Series Code: HCAU
Program Code: HCAU180008A
00:20 Welcome to 3ABN Australia Homecoming.
00:29 Hello and welcome to our 3ABN Australia Homecoming,
00:33 we're so grateful for our home audience here
00:35 but we're grateful for those of you that joined us
00:37 through television, radio, or the internet.
00:41 What a blessing we have received here already.
00:43 Angela: Yes.
00:44 You know Camp Meeting... Homecoming...
00:46 it's an encouragement... it's uplifting isn't it Angie?
00:49 Oh, I just love Camp Meeting.
00:51 At 3ABN, we have a huge Camp Meeting,
00:54 our 3ABN Spring Camp Meeting, and we have... what?
00:57 The Fall Camp Meeting is another blessing
01:01 and I am just excited to be down under...
01:03 Yes, I am too
01:05 and it's a privilege to meet each one of you
01:06 because as we've mentioned all along
01:09 that you are a big part of 3ABN.
01:10 Yes... yes.
01:12 Now Angie, I know your husband is a pastor
01:13 of the Thompsonville Seventh-day Adventist Church...
01:15 Jill-and-our Pastor there
01:17 but you also are his wife but you work at 3ABN Radio.
01:22 Yes, I have been at 3ABN radio for about 14 years
01:26 and I do editing
01:29 and I host a program called: Crossroads.
01:32 I don't know if anyone ever heard Crossroads here
01:35 but it's a wonderful program where I interview people
01:38 for... about their testimony...
01:40 how they became an Adventist Christian.
01:43 so, I'm just excited to meet each and every one of you.
01:45 You know and it's neat too because I know that there's
01:47 3ABN Australia Radio
01:48 and you know, it makes an impact
01:50 and I think what's so encouraging
01:52 to come to events like this and then as you travel...
01:54 you and Pastor John travel around the world,
01:56 Jill and I... not so much
01:58 but when we have the Camp Meetings like you mentioned
02:00 at 3ABN... it's a blessing to meet people that...
02:04 their lives have been changed because of 3ABN
02:06 and so, we want to say, "Thank you" to you as well
02:08 especially for your financial support...
02:10 that is huge for 3ABN Australia...
02:12 for 3ABN USA
02:14 because you're not just giving money for new cameras
02:18 or for Sets like this...
02:19 you're really giving money to change lives
02:23 for what? It's eternity, isn't it?
02:26 I love this here, "Homecoming... "
02:28 When I think of Homecoming, I think of going home.
02:31 Well, home is something you're familiar with right?
02:34 So, I think the key for us is to become...
02:35 when none of us have been to heaven...
02:37 Angie: Right.
02:38 But the key is for us to get to know Jesus Christ
02:40 and that's where we'll be able to go home for eternity.
02:43 Oh... I'm looking forward to that great and glorious day
02:46 but we have a wonderful program today, don't we?
02:48 We do... we have Pastor Ryan Day,
02:50 you've heard him sing, haven't you?
02:52 Oh and God has given him a gift in music, hasn't He?
02:55 You're going to get to hear him preach the Word.
02:57 Angie: That's right.
02:58 Greg: So, he's going to be bringing us the message today
03:00 entitled "As Our Closest Friend"
03:02 but before that, we have some music.
03:05 Yeah, before that, we're going to have a Trio...
03:09 wow! and it's going to be Tim Parton on the piano,
03:13 Ryan Day and my husband, John Lomacang,
03:17 so you are going to be blessed by a song called...
03:20 named... "Had It Not Been"
03:22 so, sit back and relax and let the Lord bless you...
03:26 as we are going to be blessed, thank you.
03:28 Greg: Amen.
03:41 Just suppose God searched through Heaven,
03:50 He couldn't find one willing
03:56 to be,
03:59 The supreme sacrifice
04:05 that was needed,
04:10 That could buy eternal life
04:15 for you and me.
04:20 Had it not been for a place
04:26 called Mount Calvary
04:32 Had it not been
04:35 for the old rugged cross,
04:42 Had it not been
04:45 for a man called Jesus,
04:52 Then forever
04:56 my soul would be lost.
05:04 I'm so glad He was willing
05:09 to drink that bitter cup,
05:13 Although He prayed,
05:17 "Father let it pass from me"
05:23 And I'm so glad
05:27 He didn't call Heaven's angels,
05:35 From these hands,
05:37 Pulled the nails
05:41 that torment me.
05:43 Oh, had it not been
05:48 for a place called Mount Calvary
05:55 Had it not been
05:59 for the old rugged cross
06:06 Had it not been
06:09 for a man called Jesus,
06:16 Then forever
06:20 my soul would be lost...
06:29 Then forever
06:34 my soul would be
06:56 more pause.
07:03 Good Day...
07:05 Audience: Laughter...
07:07 I'm practicing...
07:09 I love it... praise the Lord.
07:13 How are all of you doing this evening?
07:15 Audience: Fine.
07:17 It's so good to see each and every one of your smiling faces,
07:19 time is of the essence.
07:21 I'm looking at that clock
07:23 and I don't know how I'm going to get through this sermon
07:25 in 49 minutes
07:27 but with God's grace... by God's grace
07:29 and with His help, we will do so.
07:31 Before we go any further though,
07:32 I would like to kneel... you don't have to kneel
07:34 but if you would just reverently bow your heads,
07:36 we'll go to the Lord at this time.
07:37 "Father in heaven,
07:42 we praise you and thank you God
07:45 for being the wonderful friend to us that you are.
07:53 As we take on this topic,
07:55 'Knowing You as our closest friend'
07:59 I pray that you would amplify your Word
08:02 in each and every one of our hearts and minds.
08:04 As I prayed earlier this morning
08:06 that you give us this spiritual eyesight,
08:09 the spiritual hearing and the spiritual mind
08:12 to be able to see and hear and comprehend
08:14 what Your Word is telling us this evening,
08:17 May You reveal Your will to us,
08:20 may You lift Jesus Christ high
08:23 and we may fix our eyes
08:24 on the wonderful character of Jesus,
08:27 I praise you and thank you for this opportunity,
08:30 I'm completely depending on you
08:32 to give me every word... every thought... every action...
08:35 and may it be that of Jesus Christ,
08:37 we praise you and we thank you as always,
08:40 we ask this in Jesus' name, amen. "
08:44 Knowing God
08:48 as our closest friend...
08:51 do you remember our theme Scripture?
08:52 John chapter 17 verse... verse 3... say it with me,
08:58 "And this is eternal life,
09:01 that they may know You the only true God,
09:04 and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent. "
09:08 Knowing God... is salvational.
09:16 Knowing God on a personal level... is life or death.
09:21 This particular Series in which we are focusing
09:29 on coming to know our God more
09:32 through many of these different topics and realities
09:34 that we must confront...
09:36 that we must consider as vitally important
09:39 the one that I've been chosen to speak on this evening
09:42 is: Knowing God as our closest friend
09:45 and I find that as I travel around
09:47 and as I have been given the wonderful privilege
09:49 and opportunity... to preach the good news of Jesus Christ
09:53 over the past few years,
09:54 I find that there's a lot of people who struggle
09:56 with the concept of God as a friend
09:59 and I can see it to a certain extent
10:02 because many of us and rightfully so,
10:06 should view God in the respectful... honoring
10:10 reverent way that we should,
10:13 we should honor Him... we should lift Him up...
10:15 we should treat Him and respond to Him in reverence,
10:18 but nonetheless, God... even in His every Word
10:22 is pleading with us
10:24 to have an intimate... close relationship
10:28 like that of a very close friend.
10:30 I would like to take you this evening
10:33 on a journey through Scripture,
10:35 we're going to have a good old-fashioned
10:37 Bible Study this evening,
10:38 I don't even know if that expression
10:40 is used here in Australia,
10:41 but back home where I'm from in the southern states
10:45 of the United States of America,
10:46 we would say,
10:48 "We're going to have a good old-fashioned Bible Study"
10:50 and that's exactly what we're going to do this evening,
10:53 this is probably not going to suffice
10:56 the ears of those who are looking for some deep spiritual
11:00 theological discourse
11:01 but nonetheless, we're going to keep it simple,
11:04 we're going to keep it Biblically focused
11:06 and I would like for you to join me in this journey.
11:09 I would like for us to begin this evening
11:11 in Colossians chapter 1 beginning with verse 13,
11:14 so if would take out your Bibles if you have them
11:17 this particular text,
11:18 I'm going to be reading from the New King James Version
11:20 and we're going to read it directly from the Bible
11:23 and then I'm going to put up a text in just a few moments
11:25 that comes from a different translation,
11:27 I want you to see this from two different perspectives
11:30 so we're going to the book of Colossians,
11:33 what chapter did I say? I did say chapter 1,
11:35 I was just testing to see if you were listening.
11:37 Colossians chapter 1...
11:39 we're going to begin reading in... what verse?
11:41 We're going to begin reading in verse 13.
11:45 Colossians 1 beginning with verse 13
11:50 and the Bible says,
11:51 by-the-way, this is going to be a lengthy passage
11:53 so stay with me, we're going to read through
11:54 verses 20... verse 23...
11:56 It says, "He has delivered us from the power of darkness
12:01 and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
12:05 in whom we have redemption through His blood,
12:10 the forgiveness of sins.
12:12 He is the image of the invisible God,
12:15 the firstborn over all creation.
12:18 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven
12:22 and that are on earth, visible and invisible... "
12:25 excuse me... "visible and invisible... " yes,
12:28 "whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.
12:32 All things were created through Him and for Him. "
12:36 I'm in verse 17...
12:38 it says, "And He is before all things,
12:42 and in Him all things consist.
12:46 And He is the head of the body... " that is the church
12:50 "who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
12:54 that in all things He may have the preeminence.
12:58 For it pleased the Father
13:02 that in Him all the fullness should dwell,
13:06 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself,
13:09 by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven,
13:12 having made peace through the blood of His cross.
13:16 And you, who once were alienated
13:20 and enemies in your mind by wicked works,
13:23 yet now He has reconciled
13:27 in the body of His flesh though death,
13:30 to present you holy, and blameless,
13:33 and above reproach in His sight... "
13:36 last verse says,
13:38 if indeed you continue in the faith,
13:40 grounded and steadfast,
13:42 and are not moved away from the hope of this gospel
13:45 which you heard,
13:46 which was preached to every creature under heaven,
13:48 of which I, Paul, became a minister. "
13:53 That indeed is a very powerful passage
13:55 and it reminds us of whom we're discussing this evening.
13:59 Now, I'm about to do something that normally I consider to be
14:05 absolutely blasphemous
14:07 and that is,
14:09 read from a paraphrased translation of Scripture.
14:13 Audience: Laughter.
14:15 Normally, I try to stick to the King James or the New King James
14:18 I'm just kind of biased in that way...
14:20 not that I don't believe that we shouldn't use other translations
14:24 I believe in its proper context and in the proper moment,
14:27 there are appropriate times to use other translations,
14:30 but I very much try to stay away from paraphrased versions
14:33 because it's not really a word-by-word
14:35 or textual translation,
14:36 but more of just a...
14:38 a kind of an overall view... a paraphrase...
14:41 and so... but when I found this particular paraphrase
14:43 of a particular translation that I normally stay away from,
14:47 I really liked the way Eugene Peterson...
14:50 the author of "The Message Bible"
14:53 or the "The Message Translation"
14:56 paraphrased this particular text that we just read
14:59 and I'm... I think it's going to be on the screen
15:01 at this moment and it says,
15:03 "For everything... "
15:04 listen very closely to the verse... I like this,
15:06 "For everything, absolutely everything,
15:09 above and below,
15:11 visible and invisible,
15:14 rank after rank after rank of angels...
15:17 everything got started in Him
15:20 and finds its purpose in Him.
15:24 He was there before any of it came into existence
15:28 and holds it all together right up to this moment.
15:33 He was supreme in the beginning
15:37 and leading the resurrection parade...
15:40 He is supreme in the end.
15:42 From beginning to end He's there,
15:46 towering far above everything, everyone... "
15:50 and I love this,
15:51 "so spacious is He, so roomy,
15:55 that everything of God finds its proper place in Him
15:59 without crowding.
16:01 Not only that,
16:03 but all the broken and dislocated pieces
16:06 of the universe...
16:08 people and things, animals and atoms...
16:11 get properly fixed and fit together
16:14 in vibrant harmonies,
16:16 all because of His death,
16:19 His blood that poured down from the cross...
16:22 But now, by giving Himself completely at the Cross,
16:28 He has died for you. "
16:31 I love this part... don't miss this,
16:34 "You don't walk away from a gift like that!"
16:43 I'll try this side over here,
16:47 "You don't walk away from a gift like that!
16:52 Audience: Amen.
16:53 "You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust,
16:58 constantly tuned in to the Message... "
17:04 the message...
17:05 "careful not to be distracted or diverted. "
17:08 We have a lot of that going on today, huh,
17:13 "There is no other Message... just this one.
17:17 Every creature under heaven gets this same Message. "
17:24 Audience: Amen.
17:27 I remember, I just turned five years old
17:32 and mom and daddy enrolled me in public school.
17:39 Now, do you guys have...
17:41 here in Australia do you guys have Kindergarten?
17:44 I'll say, okay...
17:46 well I was... I was being enrolled into Kindergarten
17:49 and I remember I was very excited
17:51 because, you know,
17:53 I don't know how it is here in Australia,
17:55 but in America, it's... it's almost like a...
17:57 it's just a cultural thing where... you know,
17:59 as you're approaching the first day of school,
18:01 the parents take the kids out shopping
18:03 and you get new shoes and you get new clothes
18:05 and new backpacks
18:06 and, you know, little hardware to put in your backpacks
18:08 and all those other things and so... my family...
18:10 I mean, they were so excited, I was excited
18:12 and back then... this was, of course,
18:14 way before my Christian days when... when I...
18:16 I hadn't really figured things out yet,
18:18 and, of course, I was just a little one
18:19 but I was very much into a... a... a very mythical character
18:22 and comic... comic-book character known as Batman
18:26 and so, I was very much into Batman
18:28 and so, on the first day of school,
18:30 my parents obviously had taken me out shopping
18:32 but on the first day of school, I stepped out of the car
18:35 at the school, I've got Batman shoes,
18:37 I've got Batman pants,
18:38 I got Batman shirt, I got Batman backpack,
18:40 I even had a little Batman watch
18:42 and I didn't even know how to tell time but I was proud of it.
18:45 I was so excited as we were on the way
18:49 because I couldn't wait for everyone to see
18:51 all of my Batman merchandise that I had on,
18:53 but as soon as I stepped out of the vehicle,
18:55 a very strong sense of anxiety
18:58 immediately began to flood through my veins.
19:00 As I begin to see all of the long lines
19:03 of these random strange children that I'd never seen before,
19:06 each one that was standing by their parents...
19:09 this was just prior to the opening of the doors,
19:11 but then eventually they came and they opened
19:13 the front doors of the school,
19:14 and we began parading in,
19:15 almost like they were taking us one by one
19:17 into a high secure penitentiary...
19:19 Audience: Laughter.
19:22 And I was so anxious... so scared...
19:25 and I remember like it was yesterday
19:28 then of course, we went and found my home room
19:31 where I would be the entire year
19:33 and as I'm walking through the hallways
19:35 and I'm going to officially find the entrance of my home room
19:38 and they begin ushering in...
19:39 ushering me into the home room there,
19:41 I'm looking around and I'm taking in my surroundings,
19:43 I'm paying attention to the behavior and the reactions
19:46 of all the other young boys and girls around
19:48 and, of course, their parents are bringing them in,
19:49 some of which I could see that same horrific,
19:52 terrifying look on their face,
19:53 and some were so terrified, they were beyond the point,
19:57 some of them were kicking and screaming and crying
19:59 saying, "No mummy, no mummy, no... "
20:01 it was like mum and daddy were pushing us out of their nest
20:05 saying, "Go, go, shoo... shoo... "
20:06 They eventually brought us in
20:08 and they sat us down on these little squares
20:11 each little square... do you guys remember this?
20:13 You guys have this in school?
20:14 I don't know, maybe it's a new thing
20:16 but they... they... they sat us down on these little squares
20:18 and we all sat on a little number or a little color...
20:20 what was blue or green... or number one... number two...
20:23 so, I remember I sat on the very corner in the room,
20:25 I had my own little corner spot
20:27 and I... again, I'm very, very anxious
20:29 but I... even from a young age,
20:30 I've always been very in control of my emotions,
20:33 sometimes, I'm very good at hiding my emotions
20:35 and on this particular day,
20:36 I was not about to let some other kid
20:38 or any other adult see me cry on the first day of school,
20:40 even though I had that lip quiver.
20:42 Audience: Laughter.
20:45 I was ready to let loose at any moment
20:46 and I'm looking around and I'm... I'm studying the room
20:50 and... and... But I remembered something mom and dad told me
20:53 before we arrived that day,
20:55 they said, "Oh son, you're going to be fine,
20:56 you're going to make new friends,
20:58 just... just find a friend... make new friends
21:01 and it will be okay, you'll get through it
21:05 and I'm sitting on that little block
21:07 and that... that came into my mind
21:08 and I began scoping the room
21:10 trying to determine who's going to be my friend
21:14 and it was just really convenient
21:19 because there was this young boy sitting beside me
21:21 who looked just as horrifically terrified as I did
21:24 and I thought, "Hey, why not?"
21:25 And so, I had to make the first initial connection
21:28 and so I remember in that very high pitched
21:30 country accent of mine as a little kid,
21:32 I said, "Uhhh... would you like to be my friend?"
21:36 Audience: Laughter.
21:38 And that little boy... he looked over at me
21:42 he was as surprised I guess to know that I was actually
21:44 addressing him... speaking to him...
21:46 and he really didn't know any other way to respond
21:48 other than, "Uhhhh... sure... "
21:50 And so we became friends
21:53 and mom and dad were right,
21:55 it made the first day of school...
21:58 in fact, it made every day at school so much easier
22:00 to know that I didn't have to walk into
22:01 that young people penitentiary by myself each day
22:04 and alone...
22:05 now it's comical and very truthful
22:09 as that story most definitely is.
22:12 As I was preparing for this particular message,
22:15 all of those thoughts were just flooding back into my mind...
22:19 the very concept of friendship.
22:21 You see, there was a natural response...
22:25 there's a natural drawing of God's people
22:30 to desire friendship.
22:33 We all want that special connection...
22:36 we all want to be liked, we all want to be cared for,
22:39 God created us for that purpose
22:43 to connect.
22:46 You see, the opposite of selfishness is to give yourself
22:51 to someone else in that kind of way...
22:53 in a relationship... a special relationship.
22:56 As I always do when I'm studying,
23:01 I tend to want to define things before I go any further
23:04 so I thought, "Well, you know what?
23:06 I just want to see what the dictionary
23:07 defines the word 'friend' or the concept of 'friend. '"
23:10 What... what is a friend according to the dictionary?
23:13 And I didn't just want to go to any dictionary...
23:15 there's... there's so many different dictionaries out there
23:17 but you know there's those sophisticated Institutes
23:20 such as Oxford...
23:21 and I thought, "You know what?
23:22 Why not check the Oxford English Dictionary
23:25 for what a friend is defined as
23:29 or what... what is the definition of a friend.
23:30 Now, again I'm just quoting Oxford English Dictionary here,
23:34 I want to show you what Oxford English Dictionary
23:36 defines a "friend" as... so, here it is:
23:38 A person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection,
23:43 typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations.
23:47 The second definition was:
23:50 An acquaintance or a stranger one comes across.
23:54 Maybe... see that... okay.
23:58 The third definition was: One's close relatives.
24:01 I can see that to a certain extent
24:03 because I'm very close to my brother,
24:04 in fact, I consider my brother
24:06 who is also an Amazing Facts Evangelist
24:08 he is... is my very close friend.
24:10 I can see that.
24:12 Notice the last one:
24:14 A person who is not an enemy or opponent but an ally.
24:20 okay, we can see that to a certain extent,
24:24 there is one... there is a couple of more here,
24:28 I don't know if they have the... have it on slides here
24:30 but there's a couple of more that I found.
24:32 The fifth definition that came up was:
24:34 A familiar or helpful thing.
24:40 Did you catch that?
24:41 Oxford dictionary defines a friend as a thing.
24:46 A familiar or helpful thing.
24:49 Now, I can see where they're going with this
24:50 because I hear people all the time
24:52 you know, you run out of the house
24:53 and they forget their cell phone
24:54 but oh, they'll go back again in and grab it,
24:56 "Eh... huh... huh... huh... I almost forgot my friend.
24:57 This is my close friend,
25:00 can't go anywhere without that... "
25:02 and then, of course, the last definition...
25:05 now, I kind of was surprised when I first saw it
25:07 but then, it's like, "Ah, this should be expected"
25:10 the sixth definition... the last definition...
25:13 in the Oxford English Dictionary for a "friend"
25:15 check this out:
25:17 A contact on a social networking website.
25:22 Audience: Laughter.
25:25 That is the age in which we are living.
25:28 In fact, if you were to really take on the modern
25:33 truthful definition of a "friend" in most people's minds,
25:35 you can just scrap those previous five that I just read
25:38 and just put that last one down right there
25:40 because when most people consider a friend to be a friend
25:42 they're talking about their friends on Facebook
25:44 or Twitter or all the other social media networks
25:46 that they're involved in.
25:48 Now, when I read this definition I was very sad
25:51 because it did not...
25:52 it... it... it did not really settle within me
25:56 as a sufficient definition for a friend
25:59 so I went to another very familiar definition...
26:02 a very familiar dictionary...
26:04 as you can see there,
26:08 Ryan Day's Dictionary...
26:12 and as I was praying and thinking this through,
26:15 I thought, you know, "What would I consider
26:19 to be the proper attributes of a good friend...
26:23 a close friend?"
26:24 Now I understand that this is not a very complex list,
26:28 a good friend is much more complex
26:30 which is these seven points but nonetheless
26:32 this is what I came up with.
26:33 You see, a good friend to me is someone...
26:35 and you'll notice, the first three
26:36 are really the most foundational aspects
26:39 of a good healthy relationship.
26:40 If you're going to have a good healthy relationship with anyone
26:43 whether it be a marriage... whether it be a courtship...
26:45 or whether it be simply a close friend,
26:46 number one, you want a friend to be someone you can trust,
26:50 do you agree or disagree?
26:53 Okay, number two, a good communicator.
26:58 You see, a relationship without communication,
27:01 is no relationship at all
27:03 because the very foundation of a healthy relationship
27:07 is communication.
27:09 Trust... notice number three,
27:12 honesty and to be truthful.
27:15 You want someone as a friend, a close friend to be honest
27:19 and truthful.
27:20 Of course, number four,
27:22 you want this friend to be encouraging and supportive
27:25 and when I'm talking about encouragement
27:27 and someone who is supporting you as a close friend,
27:30 we're talking about someone
27:31 who's going to encourage you and support you
27:34 not just in the good times but also the bad.
27:39 Number six, a good friend is a good listener.
27:43 A good friend knows how to be quiet and just listen
27:50 in times when their friend needs to be heard
27:54 and of course, last but not least
27:58 someone willing to sacrifice their life...
28:01 or give their life for you.
28:07 Now, as I was thinking over this list,
28:09 you know, I've met many people
28:11 who would probably qualify for the majority... if not all
28:14 of these particular aspects of a friendship
28:18 but there was one person who came to my mind
28:23 that without a doubt fits all the criteria
28:27 and that is none other than Jesus Christ Himself.
28:32 I want to take you through a very quick...
28:35 very simple but profound Bible Study
28:38 as we go back through these one by one,
28:40 I want to show you how the Bible confirms...
28:44 this is not just some made up story or myth,
28:47 but yet the Bible confirms
28:49 that the greatest closest friend that one can have
28:53 is their Creator... Jesus Christ.
29:00 I want to take us to the very first one
29:03 which is someone you can trust
29:05 and I think that if there's anyone in the Scripture
29:09 who understands God as a person that they can trust,
29:13 how about the man that God said,
29:15 that is a man after His own heart.
29:17 While David was not a perfect man,
29:19 David did indeed... he was very faithful to God
29:22 and notice what he writes here in Psalm chapter 31, verse 13,
29:27 excuse me, verse 14, very simple but he says,
29:30 "But as for me, I TRUST in You, O Lord;
29:36 I say, 'You are my God. '"
29:42 I trust in You Lord, I say, "You are my God"
29:44 and... and if you read the story of David,
29:47 you know that he had to put a lot of trust in God
29:50 to be where he was
29:52 and to accomplish what he was able to accomplish.
29:55 Also, in the book of Psalm chapter 31 verse 14,
29:58 the Bible goes on to say, excuse me, I'm sorry,
30:01 Psalm 84 verse 12,
30:03 the Bible goes on to tell us, "O Lord of hosts... "
30:06 of course, this is David,
30:07 "blessed is the man who TRUSTS in You!"
30:10 If you want to go talk to someone
30:13 who knows anything about trusting in God
30:15 or being able to trust God as a close friend,
30:17 David would know that and David records it,
30:19 he says, "Blessed is the man who TRUSTS in You. "
30:24 And of course, we all know that famous passage,
30:26 coming from, of course, as the Bible describes,
30:29 the wisest man to ever live,
30:31 that is... the created man that ever lived,
30:33 that would be Solomon
30:35 and we find this in Proverbs chapter 3 verses 5 through 6,
30:37 this should be a very familiar verse,
30:39 notice what it... what does it start with?
30:41 Say it with me... "TRUST" that's the first thing...
30:44 the wisest man to ever live says,
30:46 "Hey, let me give you a little advice,
30:48 'TRUST in the Lord with all your heart. '"
30:50 Why should you? Because you can...
30:52 He's your best friend,
30:53 there's no one on the planet that you can trust more than Him
30:56 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
30:58 and lean not on your own understanding;
31:00 in all your ways acknowledge Him
31:02 and He shall direct your path. "
31:07 Now there's some other texts
31:08 that as I was studying from the Old Testament
31:11 into the New Testament,
31:12 I found something quite interesting...
31:13 I... I... I... I located this and discovered this years ago,
31:17 but it brought me back to this particular series of texts.
31:20 When you're coming to trust God...
31:22 when you're learning to trust God,
31:24 Christ reminds you of that... and He... He tells us
31:28 and preaches this in the Word,
31:30 notice John chapter 14 verse 1,
31:31 we all know that famous text, where he's talking about...
31:34 how when he is going away to prepare for us a mansion,
31:36 that where He is, there we may be also,
31:38 notice what He starts this with though,
31:40 He says, "Let not your heart be troubled;
31:43 you BELIEVE in God, believe also in Me. "
31:46 And you say, "Ryan, what does that have to do
31:48 with trusting God?"
31:49 You see, the word "believe" here in the original Greek,
31:52 is a word that you would pronounce
31:54 and it sounds like this, "pisteuo"
31:56 so we go in the original Greek here, to believe...
32:00 as it says here, to believe in God
32:02 he's asking you to "pisteuo" in the Greek
32:05 and if you look up a further-defining word
32:07 that would properly communicate to us
32:10 what it is in the Greek to "pisteuo"
32:12 it also means, "to put trust in"
32:14 that means, "To trust... "
32:17 so essentially what God is saying here is, "You know what?
32:19 I don't want you to just believe in me,
32:22 as in... 'I just exist' or that 'I'm here'
32:24 I want you to go far and beyond that,
32:26 I want you to trust in God and also, trust also in Me. "
32:33 And probably one of the most quoted...
32:36 and probably the most...
32:38 if I were to ask you this evening,
32:39 what is probably the most popular verse or...
32:42 or memorized verse in all the world from the Bible?
32:45 Probably John 3:16, I would agree with you,
32:48 I would say to you this evening, my friends,
32:51 while John 3:16 may be the most popularly memorized
32:54 and quoted verse among the Christian world,
32:57 I believe it's also one of the most misunderstood verses
33:00 within the Christian world.
33:05 I want you to say with me, you know it by heart, John 3:16,
33:08 "For God so loved the... " Audience: world
33:11 "that He gave His only begotten" Audience: Son
33:15 "that whosoever believes in Him should not perish
33:18 but have everlasting life.
33:21 Notice the word, "BELIEVES in Him. "
33:24 You see, years ago when I was kind of church hopping,
33:27 I found myself studying with many different Christians
33:31 from different denominations and I found a common theme
33:35 or common pattern among some of those believers,
33:37 that when they read John 3:16,
33:39 they really held on to that particular text,
33:41 that was kind of their key verse
33:44 that they really held on to as a promise
33:45 that all they had to do was just simply believe in Jesus
33:49 and they would not perish but have everlasting life
33:51 and of course, the concept that they're thinking of
33:54 in the sense of "believing in God"
33:56 is just simply, "I believe that Jesus is real,
33:58 I believe that He died on the cross for me
34:01 and of course, I believe now that I believe that
34:03 I believe I'm saved. "
34:06 And essentially,
34:08 if you go into the original Greek... as I just said,
34:10 the word "pisteuo" again, used right here
34:12 simply, Jesus is saying,
34:14 "Look, yes, I want you to believe in Me"
34:16 that is, "I want you to trust in me...
34:19 I want you to trust Me... I'm your God...
34:21 I'm your friend...
34:23 trust me... "
34:25 and what are we trusting in?
34:27 What are we putting trust in Him to do?
34:29 To do what He said He would do
34:30 and that is to save us from our sins.
34:37 So, is God someone you can trust?
34:39 Is Jesus someone you can trust?
34:41 Let's go on to our second point
34:44 and that is... "a good communicator"
34:48 a good friend is a good communicator.
34:52 Notice Jeremiah chapter 33 verse 3.
34:56 The Bible says, "Call to Me... " this is God speaking...
35:00 "Call to Me, and I will... " what?
35:03 "if you call to me, I will... " what?
35:06 "I will answer you
35:07 and show you great and mighty things which you do not know. "
35:09 Did you realize that in a relationship,
35:13 it's a dialogue...
35:15 proper communication in most one-on-one relationships...
35:21 it's a dialogue...
35:23 but yet some of us treat it as a constant never-ending monologue
35:29 even in our relationship with God...
35:30 even when we go to God in prayer, it's like,
35:32 "Lord, I need this...
35:34 Lord, I need you to save me from this...
35:35 Lord, I need this, I need this, I need this... I need this
35:36 I need... " and we pray to God
35:38 but, you know, sometimes we don't stop and allow God
35:40 to speak back to us.
35:42 What did He say here?
35:43 He says, "Call to me, I will answer you...
35:47 if you call to me, I'll answer. "
35:48 Notice in verse...
35:52 excuse me... John chapter 10 verse 27,
35:55 Jesus says, "My sheep hear My voice,
35:58 and I know them, and they follow Me. "
36:01 Is God interested in communicating with you and me...
36:06 in you and me?
36:08 Is He interested in communication?
36:10 Absolutely... absolutely.
36:13 So we know that God is indeed a good communicator.
36:17 We can depend on Him,
36:19 in fact, we're going to see that pop up in just a few moments.
36:21 Let's go on to point number 3,
36:23 because we're running very quickly out of time.
36:25 Number three,
36:27 when you're looking for a good close friend,
36:30 you want this friend to be honest and truthful.
36:33 The question of the hour... is God honest?
36:38 Is He truthful?
36:40 What did Jesus say,
36:42 "I am the way, the... the truth and the life"
36:45 in fact, let me take you on to Numbers chapter 23,
36:48 verse 19, I believe it is, notice what the Bible says,
36:52 "God is not a man, that He should... " what?
36:54 "God is not a man, that He should lie,
36:57 nor a son of man, that He should repent,
36:59 He... " notice, "Has He said... "
37:01 the question... "Has He said, and will He not do?"
37:04 My friends, do you believe in the promises of God?
37:07 Do you believe that when God tells you something,
37:09 He's going to perform it?
37:11 I believe there, right there, is the ultimate test
37:13 of the faith of a Christian.
37:15 Many times, we... we... we are walking along this life
37:20 and we read these promises ,
37:22 but again, we experience many trials and tribulations
37:25 and sometimes, it's like,
37:27 "You know, I just don't know
37:28 if God really is going to respond.
37:30 I just don't know if He's really going to allow me
37:34 to tap in to that promise that He has promised me
37:38 but the Bible reminds us over and over...
37:42 notice in Titus chapter 1 verses 1 and 2,
37:45 the Bible says again, here, "Paul, a bondservant of God...
37:49 an apostle of Jesus Christ,
37:51 according to the faith of God's elect
37:54 and the acknowledgment of... " what?
37:56 "of the TRUTH" He is a truthful God...
37:58 He's an honest God "which accords with godliness,
38:03 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie,
38:07 promised before time began. "
38:11 You know, not only do I find it to be important
38:14 that a good friend is honest and truthful,
38:16 but sometimes, it's important for a good friend
38:20 for that friend to be... sometimes honest in ways
38:23 that you may not want them to be honest,
38:24 in other words... tell you the truth
38:26 that sometimes it's hard to receive.
38:28 What did Jesus say in Revelation chapter 3 verse 19?
38:33 And by the way, He's speaking to the last church ages...
38:37 that would be me and you
38:38 and what does He say?
38:40 "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. "
38:44 I love you, He says, "I'm your friend"
38:47 and there's no other friend in the world
38:50 that's going to be more honest and truthful with you
38:52 than Jesus Christ.
38:53 My friends, we're talking about knowing God as our close friend.
39:00 He is a close friend.
39:05 So, can we believe and stake our faith in the fact
39:11 that God is honest and truthful?
39:14 Let's continue on to point number 4,
39:17 a good friend is someone who's dependable.
39:20 Is God a dependable God?
39:22 Some of these may be rhetoric
39:25 or... or just very, very much repetitive
39:28 but I just want you to know my friends
39:30 the Bible is very clear on these points.
39:32 Psalm chapter 89 verse 34, what does God say?
39:35 "My covenant I will not break,
39:38 nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips. "
39:40 That's a promise.
39:42 He says, if I tell you I'm going to do something,
39:45 if I've given you a command,
39:46 if I've given you advice,
39:48 I'm not going to go back on it,
39:49 if it's said, it's done.
39:51 I will not alter the words that have gone out of my lips.
39:54 What does Matthew chapter 4 verse 4 say as Jesus was...
39:57 was contending with the devil, he says,
39:58 "Man shall not live by bread alone
40:00 but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God"
40:03 we can believe, my friends, in those promises.
40:06 Notice, 2nd Timothy chapter 2 verse 13,
40:09 but I love this verse,
40:10 very simple, very sure but to the point.
40:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful.
40:17 If we are faithless... He remains faithful,
40:21 He cannot deny Himself,
40:23 in other words, He will not deny Himself.
40:25 You may not have faith, but He will.
40:28 You may have given up on you, but He hasn't.
40:31 He remains faithful my friends.
40:34 Isaiah chapter 41 verse 10
40:37 is probably one of my favorite promises
40:39 in all the Word of God.
40:40 What does God say?
40:41 Again talking about dependability here,
40:43 He says, "Fear not for I am with you.
40:46 Be not dismayed for I am your God...
40:48 hey, I am there for you...
40:49 you can depend on me... " He says.
40:51 "I will strengthen you,
40:53 yes, I will help you, I will uphold you,
40:55 with my righteous right hand. "
40:58 He says, "You can depend on me.
41:00 I am indeed your friend. "
41:02 So, is God dependable?
41:05 Hello, help me out here folks,
41:07 is God dependable?
41:09 Yes, He is... amen...
41:11 you see, a good friend will also be encouraging and supportive
41:15 and again, as I said earlier, not just in...
41:17 in the good times but also in the bad.
41:19 Someone who will encourage you in the right way
41:24 and support you in the right way,
41:26 again Isaiah chapter 43 verse 2,
41:28 again, we're just taking us through a good old-fashioned
41:30 Bible Study but we're going to bring it home
41:31 in just a few moments.
41:33 The Bible says, "When you pass through the waters,
41:36 I will be with you;
41:38 and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. "
41:43 Why? Because I am going to support you.
41:46 I'm going to be there for you to encourage you.
41:50 When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
41:53 nor shall the flame scorch you. "
41:55 Again, we're going to verse 6, same chapter, Isaiah 43 verse 6,
41:59 "I will say to the north, 'Give them up!'
42:02 and to the south, 'Do not keep them back!'
42:05 Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters
42:08 from the ends of the earth. "
42:09 He says, "I got you, I got your back...
42:11 I'm here to support you, I'm here to encourage you,
42:14 you're not alone. "
42:16 John chapter 16 verse 33,
42:19 I love this, notice what Jesus says here,
42:21 "These things I have spoken to you,
42:23 that in Me you may have... " what?
42:25 "You may have peace.
42:27 In the world you will have tribulation... "
42:30 He says, "Don't just mark it down,
42:31 it's going to happen. "
42:32 Tribulation... you're going to experience it
42:34 but guess what? I got your back...
42:36 I'm here for you...
42:37 I'm going to see you through it,
42:38 I'm going to be there to encourage you,
42:40 I'm going to be there to support you,
42:42 where you are... there I am...
42:43 notice what He says,
42:45 "In the world, you will have tribulation;
42:47 but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. "
42:50 In other words, He says, "If I can do it,
42:52 you just trust in me and I will see you through it. "
42:59 God is that encouraging and supportive friend that we need
43:05 when nobody else is.
43:09 You know, I don't care who you are,
43:13 but at the end of the day, every single one of us
43:18 wants that friend who is able to listen...
43:23 who was willing to listen.
43:25 You know, there are times that I might have a bad day
43:29 or there's times that I might be having a bad week
43:33 or struggling with something
43:34 and probably the best friend I have
43:37 other than Jesus Christ Himself is my wife...
43:40 bless her heart, sometimes she has to listen
43:43 to some horrible rants
43:45 and as I vent all of my emotions and thoughts,
43:49 she's such a good listener.
43:53 She'll just sit and listen to me.
43:56 Sometimes I can see the look on her face...
43:59 she's thinking to herself, "You're just crazy"
44:02 she just listens
44:05 because she knows that whatever I'm going through at that moment
44:08 it's important for her to listen...
44:09 because I need someone to listen.
44:15 You know, what God says, 1st Peter chapter 5 verse 7,
44:20 "... casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. "
44:28 You see, when you come to the point
44:30 where you're ready to cast all your cares upon somebody,
44:32 you know what that requires?
44:33 Someone to receive it.
44:35 Someone to listen.
44:37 Someone to be there for you
44:38 when you need them to be there for you.
44:40 That's a good friend.
44:42 Notice, 1st Peter chapter 3 verse 12,
44:45 it says, "For the eyes of the Lord
44:48 are on the righteous,
44:49 and His ears are open to their prayers... "
44:52 You say, "You know, sometimes I might pray
44:56 and sometimes I think that God just isn't listening. "
44:58 Oh, He's listening,
45:01 He says, "I'm listening. "
45:03 My ears are open to your prayers.
45:07 I love this next verse,
45:09 in fact, Ms. Jill read this verse this morning.
45:12 Jeremiah chapter 29 verses 11 through 13,
45:15 notice what the Scripture says, "For I know the thoughts
45:18 that I think towards you"
45:20 you don't... you don't have to tell God
45:23 what He needs to think about, He already knows that
45:26 and notice what kinds of thoughts He says,
45:28 He says, "Thus says the Lord
45:30 thoughts of peace and not of evil,
45:33 to give you a future and a hope.
45:36 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me,
45:41 and I will... " what?
45:44 "I will listen to you.
45:46 And you will seek Me... "
45:48 and what will you do when you seek Him?
45:50 He says, "You will find me, when you search for Me
45:54 with all your heart. "
45:55 He says, "You pray,
45:57 lift up your prayers... and what am I doing?"
45:59 He says, "I'm listening. "
46:01 Why is He listening?
46:02 Because God is the best friend... the closest friend
46:05 that you and I could ever have.
46:08 He is indeed a good listener.
46:15 I've come to my final point as I was contemplating
46:18 the key aspects of a good friend.
46:21 There's an expression in the United States,
46:24 I don't know if you guys use this in Australia
46:27 but back in the United States, it's kind of a...
46:30 I don't know, it's kind of a... a guy thing
46:32 probably more of a male-to-male-type thing
46:35 but I remember growing up in the deep south
46:37 in... in America, we're serious about our guns
46:39 and one of the expressions that we have is,
46:42 is... is... well, you know, when we have a close friend
46:45 or are creating a strong bond from brother to brother,
46:47 you'll hear us sometimes say,
46:49 "Hey, hey, that's my brother right there...
46:51 that's my main man right there...
46:53 that boy would take a bullet for me. "
46:57 And... and... and... some of you are probably thinking,
46:59 "That's just crazy!"
47:01 But it's just an expression communicating the fact
47:03 that if someone's willing to take a bullet for you,
47:06 what are they ultimately doing?
47:07 They're saying, "You know, I would...
47:09 I would... I would be willing to sacrifice my life for yours
47:12 because I love you,
47:14 you're my friend... "
47:20 you see, most of us... maybe not all...
47:23 but most of us in this lifetime
47:25 probably will never have to experience
47:27 the idea of one human friend
47:32 having to give their life for another
47:38 but I can tell you my friends,
47:40 today, we would not be standing here
47:42 and I would not be standing here preaching this sermon
47:44 if there was not one
47:46 that had not already given His life
47:48 for each and every one of us. so we may live.
47:54 Notice what Jesus says in John chapter 15,
47:56 verses 11 through 13,
47:59 "These things I have spoken to you,
48:02 that My joy may remain in you,
48:06 and that your joy may be full.
48:09 This is My commandment, that you love one another
48:14 as I have loved you. "
48:16 That changes the game of a relationship.
48:18 But then notice what He says,
48:21 "Greater love has no one than this,
48:24 than to lay down one's life for his friends. "
48:28 Coming from the person who knew good and well
48:31 he was going to have to do that very thing.
48:35 Lay down His life for His friends.
48:42 Romans chapter 5 verses 6 through 8
48:45 says these words,
48:48 "For when we were still without strength,
48:51 in due time Christ died for the ungodly. "
48:53 Could you... can you begin to even fathom that?
48:55 No you can't.
48:57 You and I cannot even begin to fathom that.
48:59 He died for the ungodly...
49:01 "For scarcely, for the... for a righteous man will one die;
49:06 yet perhaps for a good man
49:08 someone would even dare to die. "
49:10 Notice this... "But God demonstrates His own love
49:13 toward us, in that while we were still sinners,
49:16 Christ died for us. "
49:20 more pause...
49:26 2nd Corinthians 5 verse 21,
49:33 "Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ... "
49:38 you know what that means?
49:40 You know what an ambassador is?
49:43 It's a representative.
49:49 I saw a Series... Study Series done by a minister years ago,
49:54 the title... I mean it was a book that he had written
49:56 and then of course they made a DVD Study Series out of it
49:59 but the title of the book was, "Not a fan"
50:01 Not a fan...
50:03 and it caught my attention
50:05 and, you know, I'm not really much of a reader...
50:08 really outside of the Bible,
50:09 I do read things outside of the Bible
50:11 but mostly not.
50:13 This particular book caught my attention
50:14 and so I picked it up...
50:16 I bought it... it was only five bucks.
50:17 I begin reading the book
50:19 and I really liked where the author was going
50:20 because he simply was asking the question,
50:22 "Are you a fan or a follower?"
50:28 You see, a fan is someone who stands on the sidelines
50:31 and cheers from a distance
50:32 but a follower is someone who gets in the game...
50:36 they participate...
50:39 you see, we are ambassadors for Jesus.
50:42 When we take upon the name of Jesus,
50:45 we now become representatives for Jesus
50:47 and then notice what he goes on to say.
50:50 "As though God were pleading through us:
50:53 we implore you on Christ's behalf... "
50:55 I want you to read this with me,
50:57 "be... " what?
50:58 "RECONCILED to God. "
51:00 Now what... notice this...
51:01 in... why are they using this word, "Reconciled"?
51:06 what's the opposite of reconciliation?
51:11 there would be no need
51:13 to communicate the idea of reconciliation
51:15 if there had not been previously a separation
51:18 and so, God is simply saying,
51:20 "Look, we're separated... I'm your friend...
51:24 I don't want to be apart anymore,
51:27 "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us,
51:31 that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. "
51:36 My friends... let me... let me... I read this...
51:38 I heard of a story of a man who wanted to know
51:41 really what all the Bible was just kind of in a general
51:43 concept... general idea...
51:45 so he took two weeks off, went into a cabin
51:47 and simply... in a cabin the deep woods...
51:50 in the deep wilderness somewhere
51:51 and he read the Bible from cover to cover,
51:52 in two weeks...
51:54 just to kind of get a general overview
51:56 of what the Bible story was all about
51:58 he came from that experience and this is what he said,
52:00 I'm going to put it on the screen here,
52:01 notice what it says,
52:03 "The whole Bible can be boiled down to one effort after another
52:06 of God seeking to restore a broken relationship with man. "
52:11 You want to know what this Bible is all about?
52:13 It's... it's about just that.
52:14 One effort after another
52:17 of God seeking to restore a broken relationship with man.
52:23 We see this pouring from the Scripture
52:25 as Christ pleads with Jerusalem,
52:27 notice in this particular text, we read in Matthew 23 verse 37,
52:31 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem... " He comes, He says,
52:34 He says, "the one who kills the prophets
52:36 and stones those who are sent to her!
52:38 How often I wanted to gather you as children together,
52:43 as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings,
52:45 but you were not willing!"
52:47 In other words, Jesus was saying that
52:48 how often I wanted to be a close friend to you...
52:50 how often I wanted to gather you and I wanted to have this...
52:53 this personal connection but you didn't want it.
52:56 You didn't want to be my friend
52:58 but I want to be yours.
53:04 There's a passage over in John chapter 21 verse 17,
53:12 it says after the resurrection of Jesus,
53:16 notice what is happening here,
53:18 Jesus is addressing Simon Peter
53:20 and notice what He says here,
53:22 "And He said to him the third time,
53:25 'Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?'"
53:30 Peter was grieved because He had said to him a third time
53:32 obviously, previous to this Jesus had said,
53:34 "Hey Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me?"
53:37 He's like Jesus... "You know that I love you"
53:39 and then He asked him a second time,
53:41 "Hey, Simon, but do you love me?"
53:44 He said, "Jesus, you know, you know I love you. "
53:47 Then of course a third time...
53:49 Peter was grieved because He said to him a third time,
53:52 "Do you love me?"
53:53 And he said to Him, notice these words,
53:55 "Lord, You know all things... "
53:57 now I've always wondered why he said that,
53:59 "Lord, You know all things; You now that I LOVE You. "
54:03 Now, there's something interesting that happens
54:04 in this particular passage
54:05 that's not on the surface of the English.
54:07 You see, if you go directly into the Greek... or the Greek here,
54:11 you'll find something interesting,
54:12 I have to say this really quick because my time's
54:13 about to run out,
54:15 the first time when Jesus comes to Peter and says,
54:17 "Hey, look, do you love me?"
54:18 See, Jesus is trying to engage in that friendship.
54:21 He loves Peter, He considers Peter a deep friend
54:24 but on the opposite end of the spectrum,
54:26 it's not reciprocated...
54:30 Jesus knows this
54:32 because when Jesus addresses
54:33 Peter, He says, "Do you love me?"
54:35 In the original Greek, the word for love is, "agape"
54:36 now if you understand what "agape" means...
54:39 "agape" simply means, an unconditional love
54:42 beyond comprehension.
54:44 "I love you brother... do you love me?"
54:47 Peter responds with, "I love you"
54:51 okay, but when you get down to this last part here,
54:54 notice this, when he says, "Lord, You know all things;
54:56 You know that I LOVE You. "
55:00 The word that Peter uses is not "agape"
55:02 it's the word in the original Greek, "phileo. "
55:06 You know what "phileo" means in the Greek?
55:10 He says, "I'm just... I'm just fond of you...
55:13 Jesus, you know that I'm just fond of you. "
55:17 You know that I don't love you, like you love me.
55:23 We know that passage when Jesus tells Peter,
55:27 "Peter, when you're converted, strengthen the brethren. "
55:35 You see, Jesus desires a close intimate relationship
55:39 with His people.
55:44 Do you desire that?
55:47 Do you desire to be a friend to Him
55:49 as He desires to be with you?
55:52 I want to read this passage,
55:54 it comes from "Our Father Cares" page 207-208
56:00 "The loneliness of Christ,
56:02 separated from the heavenly courts,
56:04 living the life of humanity,
56:05 was never understood or appreciated by the disciples
56:08 as it should have been...
56:10 When Jesus was no longer with them,
56:13 they began to see how they might have shown Him attention
56:17 that would have brought gladness to His heart.
56:21 The same want is evident in our world today.
56:24 But few appreciate all that Christ is to them...
56:28 if they did, the great love of Mary
56:32 as presented in Matthew 26, would be expressed,
56:34 the anointing would be freely bestowed.
56:36 Nothing would be thought too costly to give for Christ,
56:39 no self-denial or self-sacrifice too great
56:42 to be endured for His sake. "
56:46 My friend, in closing today, I want to ask you,
56:49 "Are you willing to be friends with Jesus Christ
56:52 because He desires to be friends with you. "
56:55 He's simply asking, "Can we be friends?"
56:58 And so today in closing I'd like to pray
57:02 that you and I would be that friend to Him.
57:06 "Father in heaven, we praise You and thank You
57:09 for what You have done for us
57:11 and for being the ultimate friend
57:13 that we simply cannot be
57:15 but we're asking Lord,
57:17 that You will give us Your Holy Spirit...
57:19 that You will replicate the character of Jesus within us,
57:22 that we can be a friend to our fellow brethren
57:24 and a friend to You
57:26 that You are pleading and asking for us to be.
57:28 We praise You and we thank You
57:30 and we ask these things in Jesus' holy name, amen. "