March 17, 2022 READING A PROVERB A DAY (PROVERBS 17) ADRIAN ROGERS ”The friendship Factor” Proverbs 17:17 “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”

Proverbs 17New Living Translation

17 Better a dry crust eaten in peace
    than a house filled with feasting—and conflict.

A wise servant will rule over the master’s disgraceful son
    and will share the inheritance of the master’s children.

Fire tests the purity of silver and gold,
    but the Lord tests the heart.

Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip;
    liars pay close attention to slander.

Those who mock the poor insult their Maker;
    those who rejoice at the misfortune of others will be punished.

Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged;
    parents[a] are the pride of their children.

Eloquent words are not fitting for a fool;
    even less are lies fitting for a ruler.

A bribe is like a lucky charm;
    whoever gives one will prosper!

Love prospers when a fault is forgiven,
    but dwelling on it separates close friends.

10 A single rebuke does more for a person of understanding
    than a hundred lashes on the back of a fool.

11 Evil people are eager for rebellion,
    but they will be severely punished.

12 It is safer to meet a bear robbed of her cubs
    than to confront a fool caught in foolishness.

13 If you repay good with evil,
    evil will never leave your house.

14 Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate,
    so stop before a dispute breaks out.

15 Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent—
    both are detestable to the Lord.

16 It is senseless to pay to educate a fool,
    since he has no heart for learning.

17 A friend is always loyal,
    and a brother is born to help in time of need.

18 It’s poor judgment to guarantee another person’s debt
    or put up security for a friend.

19 Anyone who loves to quarrel loves sin;
    anyone who trusts in high walls invites disaster.

20 The crooked heart will not prosper;
    the lying tongue tumbles into trouble.

21 It is painful to be the parent of a fool;
    there is no joy for the father of a rebel.

22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
    but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.

23 The wicked take secret bribes
    to pervert the course of justice.

24 Sensible people keep their eyes glued on wisdom,
    but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.

25 Foolish children[b] bring grief to their father
    and bitterness to the one who gave them birth.

26 It is wrong to punish the godly for being good
    or to flog leaders for being honest.

27 A truly wise person uses few words;
    a person with understanding is even-tempered.

28 Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent;
    with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: Proverbs 17

One of the basic needs and longings of our lives is for a true friend.

There are acquaintances, whom we learn from and have fun with on the shores of life, yet the friendship never goes beyond the coast. There are fair-weather friends, who will agree to set sail, but jump ship the moment the seas of life get rocky. 

And then there are friends…the ones who stay in the calm and in the storm. These friends are rare. But they are of great value, and are worth the find. 

The Bible places a great emphasis upon friends, but it also encourages us to possess a much higher standard on friendships than we think. We are not to have too many of them. They are costly. We are to consider friendships as an investment. We invest time, energy, prayers, and emotion into people. We cannot fully invest in more than we can maintain.

Jesus loved many people in his time on earth. He made good acquaintances, but he regularly invested himself in his 12 disciples. Of those 12, there was an inner circle: Peter, James and John. And of them, he was closest with John. We see that in his humanity, Jesus needed a friend, and He showed us the virtues of a true friend.

  • A friend is selfless. He loves, not because he needs something from you. He justdoes
  • A friend is sacrificial. He carries your sorrows on his own back. 
  • A friend sanctifies. He keeps you sharp.

How do we find a friend like this? If you want a friend, be a friend. You want love? Give love. 

Renowned pastor and teacher, Adrian Rogers said it this way, “I went out to find a friend and could not find one there. I went out to be a friend and friends were everywhere.”

Apply it to your life

Today is a good day for a quality check of your friendship factor. The test of a good friendship is this: am I a better person because of my friends? Which friendships in your life bring you closer to Jesus? Are there any toxic friendships that need to be cut off? Pray carefully through each investment in your life, and ask God for the wisdom to maintain the relationships in your life with grace and understanding.

This message is a part of this audio series.

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