Sunday, November 14, 2021

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Third Kernel of Corn - The Gift of Friendship

Sometimes the biggest and most wonderful blessings can be right in front of us and we don’t even realize it. In fact, we sometimes take those blessings for granted. The friends that we have are blessings and we should be thankful for each of them, especially the ones who are there through thick and thin. They are the ones we call in the early, early hours of a morning to help us with problems that we truly need help with.

I have been blessed with several dear friends who have truly gone above and beyond when I needed help the most. When I had a hot water heater leaking in my attic or had a roof leak to deal with when I wasn’t there to find it, I had dear friends who not only answered the call but came over to my home and helped me when I needed it the most. Those are truly friends and the ones you can count on in good times and in bad.

In chapter four of the Book of Ecclesiastes, the author writes, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

Working together to look out for one another is the foundation of not only a strong friendship but it is also the foundation of a strong society. If we work together for the good of others, we are able to be more than just a collection of people working and living together. We can become an extended family for one another. With strong ties similar to those of a blood family, we have a vested interest in the success of each other and want the other to feel safe and secure.

In the movie, “Forrest Gump”, there is a scene that really drives home the point of friendship and looking out for the other. Forrest and Bubba, his friend from boot camp, are out on patrol in Vietnam. It is pouring down rain and both are in their ponchos trying to stay dry. Individually, it would be almost impossible for each to remain dry and out of the mud, but together they are able to stay somewhat dry and not sleep in the mud.

In that scene, Bubba said, “I'm gonna lean up against you, you just lean right back against me. This way, we don't have to sleep with our heads in the mud. You know why we a good partnership, Forrest?  'Cause we be watchin' out for one another. Like brothers and stuff.”

I have often heard it said that combat builds strong friendships especially when you have to depend on the other for safety and support. Although many of us have never faced a life and death situation, we can, however, learn from it. Life is full of surprises for all of us and we each have to face certain things. It is better to face them with someone at your side that can lend a helping hand when you need it the most or a shoulder to cry on. A friend who is there for you is worth more than all the gold and silver in the world.

One of my favorite quotes about good friends perfectly sums things up, “Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them, but you know they’re always there.”

That old saying tells you a lot about the character of good, true friends. They’re always there for you and you can count on them. On the flipside, we need to be good friends to others as well. You can’t expect people to be there for you when you’re not doing the same for them. You have to step up in difficult times and lend that hand or shoulder when your friends need it most.

Think about all of the friends you have in your social media circle. Some people have hundreds, even thousands of friends in their circle. Out of all of them, how many of them would drop everything at a moment’s notice and come to your aid? One? Two? Maybe three?

When  you think about it, we all have a lot of friends who are closer to acquaintances rather than true friends. They often say that they would be there for you and then when you need them they disappear like the early morning fog. 

In chapter eighteen of the Book of Proverbs, the author writes, “There are ‘friends’ who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.

Think about what that verse is telling you. If you have a “friend” who knows you fairly well, that person can easily destroy you. He or she knows where your Achilles’ heel is and can lash out at you very easily and hurt you deeply. That person is not a good friend at all. I call those individuals, “FINO”. They are “Friends in Name Only”.

As you sit with your family and friends at the Thanksgiving meal, I encourage you to look at each of your friends and openly express your thankfulness for their friendship. Thank God for each of them and let them know that you are truly blessed to have them as true friends who “stick closer than a brother”.

We have a lot to be thankful for each and every day of our lives. Spend more than just one day thanking God for His blessings. Thank Him for everything you have and for those around you who would be there for you when you need it most. Also, be a good friend to others. We need to watch out for one another and take care of each other. When we do those things, we know that we can stand firm in His grace.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. 

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