I.         You can tell much about a person by the friends he keeps

            A.        “Wait a minute! I’m my own person!”

            B.        Perhaps, but outside our family, our friends hold strong influence in our lives

II.        The value of true friends

            A.        Examples

                        1.         Jonathan and David - I Sam. 18:1

                        2.         Ruth and Naomi - Ruth 1:16

            B.        A true friend is permanent - Pr. 17:17

                        1.         True friendship lasts through difficulties - Pr. 18:24

                        2.         The example of God

                                    a.         Josh 1:5 - I will not forsake you or fail you

                                    b.         Isa 54:10 - God’s love for us will last longer than the hills

            C.        Friends are mutually benefitial; they improve each other - Pr. 27:17

                        1.         They help each other out - Eccl. 4:9-10

            D.        Our greatest friend is Jesus, who, not thinking of himself, laid down his own life for his friends - Jn 15:13

III.       To have friends, you must be a friend

            A.        Don’t leave your friends behind. - Pr. 27:10

                        1.         Friendships grow when you lean on your friends for help

            B.        But you must be careful who you claim as friend

                        1.         I Cor. 15:33 - Evil companions will currupt our good morals

                        2.         Gluttonous friends will bring shame, not just to yourself, but also to your own family - Pr. 28:7

                        3.         Hang around angry people and you will learn their ways - Pr. 22:24

            C.        Evilness must always be resisted

                        1.         Pr. 1:10, 15 - Don’t be enticed, don’t consent

                        2.         Ps. 141:4 - Don’t eat the delicacies of the wicked

IV.      Sometimes having God for your friend makes it hard to have friends in this world

            A.        Ps. 31:11 - Every one leaves. This world does not follow God and does not understand His gentle ways.

            B.        Job too experienced rejection of his friends during his trials - Job 19:19

            C.        Even Jesus experience abandonment

                        1.         Though He loved His disciples to the end - Jn 13:1

                        2.         They left him and fled in his time of greatest need - Mk 14:50

V.        Pick for yourself good friends

            A.        Ps. 119:63 - A companion to all who fear God and keeps His laws

            B.        Pr. 13:20 - Walk with the wise and it will rub off on you

            C.        I Jn 1:7 - There are friends waiting with common belief, won’t you join them?

            D.        That we all can say as Paul, “I thank my God in all my rememberance of you.” - Phil 1:3