else. I really do. I think when you’re sitting on the floor with some other adult, letting 2 year olds crawl all over you and trying to feed them fishy crackers, I don’t know if we use fishy crackers anymore, but it sounds good right?
And you’re trying to serve and love and pray for these kids, there’s something, there’s a bond that happens because you’re doing something together. And you end up not just seeing people at church, but you end up connecting outside of church and you end up developing and forming a relationship. I’m really hungry for people in this church, if you don’t serve somewhere I don’t want you to serve because we need warm bodies.
I want you to serve because I think God will do something phenomenal in and through you and I think He’ll connect you with lifelong friends, I really do. A good friend shares sacrificially, a good friend shares a mission, a good friend shares emotion. I really appreciate as I read the story, and by the way it’s not just in chapter 18 it goes to 19 and 20 and even further down in 22 later I think where Jonathan shows up again to strengthen David.
You see their relationship all the way until Jonathan dies and I really appreciate it about these two guys that their relationships isn’t the typical man relationship where they communicate with grunts or punching each other in the arm. We’re worriers, we can’t share emotion with each other. We just grunt and understand what’s going on.
In [biblegateway passage=”1 Samuel 20″] – after Saul tries to kill David – David meets with Jonathan, and, it says, David fell on his face. They kissed one another and wept with one another. David was doing an ugly cry with snot everywhere.
He was devastated that he would not have to be able to hang out with his best friend anymore; by the way it was a normal cultural construct that men would kiss hello and goodbye to friends and family. So you read this and you don’t really understand this. In different cultures even today, it’s pretty normal.
Paul declares to the churches over and over again when you get together for a service greet one another with a holy kiss. Notice we didn’t do that today, because it’s not part of our culture. Different cultures are different.
A few years ago I was in Africa, now it’s been almost 20 years ago, because I went with my wife, but she wasn’t my wife yet. But this is by the way a really good story, I’ll back it up in just a minute, about what I said about friendships forming when you’re doing something together. Some of you, you really wanted to meet your mate, can I tell you that if you do ministry that might happen.
And some of you would say where do I sign up? I was going on a mission trip to Africa and Debra was going on the same trip and we didn’t really meet each other previous. We were in the same place, we were signing up from different places and I showed up and I spent a couple of weeks with this girl who wasn’t wearing any make up and who was wearing a frumpy skirt the whole time.
And we did ministry together. It was, it was frumpy. We did ministry together for a while and I’d started falling in love with this girl because we just became friends first and then after we were friends and when you do ministry together you realize, wow there’s a real connection here. And eventually all the rest is history, we got married and she looks very nice today, she’s not wearing a frumpy skirt at all.
While we were in Kenya I was preaching the word of God. We were going from village to village preaching in different places and there was this little village out in the middle of nowhere, it was called The Bush and we’re preaching and we’re walking with the church and the whole team is there and I was 25 years old or 26 and I happened to be with a friend, a pastor, that was pasturing in that village and he was the same age as I was and as we were walking and talking about the deep things of the Lord, he reached out his hand and he grabbed my hand and we kept walking, and I thought what is happening here.
What’s going on and I’m thinking all kinds of thoughts and I’m just okay you know this is great. He’s just talking, happy to hold my hand, later I found out that in Kenya husbands and wives don’t even hold hands out in public when they’re together but two men can very normally and naturally, when they’re talking about deep things they can share affection with each other.
What happens is our culture has gotten so boxed into a certain way of affection that we’re scared to death of displaying emotion. The worrier David had no problem with sharing the full range of emotions with his friend. In fact when Jonathan died David wrote and sung a heartbroken, passionate song about him and he said I am distressed for you my brother Jonathan. You’re love to me was extraordinary, it even surpassed the love of women. Now you have to understand that in this culture with a king that would get married, many times those marriage would be politically expedient marriages, and so you weren’t ever sure if your wife was for you and if she married you because the families kind of needed to get together.
David was saying Jonathan you weren’t like that. You were a true deep friend. But you might think is unlikely for a guy in the bible for a guy to say from another guy that his love was extraordinary and surpassing the love of women.
And just in case there’s any confusion, the Hebrew text in context here isn’t what would ever be used for sexual connection. This passage has sometimes been twisted over the last couple of decades by people to try to say well look, they loved each other deeply and they shared emotions with each other so there must’ve been a romantic or some kind of attraction relationship and can I just tell you this morning, that’s just not true.
The bible doesn’t bear that out, it doesn’t say that, in fact there’s no way to find that unless you read into it. But here’s the problem, we’ve been conditioned to think that true shared emotion is always about romance or sex. We’ve been conditioned to think that true emotion is always about a romantic relationship and that’s really too bad because people are scared to death of sharing deep emotion with one another because we’re afraid it’s going to be misinterpreted.
Do you hear me? And the bible calls us to really, deeply love one another but I’ve watched parents afraid to express affection and emotion because the way our world is twisted today. I’ve watched friends who always have their guard up an they’re just I don’t want to be emotional, I don’t want to share anything of what’s really going on inside because people will misunderstand and sadly our society and even the body of Christ has been forced into an emotional isolation because of a distortion of what God intended in friendship.
But we need true biblical friendships; I want you to hear me. We need true biblical friendships, especially with people of the same gender. We need others to share life in a full range of emotions.
We need that. That’s part of how God created us. That I would have bodies, that my wife would have friends that, women, we can have friends otherwise to but then there are certain conditions and boundaries that we set for ourselves, but I believe that God calls for great friendships, deep friendships, emotional friendships with other men and God call women to have deep friendships, great friendships, emotionally available friendships with other women and this is not about romance.
And the enemies twisted that and made everything about romance. Listen we’re called to share our emotions. Whatever our range of emotional expression goes.
Some of you guys we’re thinking that’s not me because I’m just not wired to be emotional. My best emotion is cracking a smile like every 6 months or something like that well if that’s how you’re wired then that’s how you’re wired and that’s okay. I’m not saying you have to become somebody else.
I am saying God has called us to develop friendships that aren’t about romance. I believe that believers should be people who embrace real expressive relationships and display healthy, emotional connections that aren’t limited to romance or sex because that kind of true love, outside of sexuality will attract a lot of lonely world that is desperate for relationship.
When our world thinks that the only way you can get close to somebody is to have a sexual or romantic relationship with somebody else, they totally miss the point of what God has created us for relationally with others. Because if we do it right, if we live in the way that the bible says to live, there will only be one other romantic or sexual partner for the rest of our lives.
I know sometimes that gets broken and sometime people have to walk through redemption and God is a great redemptive God and He fixes things, but if I live in the way that the bible calls me to live, then I’m going to have wife for the rest of my life and I hope to have many friends. And when the world thinks that true friendship is all about romance and sex, they miss the idea that God has wired us to have friends that we can be real with and be honest with and have a connection with.
I think that when the church displays true friendship that goes really deep the world’s going to look at that and say that’s different. That look good. Jesus put it this way; if you love one another the world’s going to know that you’re my disciples.
So if we have this spiritually emotional available relationships with one another I believe that’s going to be a winsome note to the world to be attracted to the life of Jesus. Amen.
Finally a good friend share covenant loyalty.
This is deeper than casual interactions. It’s deeper than “I’ll stick with you as long as it’s convenient and it benefits me.” Those are called disposable relationships. How many of you have known about disposable relationships?
Some of you go, “I was a disposable relationship to someone else,” and it hurts you. Others of you have used other people as disposable relationships in your life. A disposable relationship though is not a part of the Christian faith.
Can I say that again? A disposable relationship is not a part of the Christian faith, you and I are not called to use people up and throw them away because people are made in the image of God and we’re to love them as we love ourselves. Amen.
So the disposable relationship that our world is so used to is the opposite of a covenant, a covenant takes work. A disposable relationship you’re done with when you’re done with it. A covenant relationship is not what you can get out of it, it’s about something you decide never to get out of.
Not I’m going to use this relationship until I’m done, it’s I’m going to be in this relationship until I’m dead. A covenant relationship is about deeply caring and radically sharing. A covenant relationship is about sharing the sensitivity.
A covenant relationship is about accountability and confidentiality. As I’m studying for the David series I was reading in 1st Chronicles 17 verse 27, and there’s a list of people on David’s payroll. All these people that David paid to have around, the leader of the treasury, the person who took care of all of his camels, the one who took care of the vineyards and made his wine, the one who did all of his property management.
The scribe, the commander of the army, and in this long list there this amazing little verse, verse 33, it says hoshia the archi was the kings friend. How would you like to have somebody who’s paid to be your friend? On David’s payroll he had a paid friend.
Why did David need Jonathan if he had a paid friend? I think the answer might be the hoshia was his friend because he was paid to be. Jonathan was his friend because he chose to be.
Aren’t you glad that Jesus wasn’t one of our paid friends? Aren’t you glad that Jesus wasn’t just paid to be our friend that He chose to be our friend that he chose to go the cross for us? Hebrews tell us that Jesus kept the covenant of friendship with his blood, Philippians tells us that he was obedient to the point of death. That’s covenant loyalty.
And that’s the kind of relationship God wants to call us into with other people. I’ve got a question and it’s a hard question but I think it’s important for us to wrestle with. Do we have friends that we would die for?
Do we have friends that we would step in front of a speeding bullet or a speeding train for? Do we have friends that we would get in the way of death? Do we have friends that we care about that deeply?
Like Jesus cared for us. Like Jonathan cared for David. I think we should.
I think if we want to become people after God’s heart I think we need to become the kind of people that would say listen, I would lay down my life sacrificially for a friend. I believe that sharing a day with a Jonathan type friendship with somebody is the key to becoming a person after God’s heart.
I want us to be a church that prays for that kind of friend, I want us to become that kind of church that becomes that kind of friend to somebody and if nothing else I want us to become the kind of people who could be one of those kinds of friends who brought the person along. Right now you may not have a friend like that but I want to challenge you in your heart to come before the Lord and say Lord would you shape me to a friend who loves sacrificially?
Who gives up my life for other people? A friend who has a common mission with another friend, a friend who will share emotionally, a friend that will connect with somebody in covenant loyalty as You’ve called us to do. But it starts with friendship of the one who died for you because of the covenant that he made with us even before we were His friends.