Relationships By The Book (part 5)
hello everyone and welcome to ouron-line message platform we are soexcited that you've decided to join ustoday if you're nude inland Hills Churchwe are so excited that you are here withus today and we want to get to know youa little bit more so please take amoment to click the link below the videotell us a little bit about yourself andhow we could be praying for you thisweek if you call inland Hills home thankyou for your continued partnership ingiving with us today you can continue todo so by visiting inland hills commslash skip now we are about to dive intoan exciting message and we just want toinvite you to lean into the words thatyou are about to hear it is our hopesthat these words and this messageuplifts you during the week ahead andjust encourages you throughout whateveryou are facing Wowgood morning if you're new to inlandHills let me just warn you I'm weirdUncle Bob from Orange County anddelighted to have the chance to spendsome time with you this morningwe're not here because we have time tokill we're not here because our otherplans for Sunday got rained outwe're here because we collectively andwe individually believe that life getsbetter together with Godand with each other would you buy thatyeah good hey let me do it why I'm herethis morning specifically I occasionallyhave the opportunity to be invited in asa guest speaker they are always kindenough to send a date option and then ifI can say yes I always say yes if I'malready committed somewhere else I justhave to turn it down but then when I'min town let me tell you I had to getapproval from my friends cuz on Sundaymornings before church I meet for anhour over coffee with three incrediblefriends that happened to me my threeoldest grandsons and they are 21 18 and18 which means they're adults now theycan vote and go to jailbut we meet together before church andthey started out as my grandsons butthey've become my friends they want tomake a commitment to friends I hold tothat commitment unless I'm released fromit so I went to Jackson and Houston andMax and said guys would it be okay withyou if I missed on Sunday and was withsome friends out in inland hills andthey said sure so either thank them orblame them depending on what happens inthe next 30 or so minutes because I justbelieve in the subject today oh and thenthey send a little now that you've saidyes and you're coming here are somethings we need to make sure and theykind of assumed that my theology is okaybut they send a little dress code dealand you may have been free to come anyway you want but the dress code for aspeaker here is more rigorous than thedress code was when I was in high school15 years ago or 50 years ago and theneric has added and preferred with amustache didn't have time to deliver onthat onebut I love the series that you're inrelationships by the bookand today's friendships by the book andI have to caution you it's by the booknot by the Facebook I thoughtimmediately I thought immediately ofthis Toyota ad from a couple of yearsago I read an article while I read themajority of an article online about howolder people are becoming more and moreanti-social so I was really aggressivewith my parentsFacebook my parents are up to 19 friendsnow I have 687 friends this is living nonot a real puppy that's new small to bea real puppy Toyota Venza keep onrollingso she's of course better off with herdigital friends than her parents arewith their real friends do you get alittle bit of a dissonance in terms ofwhat we mean by the term this morningwe're going to unpack that as itrevolves around this relational stratathat we call friendship by the book myfamily has some deep ties to Africa alot of story there but my last grandsonwas born in South Africa and everyfamily needs a Zulu at the Thanksgivingtable we have ours now I hope you canget yourswe are a Intercontinental family becauseof Bin's presence but the adults in ourfamily go back and forth to Africa forministry purposes and they've got agreat kind of iconic line that comesfrom African culture that says if youwant to go fast go alone if you want togo far go together they've got thatnailed because I'm afraid that inAmerica our culture is on the decline tothe degree that when we think aboutfriendships some of us have been burnedsome of us have been betrayed some of ushave been passed over and so we've gotthis thing called social media that hastaken the place of real people and realrelationships and we have disguised whatis substantive and important for lifewith a kind of pretend false alternativetoday we're going to unpack that alittle bit because the progression ofreal relationships is not always what itseems I want to think with youabout three strata of relationshipshere's the first the first is when wehave contacts contacts those areinformation only but seldom together nowwhether you live on Instagramwhether you live on Facebook whether youlive on LinkedIn but LinkedIn by the waythat that's Facebook for people withjobs whichever the social mediaplatforms you're most comfortable withwhether you call them connections orfriends or contacts there's a placewhere it's information only you'veyou've got some of the stuff aboutsomebody else an email address a phonenumberthe question contacts are just peoplethat are out there but you really don'thave any connection with them you maycross paths with them occasionally butthere's nothing really there it's dateit's nametag dependent without a nametagyou wouldn't be able to pick them out ofa crowd you're at risk when it's acontact of being in line with themwaiting for your coffee and not evenknowing it contacts there's a nextstrata and that's the strata ofacquaintances those are people who aretogether occasionally but always with anagenda you don't need a nametag becauseif you recognize them you know what yourhistory is with them you know whenyou've been together in the past but theonly reason you're together ever isbecause you've got an agenda that bringsyou together you might be theneighborhood that is I'm coming down onsome other neighbor that wants to builda patio cover in some strange spot ontheir lot and the homeowners associationis together and you know that the personwho lives three streets away and hasthat camper parked in front of theirhouse you know them as an acquaintancebut they're not friends it's somebodythat you work with and you're onlytogether with them in theface of the eight to five day when thebell rings and it's overyou peel out and you leave and you mightcross paths with them but it would be byaccident not by intent these are thepeople that are on what is probablycalled your contact list on your phonedo you have a few names in there I doand they are they're good people butthey're just not at the friend levelI've been around a while and I operatein and out of unusual places and I'vegot people on my contact list on myphone that includes some prettyhigh-level high visibility political andentertainment and business names Itraveled for 12 years with FranklinGraham as the producer of his liveevents about 30 nights a year typicallyabout seven places around the world wewould be doing these weekend longfestivals and we've used high-visibilityChristian musical artists to come in andpartner with us in those situations andI have michael w smith on my contactlist whenever we cross paths we getcaught up but we don't hang out and dohim coffee every week he'll be inOntario next month for a concert herethere's probably chance for you to gosee Smitty and hear him he's aging as Iam and it's kind of fascinating he's gotso many decades now in the music arenathat when he opens it up and lets peopleask for their favorite he still he saysit still it's the iconic he said if I'donly known when I recorded it that itwould be the number one requested song Iwouldn't have recorded it hits friendsand some of you were born after it wasrecorded so it means nothing to you butfirst Mitty he's one of my acquaintancesbut we don't get together I've got somenames on my contact list that I refuseto remove even though they've moved andthey've moved to a place where there'sno AT&T coverI can't reach them Dave step line isstill on my listAndrew stick line is still on my listthere are folks that have they're stillin fact they're more live today thanthey were back when but they're just notnearby I can't reach them that's thegreat hope that our faith gives us thatpeople don't disappear they just movesomewhere where we will be joining themone day you know how that works I readan interesting report on a nature studythat was done in Africa regardingelephants and they brought it togetherit was interesting National Geographicmeets People magazine here's what theyfound in Africa they were studying theelephant's over the course of years andthey identify individual animals bynumber and they sort of tracked theirmovements and see who they're with andelephants are very herding orientedthey're not loners and wheneverelephants are together they don't sortof stand at odds they get together theydon't do coffee but they converse withtrunks and tusks in in a circle and thisthis is the immature the infantelephants stand in the middle wherethey're protected but there's thischatter going on among the elephantsbecause they live a long time and theylive in herds and here's what theydiscovered that every elephant has adatabase of about a hundred elephantsthat they regard as friends and whenthose elephants come along they walk inout of the bush and they make room forthem and they come in trunks and tusksin but observing these elephants overtime what they found is when an a rogueelephant that's what they call anindividual elephant that's out therewithout others around them when anelephant comes in that's rogue you knowwhat the guys who are in the circle dothey do a 180 they turn around andthey're now tusks and trunks out withthe infant elephants in the middle whythey're becoming protective and they'renot open to them because they don't havename badges for themthey don't have a relationship thatmakes them safe you get the picturethey carried that discovery from Africainto American culture and do you knowwhat they said for us looking at humanswith the same orientation here so theysaid elephants have room for about ahundred other elephants we have room forabout 200 that there are about 200people in your world whom you know wellenough that when they walk up you makeroom for them you include them theymight not have been sort of invited andthey were not the people that you werehanging with yesterday but she don'tneed an introduction they don't need aname tagyou've got history but whenever theycome there is an agenda there becauseyou sort of know what the group'stogether for there's a third level andit's the level we want to talk about inthe next few minutes it goes fromcontacts to acquaintances to friends thecontract of contacts can be broad andexpansive acquaintances are more selectthere's some history there but friendsare a few these are the people thatyou're together with frequently and whenyou're with them there's no agenda haveyou ever been in a moment when you werelooking for some friends and you wereout in your acquaintances pool you werearound with some people that you had areason to be together with and you justthrew it out and said hey you know weought to get together sometime well whatyou were probably asking them for was tocome and audition to be a friendhey we're comfortable when there'ssomething going on that allows us toengage in small talk and pretend thatwe're friendly when they take the groupphoto so we can post it on our Instagrambut I wonder if we would have somethingto talk about if we didn't havesomething already on the table to talkaboutcould we could we be together quiet andfeel like we were well-placedto have room for another friend gang Iwonder do we know how to look for thoseJim Rohn now dead but was a pretty wellrespected communicator in the businessand personal development world for yearsJim Rohn who is often quoted with thisouttake you are the average of the fivepeople you spend the most time with Seurown said was show me who you hang outwith when you don't have to be with themand I'll show you who you'll be tomorrowbecause you will your life will reflectthe standard of the people that havebecome the closest to you I think Jim'sinsights were well-regarded because hewas echoing something that the ApostlePaul had written in first Corinthianschapter 15 verse 33 here's what Paul hadwritten don't be mislead bad companycorrupts good character hey if you hangout with people who are less than youyou will become less of you tomorrow ifyou want to aspire to better you hangwith people who are aspiring to betterand pulling forward together not in acombined effort to decline moms dads arethere any parents here if you came withkids you might want to put your hand upso they know that they're not adoptedbut moms and dads worry about thefriends that their kids have don't wemoms dads because we look at the friendsand say are they going to make thembetter or are they going to give themlicense to do some things that they'llregret later when would they regret themwhen you find out wait for it wait foritwhat does friendship look like how do weknow how to vet for great friends that'sthe question on the table and we'regonna consult the book not the Facebookbut the book because I'm interested inGod not Zuckerberg as the source foranswers we good four things fourcharacteristics of friendship here's thefirst oneproximity proximity this is a verse thatcomes out of an interesting time inIsrael's history the people of God theJewish race 70 of them moved to Egypt tododge the famine bullet that's a greatstory from Genesis and when they arrivedin Egypt they stayed and in 400 years 70people became 2,000,000 but they wentfrom honored guests to indenturedservants slaves and God came into thatsituation and declared that he was goingto restore them to the promised land andhe raised up Moses to lead them twomillion Jews from Egypt to the promisedland and because of some lack of truston their part what should have been a 40day period becomes a 40 year period intransition between Egypt and thepromised land anybody ever go on avacation that took longer than theythought that's what happened for theJews and during that 40-year period oftime Moses was in charge during that40-year period of time God was supremebut in human terms Moses was going tocall the shots where did Moses get hisinput from from God how did thatconnection occur well in Exodus chapter33 verse 11 here's what we're told thiswent on for forty years the Lord wouldspeak to Moses face-to-face as onespeaks to a friendfor 40 yearsMoses would get in front of the peopleand say folks this is what God wants usto do let me give you a little clue thatthis was 3700 years ago and there werealways people who thought they had abetter idea than the leader I know thatwould never occur in an advanced societylike ours but back then there werealways people who thought they had abetter idea than Moses did hey Moseswhat right do you have to ask us to dothat that's lame that's idioticI've got a better idea where did Mosesideas come from God did he read it didGod send him a text what was iteverything scratched in stone no how wasthis relationship unfolding what an awhat an astounding statement God spoketo Moses face to face as a person doeswith a friend technology has changedfrom 30 700 years ago to now butrelationships haven't in this wayfriendships are face to face now let mebe careful here this is not an app it'snot FaceTime have you found that peoplehave mastered the art of posing puttingthemselves in front of some falsebackdrop pretending to be somethingthey're notshort spurts of commentary that are noway authentic and legitimate but posingproposing to be something that theyreally aren'thave you ever sort of experienced thatthe first test of friendshipit requires proximity what does thatmean live in person it's interestingwhen God wanted to interact with hiscreation he didn't say Jesus wait untilthe 21st century and you can justFaceTimealright this is Jesus from the palace inheaven hope it's going well down thereher it's raining in Californiano John in his gospel tells theChristmas story with one verse and theword became flesh and dwelt among usbecause God knows that relationshipsrequire proximity you have to be therehave you discovered that there beentimes when you thought you had awarenessof another person and then because of atext because of a phone call because ofa message because of a rumor and thenwhen you got together with them youfound out that things were not the wayyou thought that you picked up in thenonverbals that there was just somethingabout how they were thinking seeingpositioning breathing that told you morethan words could tell you has that everoccurred for you proximity says ifyou're not togetherfriendship is a stretch you can have arelationship acquaintances butfriendship takes it to a new levelproximity here's the second thing thatit requires commitmentwe're willing to strange time in termsof our culture participation in marriageis in decline I wish that was just acultural statement but at what didn'taffect our faith community but in thefaith community the numbers are trackingwith the culture and people say well youknow we got friends and so friends arekind of ok friends friends work wellfriends are good but there's somethingabout the marriage relationship that byGod's design brings a man and a womantogether in a covenant relationshipthat's not a legal contract though thatexists but it is a relational covenantin which there's a legal contract thataccompanies who designed the covenantGod did have you ever attended a weddingeverand the vows are the moment when thecovenant is recognized between a man anda woman and God and the officiant theperson standing in for God upfront saysdo you make this commitment to thehusband do you make this commitment tothe wife and that commitment heard andwitnessed by the family and friends thatare in attendance is presumed to be tilldeath parts us not till we get anattorney boy friends there's somethingabout a covenant that defines acommitment that steps beyond just thecasual high-fiveattaboy at a girl that we tend tooperate within there's this fascinatingpassage in 1st Samuel chapter 20describing the relational connectionbetween David and Jonathan here's whatthe text tells us Jonathan made acovenant with the house of David sayingmay the Lord called David's enemies toaccount and Jonathan had David reaffirmhis oath out of love for him because heloved him as he loved himselfwe need a little historyto make this come alive when the Jewsarrived in the promised land God saidand all the governments around you arefailing and I know this is ancienthistory and it's hard to imagine butthey actually lived at a time when allthe governments were failing we couldn'tunderstand that because government inthe world that we live in works so wellbut in that era all the governments werefailing and are you with me yet and soGod said we're gonna have a successfulgovernment in Israel here's the waywe're gonna do it I'm King and I don'thave to run for re-election and I liveforever and I'm in heaven that's wheremy throne is and I'm gonna administerjustice in Israel through judges thatwill come and go by generation but I'llalways be your king and they went forfour hundred years that way and thenfinally they said no no we want a kingwhy because they were jealous of othercountries that had kings to exploit themwait for itGod had written through Moses fourhundred years before he said one ofthese days you're gonna run out ofpatience with me your God and King andyou're gonna want your own king and letme wash it against it God said when youget a king he's gonna want to tax youhe's gonna want to take your sons andput them into armies to fight battlesthat have to do with my power and notyour security and and you're gonna getexploited now if you want that thatcomes with the king so I'm just tellingyou I'm just saying that was God I'mjust saying 400 years later they said wewant a king and when the polls closedthey had elected Saul to be their kingit's all lasted for a few years butultimately saw thought he had betterideas than God did and so he disavowedallegiance to God and His commandmentsand God said that's enough that is theunpardonable sin for a king so God saidSaul you and your dynasty behind youyou're out and I'm bringing a new guy inand the new guy was this last son eighthson of Jessea kid named David who was herding sheepin a pasture and God said I'm gonna makeyou the king over Israel here's thecrazy thing about that Jonathan wasSaul's son and everyone in the politicalarena was pretty clear about the factthat the way that Kings are establishedin that era was dynastic Lee what doesthat mean the oldest son of the Kingbecomes the next king Jonathan is theguy who has been raised with theexpectation he will one day be the kingof Israel and God has already declaredto Samuel the Prophet that Saul wouldnot be allowed to place his son on thethrone that God was placing hisreplacement David on the throne insteadif you want to think about the mostunlikely friends its Jonathan and Davidyou with me a little political brujacouple of days ago Joe Biden former vicepresident expected perhaps to run forpresident not that anyone would do thatI was thinking this morning since I hadyou as an audience that I might declaremy candidacy for president but that poolis already full sorry Joe Bidencommitted the unpardonable sin Joey didhe said Mike Pence the current vicepresident is a good man and there arefolks who in the Twitter and socialmedia universe are calling for JoeBiden's head on a platter at minimumvote him off the island because he saidsomething nice about the other side ascrazy as that is in the modern culturecrazier yet David and Jonathan asbuddies not just buddies but bestfriends not just best friends but getthis they had a covenant between themwhat in the world does thatmean let me tell you what happens withfriendships there's a lot of divorce infriend land can you think of anybodythat was a friend 20 years ago thatisn't a friend today can you think ofanybody that you had to relieve fromthat status because of something thathappened here's here's why friends stopbeing friends somebody violated theunderstanding well here's what oftenhappens the understanding was neverclarified expectations were held by oneor the other that weren't understood bythe person that was on the receiving endand somebody went off the reservation interms of what everybody thoughteverybody was committed to but nobodyever made the commitment clear greatthing about a wedding is you make thecommitment clear here's what I'm willingto do and the other side says here'swhat I'm willing to do when they say itin front of family and friends who aregonna hold them to itand those vows define a relationshipthat's different than well you knowwe're kind of steady dates no you're nowin a covenant you know what happens in afriendship covenant there's a commitmentthat says listen let me give you theground rules any time you need me yougot my number call noon or midnight itdoesn't matter whatever you needwhenever you need it I will dropwhatever else I'm doing not only to takethe call but to respond you can behonest with me you can tell me you'rehaving a great day or you can tell meyou're having the lousy ax stay of yourlife and I'm gonna be listening withoutchecking my messages while you'retalking if I don't have the ability tosolve your situation I'll go with you tofind someone who can because I'm in itwith you better or worse nighttimedaytime when you're popular or when youare the leperin your world I'm there a commitment howmany folks do you know with whom thatkind of shared commitment shared you'vesaid it to them they've said it to youyou're both operating on the same groundrules and you know you can trust themhere's the third facet of a friendshipits discretion discretionsocial media again makes us antisocialmacing all it takes is a click forsomeone to ask you to friend them nowcome on fess up have you ever accepted afriend whom you do not know no honestpeople in the room have you everaccepted a friend that you did not knowaccepted a contact that you did not knowaccepted someone who's now going to bein the inside of your social media worldwhom you could not pick out of a policelineup you ever done that yeah we havewe did we do that guys I'm the thirdpiece of real friendship is discretionyou pick your friends carefully Solomonson of David writes in Proverbs 12 therighteous choose their friends carefullybut the way the wicked leads them astraysolemn is always painting contrastsbetween the wise way to do it and thefoolish way to do it so here's what he'ssaying the wise way to do it is tochoose your friends carefully thefoolish way to do it is to be chosen byothers and not putting a filter in frontof that that will determine whether ornot you feel about them what they'reasking you to feel toward themdo you have discretion in your choice offriendspsalm 119 written by david solomon'sfather verse 63 he says this i am afriend to all who fear you to all whofollow your precepts get this david saidyou can't be a friend of mine unlessyou're a friend of god's now friends letme just say to this we understand jesusto have been remarkable in part becauseone of the ways his enemies called himout was because he was a friend ofsinnersand he was but let me tell you clearlyhe was a friend with an agenda can yoube friendly with people that are not yetyour friends yeah can you be friendlywith people who are not friends with Godyes but being friendly and being friendsare not the same thing to be friendlymeans you come with an agenda now if Icome knowing God in an intimate way ifGod is my friend and I am his and I amconsidering a relationship with someonewho is not a friend of Godcan I be a friend with him I can befriendly but my agenda is for them toget to know God through getting to knowme but my openness to that person andtheir influence in my life is a hugecaution why because how in the world canI be friends with someone who is notfriends with God David made it reallyclear I'm a friend to all who fear youto all who follow your precepts Davidsaid if you want to be my friend firstI've got to know are you God's friend ifyou're not I'll be friendly with you butmy primary intent is to bring you to aplace where you can be friends of God ifyou decide ultimately that you all youdon't want to be friends with God butyou want to be friends with me sorrythat doesn't work why because I'mlooking for my friends to be the friendof the God who is my friend are you withme here's a last criterion and it's agreat oneit's affection this is not just somerigorous rigid qualifier where you'reinterviewing people and saying am Igoing to invite you into my circle andend up with some perfunctory kind ofinteraction that trades business cardsbut doesn't do life John 15 captures thewords of Jesus in the last night of hislife before the crucifixionit's the Upper Room the invitation listis very selective it's Jesus and thetwelve and all of those who were in thatroom that night were intimate with Jesusthey were his friends it's curious oneof them leaves before these commentswere made by Jesusit was Judas he had another appointmentand he left the setting of that night togo and to mobilize the armed cohort whowere going to come to the Garden ofGethsemane and arrest Jesus and take himoff to the trials that would lead to hiscrucifixion and death and Jesus knewthat was happening and in the Garden ofEden a few hours later Jesus would lookat Judas coming with that armed guardand you know what title he gave to Judasbefore he betrayed him with the kiss hesaid friend what are you doing - thevery last moment when Judas could havesaid you know what I'm out I'm havingsecond third fourth Ott's about this andI'm not going to go through with this -that very moment Jesus was still callinghim friends Judas is gone the eleven areleft around the table John 15 verse 13this is what Jesus says to them greaterlove has no one than this to lay downone's life for one's friends and thenget this here is the god of creation theGod of heaven the God of the Incarnationthe God who is over all and in all looksat these eleven men and says you are myfriends if you do what I command I nolonger call you servants because aservant does not know his master'sbusiness instead I've called you friendsfor everything that I learned from MyFather I have made known to you hear mein thisthese men had already entered into asaving relationship with Jesus and sohave most of us what act is required onmy part to be saved by Jesus oh just myfaith by grace you're saved throughfaith and that's not from yourself eventhe faith was a gift from Godit doesn't come as a result of work sonone of us can boast when I have myfirst encounter with Jesus it is becausehe has offered salvation forgiveness andlife and I accept it by faith have youdone that already when that happens inour lives Jesus becomes our Saviorthat's the nature of the relationshipand in that relationship here's how thenametags are it's Jesus the Savior andit's Bob the saved and that's enough toget me to heaven but here's theopportunity that waits for all of us nowthat I'm saved by God I'm becomingfamiliar with GodI'm from becoming familiar with what hehas told us about how to live lifeeffectively his word becomes the basisupon which I get together with otherChristians who are saved and we spendthis time together on a Sunday morningtalking about how do we become moreaware of what God has told us to do sothat when we say yes to God's bestapproach to life I become closer andcloser with God and Jesus said now thatyou know more about what I expect of youwhen you say yes to that here it is nowI call you friends because you're doingwhat I've commanded you to do when I cansee Jesus beginning as Savior but when Isee his directions for my life as themost effective way for me to approach myday-in day-out demands as I approachthis desire for a better life and Godsays I've got the bedlife for you to follow my directions andwhether other people get it or not youcan get it and here's the crazy thingI can change my relationship from I'mjust saved by the Savior to I'm now thefriend of the Savior who is also my LordI don't have to do that to go to heavenbut I have to do that to be friendsagainanybody have kids if you brought kidsit's a good thing that you wouldrecognize that they are part of yourworld so you just said yeah I've gotkids here's the point have your kidsevery minute of their waking life havethey always done what you told them todo any deluded parents in the room no noone is that nuts right there have beenmoments when our kids have not done whatwe've asked them to do they're followingin a long line of disobedientgenerations in your family line so hereit is are they still your kids yes butthey're not your friends there aremoments when your kids are your kids butthey're not your friends they arefriends when they do what you've toldthem to do it always goes better in ourfamily when everybody's friends we'realways family we're most of the timefriends you with me I I get to decide inmy lifeyou get to decide in your life do youwant what relationship do you want tohave with Jesus doing him simply to beyour Savior or would you like for him tobe a friend here's my encouragement toyou make him your friend here's whybecause the affection in therelationship is demonstrated when youknow that everything he's asked of uscomes from his love not from some McCobbdesire to see us in hardship but in hisloving desire to see us in the bestconditions we can have in a fallen worldwhy because affection is the basis forthis relationship I did a little searchit's not on the screen but I did alittle search on this whole notion offriendship as it unfoldafter Jesus goes back to heaven and whenit's come now into the leadership of theapostles who were the first generationof leaders after Jesus left and theywere the source of what we call theepistles the New Testament letters thatrun from the first Corinthians and runall the way down to Jude those lettersthat tell Christians how to operate inthe Christian life 32 times the writerlooks at the people or the groups thatthey're writing to and do you know whattheir their status is for them 32 timesthey say dear friends you can do yourown search of the Internet allows you tobe a Bible scholar in about 30 secondson Google and do you know what'sfascinating every plane every place yousee dear friends the Greek word standingbehind that translation in English isfrom the root word for agape which is alove that is selfless not I'll trade youlove for lovemost of our love relationships say youknow what I'll give it to you if yougive it to me we'll tradeagape says I'm giving it to you whetheryou give it back to me or not thegreatest relationships in our lives aremodeled on the gap a love that God hasfor usit was agape love God so Agha paid theworld that He gave His only begotten Sonwith me here it is 32 times the guys whowrote the instructions for the Christianlife said agape friend here's what youought to do here's the way life worksthe best the counsel between friendsbecame the instructions for Christianlivingmy oldest grandson is 21 on ChristmasDay we were sitting on the couch waitingfor the turkey and the turkeys andJackson looked at me and said bobblewhat are you what do you want us to sayit's your memorial service that's it areyou planning it do you have a date yet Isaid that's a great question let me giveyou my answer two things I want you tosay one he believed that the greatestasset in life is friendships and twobecause of that he was the richest man Iknow I don't know what you've been ledto believe is the measure of greatnessbut I can say to you that the realmeasure of greatness is not assets thatcome and go but relationships that gofrom here to heaven and you have thepower to be rich how do you do thatto develop friendships with people thatwill continue beyond this lifetime intothe eternity into which the God ofheaven has invited us through arelationship with his son the Lord JesusI look at a growing number of names inmy contact list on my phone whom I can'treach today but who I'm going to joinone day soon and as those namesaccumulate I recognize that they are mytrue worth God thank you for making usdependent on you and thank you then forgiving us the opportunity to have deepand meaningful relationships with peoplewho are dependent on youGod thank you that um the safest placeto look for friends like that is in thelobby in the courtyard around the coffeepots that are serving us as we comebefore and stay after these gatheringtimes people that are here because theyhave been saved by Jesus and they'recommitted to becoming better and betterfriends with Jesus people who arelearning that relationships that arebuilt on proximityand selection that is I'm veryintentional that a commitment that issetting the boundaries for relationshipthat the idea that we're together in acontext that has affection at it's veryfoundationgod those are what we need in our livesthank you for giving us a community offaith from which we can find those kindsof men and women for our lives bless usas we leave as we live in friendshipwith you I pray in the strong name ofJesus amen thank you so much forwatching this message it is our hopethat it encourages you and uplifts youin the week I think we also invite youto join us at one of our Sunday servicesit's here at nine eleven four five pmthank you for watching we hope to seeyou here soon
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