Luke 11:5-13 New King James Version (NKJV)
A Friend Comes at Midnight
5 And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves;
6 for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’;
7 and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’?
8 I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.
Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking
9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
11 If a son asks for bread[a] from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?
12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
In my life, I give thanks for Jesus, my wife and family, and my friends. Where would I be without them?
--Everyone, I feel, needs all three - Jesus, family and good friends. Likewise, for each to be a friend.
--We are to make friends with God, and for God.
The word "friend" is mentioned often in the Bible.
--Proverbs 17:17, "A friend loves at all times."
--"There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother" (Prov. 18:24). I believe that is Jesus!
--We are told, "Abraham was a friend of God."
--What a blessing to have the Lord, as a friend.
--Jesus said, "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. I have called you friends" (John 15).
--"Greater love has no one than this, to lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). Jesus did that.
In our Scripture of Luke 11 Jesus tells of friends and about prayer .. for they should go together.
--A friend and family show up late one night, hungry.
--There is nothing to set before them, to eat.
--You go next door, to a neighbor-friend, "Help me."
--First he says, "I cannot rise and give to you."
--Jesus says, "Though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence- earnestness and need - he will rise and give him as many as he needs" (v 8). That's a friend!
Don't you love the hymn, "What A Friend We Have In Jesus"? Do you love to sing it, and ponder its words?
--It was written by Joseph Scriven, Port Hope, Canada.
--He was from Ireland where he grew up amid hardship.
--Just before his wedding, his wife-to-be drowned, in a boating accident. In his sorrow, came to Canada.
--He did not have an easy life. But a great faith!
--In it all Jesus became his dear friend and Savior.
--He wrote it as a gift for his Mother, in Ireland, along with lots of love and prayer; he had no money.
Jesus is teaching us about friendship, and prayer.
--Unlike the neighbor, God is never asleep.
--Wants to answer our prayer, for our best, in love.
There are those who need a friend - Christian friend.
--Some may feel helpless, but no one is hopeless.
--We are to make friends .. for Jesus, the best friend.
Back when students had heavy slates to write on, Eliza Hewitt, a teacher, was hit by an angry student.
--It crippled her for life. Ended her teaching.
--Recovering long months, she began deep Bible study.
--In the Gospels, of the life and suffering of Jesus.
--What He, as God, went through- rejection, denial - even suffering and death on a cross, for sinners.
--How Jesus arose, triumphant o'er His foes and Satan.
Out of her tragedy came many wonderful hymns, like: "More about Jesus would I know, More of His grace, to others show! More of His saving fulness see, More of His love, Who died for me." Hewitt.
--My dear friend, do you know that grace .. as she?
--Not ever able to teach public school, she did at her Church, and the children and all loved her.
--She was able to forgive the boy who crippled her.
--Her life was filled with countless friends and joy.
--You see, it is possible to disagree and still be agreeable - if you know the Lord Jesus.
We ought daily to thank God, for divine blessings.
--His watchcare. Love. Provisions. Guidance. Help.
--He's the One Who will "Never leave, nor forsake."
--Who will "supply all your need according to His riches in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19).
It can happen that we "fall out" with family, friend, or acquaintance you work with, or a neighbor.
--There are different reasons - of all kinds.
--May I ask you to mend those bridges. Take blame.
--Be first to say, "I'm sorry. Let's make up."
--"Be forgiving! And forget the incident." Do it!
--Keep in touch. Pray for one another; call, write.
Christians make paths to peace and harmony, and should have patience, forgiveness, and hold good relations!
--God says, "Abstain from all appearance of evil."
--Its nice to be important; more important to be nice!
--Christian living is a life-long, growing experience.
Hear me, friendships joined in doing wrong won't last.
--That's right. They will not hold, in the long run.
--Take Judas - with Jesus 3 1/2 years - but not in true friendship or relationship - for he betrayed Jesus.
--Had been critical of the Lord. Was still in sin.
--Even though Jesus reached out, many times, to him.
To His "born again" ones Jesus said, "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things I have heard from My Father I have made known to you" (John 15:15). His truth. Way to heaven.
--A servant does for a master because he must.
--As his job. As a duty. And for pay.
--A friend does for friends, not because he must - or for pay - but because as genuine friends who care.
--In Jesus we are in the holiest relationship with God!
A sad verse is found in Psalm 142:4, "no one cared for my soul." God cares! Jesus cares! We care! Do you?
God says it is "not good to be alone."
--That's why God put us in families; we need others.
--We are born to be part of family - Father, Mother or brother and sister - families! Husband and wife!
--Same sex marriage, and homosexuality, is an abomination to God, and a sin to mankind! God says so!
--I'll take God's word over everyone elses, friend!
In families, all are important - even children.
The church is a spiritual family of faith, we need.
--Where everyone is somebody. Loved alike. Valuable.
--Where we grow in love for each other, and the Lord.
--Where we are taught ways to make friends for Jesus.
--Next to home, church is the best place to be!
--Where all are welcomed! Friends are made - for God!
Why do a lot of people go to bars? For friendships.
--If they only knew church was a far better place!
--Invite your family! Friends! Neighbors, to church.
--It is never wrong .. to do right. Be like Jesus.
--He made friends with a woman at a well, in John 4.
--In a winsome way, led this woman to salvation!
--You know what, this woman ran back to town, shouting, "Come .. meet the Messiah, Jesus!" To win others!
--Telling of a Holy God .. forgiving sinners!
All of us are, sinners, my friend - much, or little - so we all need to be "born again" by trusting Jesus.
--We all need this same Savior, the only Risen God!
When trials and tears come - and they do - trust Him.
--To have a loving family who care. And good friends.
--But also an eternal, loving Lord, Who cares for us.
--To walk with us and talk with us, in our struggles.
--To assure us, "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes .. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away" (Rev. 21:4).
Make friends with all your family. Church. Others.
--One you will pray for. Who will pray for you.
--Be caring. Winsome. Be patient. Real. Genuine.
--Thank God if you grew up in a godly family - or married into one - or have one of your own, or want.one!
Hear the Lord Jesus, Who makes the first friendly move, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father, in My name He may give you" (John 15:16).
--By His Holy Spirit, the Lord can always be with us!
--Even when others cannot. I need a God like that!
Looking back, my dear wife and I have had good friends.
--Who are dear to us, like family. We'll see in glory.
--How about you .. and your family? Are you saved?
--Are you sure? God chose you! Now you choose Him!
--We must make the decision. Cast the deciding vote.
Then, together, as friends of God, come to His Table.
--To break bread together with our Savior. As family.
--In Jerusalem, I've seen Jews and Palestinians in the same churches, praying, and communing together.
--Loving one another, in a church! One body in Christ.
--It is God's way to world - and individual - peace.
--God loves all - whoever, wherever. So do we.
--We don't want any to be lost. Make friends in God! --No better Friend!
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 838