Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Gods Perspective of Friendship


 


My daughter and I always discuss the Turning Point lessons and this week was a little weird and led us into the discussions on picking good friends. I am not 100% sure how we got on this topic from the Turning Point discussion but it was enlightening none the less.

Why People Leave 

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. 
1 John 2:19

Recommended Reading
Acts 20:29-30
Have you ever sat in church and wondered where a particular person was -- even pondering if they had stopped attending church at all? How many people who sit in Christian churches on Sunday morning are actually true followers of Jesus -- and how many are not? That question does not mean that anyone who leaves a particular church is not a Christian. And without question, there are people who faithfully attend church who are not yet followers of Christ. Based on what John had written about those who left the body of believers, they left the faith first, then the church. They had denied the incarnation of Christ; they denied, and did not have, God the Father; they were liars and deceivers; they had nothing in common with other Christians (1 John 2:19-23; John 4:23; 2 John 1:7).
If someone leaves one solid church to attend another, that's one thing. If he leaves church because he has left the faith, that is altogether different -- and eternally serious.

Unbelief is the root of apostasy.




Picking Good Friends: 

Picking good friends I dont believe is an easy task for teenagers. There is so much worldly pressure and sadly very few true Christians who are upholding and living out the word of God at this age. My daughter and I decided to turn to scripture to see how God picks friends and what His word says about how He wants us to learn to discern between the fool and the wise. For this we turned to Proverbs 6: 16-19 that states: 
16 There are six things the Lord hates,
    seven that are detestable to him:
17         haughty eyes,
        a lying tongue,
        hands that shed innocent blood,
18         a heart that devises wicked schemes,
        feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19         a false witness who pours out lies
        and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.


1. How does your friend demonstrate the qualities laid out in Proverbs 6: 16-19
2. What does this proverb tell you about yourself? Are you demonstrating that you are a wise friend or a foolish friend to have?
3. What does it say about conformity to your friends? 
4. How do you stop yourself from becoming a foolish friend?
5. If you say you are a child of God, yet behave in this manner what do you think non-believers see in you and think about you?


I started talking to my daughter about when I was growing up how I always read the Highlights magazine and specifically a comic strip about Goofus and Gallant. Basically Goofus is the kid always making the unwise decisions. He gets into trouble and is used to illustrate the bad friend. While Gallant is the respectful, thoughtful kid making wise and discerning choices. Although this strip stopped running I believe in 2005, its still relevant to today and I think nicely illustrates Proverbs 6 for us.
 

Wise Friends are described in Proverbs 27:9 " Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,  and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice." and has a whole chapter devoted to the topic of picking wise friends in Proverbs 13. I ask my children to remember one thing when deciding to make friends or keep friends/relationships:

Does this relationship/friendship cause me to flourish or diminish?

If its the latter maybe it's time to reevaluate the quality of friends you are picking.

Here are a few more verses we discovered about picking wise friends.

1 Corinthians 15:33 

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

Proverbs 13:20 

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

Proverbs 18:24 

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 27:17 

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Matthew 5:22 

But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

1 Timothy 3:1-16 

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? ...

John 14:1-31

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” ...

Revelation 11:1-19

Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed. ...

1 John 4:8 

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 John 3:1 

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. ...

1 Corinthians 6:9 

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,

John 17:17 

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

Daniel 2:44 

And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever,

Revelation 12:1-17

And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, ...

Zechariah 14:1-21 

Behold, a day is coming for the Lord, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward. And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. ...

1 Corinthians 15:51

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

Romans 8:29

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Matthew 18:1-35 

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, ...

Ecclesiastes 3:1-5 

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

1 Chronicles 17:1-27 

Now when David lived in his house, David said to Nathan the prophet, “Behold, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under a tent.” And Nathan said to David, “Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.” But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: It is not you who will build me a house to dwell in. For I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up Israel to this day, but I have gone from tent to tent and from dwelling to dwelling. ...

Romans 1:26-27 

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Romans 1:1-32 

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, ...

Luke 23:43

And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Luke 16:1-31 

He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ ...

Matthew 22:1-46

And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.’ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, ...

Matthew 6:1-34

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. ...

Ezekiel 48:1-35

“These are the names of the tribes: Beginning at the northern extreme, beside the way of Hethlon to Lebo-hamath, as far as Hazar-enan (which is on the northern border of Damascus over against Hamath), and extending from the east side to the west, Dan, one portion. Adjoining the territory of Dan, from the east side to the west, Asher, one portion. Adjoining the territory of Asher, from the east side to the west, Naphtali, one portion. Adjoining the territory of Naphtali, from the east side to the west, Manasseh, one portion. Adjoining the territory of Manasseh, from the east side to the west, Ephraim, one portion. ...

Psalm 91:1-16 

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, ...

I would love to hear from you on this topic on any ideas on how you help your kids make wise decisions in the friendship department.















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