Bible Study: Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Journey into Stress Free Living
Lesson 8: Making and Keeping Friends (Philippians 2:19-30)
Do you have too many friends, or too few? Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” stayed on the New York Time’s best-seller list for ten years.
We not only want friends; God made us to need friends. The Garden of Eden was perfect a paradise with one exception. What was the problem in Gen. 2:18?
Real friendship happens intentionally. Paul reveals four essentials for making and keeping friends.
I. Be Concerned (2:19:20)
Paul imprisonment made it impossible for him to visit his friends (v. 19)
Paul says he is sending Timothy to Philippi to share encouragement. Paul had so many friends because he continued being concerned for them.
Maintaining friendships is time consuming considering the other obligations of life. (Family, careers, parents, etc.)
Paul writes in I Thess. 2:8 that he and his associates loved the Thessalonians so much that they shared what else with them besides the gospel?
Spouses tend to spell concern (t. i. m. e.) How do you spell it?
II. Be Consistent (2:21-24)
Timothy was a great friend; note 21-22. The journey from Philippi to Rome was around 40 days. Timothy proved himself consistent and dependable. How is consistency described in Prov. 17:17?
It’s common for men to not have on close friend. Many people have mere acquaintances, but ladies may have several close friends. How can this be explained?
In Mat. 26:36, Jesus took His inner circle of friends from His disciples to pray and be with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. Mark 14:34 says his soul “sorrowful unto death.” What does He ask of them in Mark 14:34?
If Jesus needed close friends, should Christians be loners?
How do we get a friend like Timothy? Proverb 18:24 instructs us to?
III. Be Real (2:25-27)
Paul now mentions another friend named Epaphroditus, who had arrived from Philippi to deliver a love offering to Paul. Paul decided to send him back out of concern.
V. 27: Epaphroditus had an unknown illness that nearly killed him. Even though Paul had been previously used of God to heal, (Acts 19:12) his gift is not used here. II Tim. 4:20;
Paul did not pretend to be someone he was not. If we want close friends, we must be real and authentic. He said of himself in I Tim. 1:15;
Don’t pretend to be a super-saint. Get off the pedestal and be real and you will have more friends.
IV. Be Complimentary (2:28-30)
Paul lets the Philippians know that Epaphroditus had no failed on his mission. He complimented him instead. If we want to make and keep friends, look for a genuine way to compliment. How does Prov. 22:11 express this principle?
To make friends we must look for the good in others. Some people do irritate us, but if we do not accentuate the negative, perhaps our relationships will improve and minimize stress.
Having gracious speech and being able to make friends, requires obeying what command in Heb. 3:13?
To make friends and keep them, we must be concerned, consistent, real, and complimentary. Which of these areas need the most attention in your life? What will you do about it and when?