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Friend to the End

Notes Outline
OPENER
GOAL OF FRIENDSHIP
SHARPENING - IRON TO IRON - SPURRING EACH OTHER ON TILL THE DAY DAWNS
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OPENER

    1. QUESTION
      1. What are some words that describe friendship to you?

GOAL OF FRIENDSHIP

    1. LONELINESS IS NO ONE’S GOAL
      1. One thing is true, no one aims to be alone in life. Even those who might voice it. 
      2. The s on History Channel called Alone
        1. People break from loneliness
      3. Those who find themselves alone due to bad choices, selfishness, etc do not end well. History shows us this. 
    2. A DEEP IMPACT
      1. Deep friendships (and sometimes shallow ones) will always do one thing: impact or influence your life
        1. So each friendship we engage in really matters. And can echo into eternity. 
          1. We see this through the Bible, history and even in our modern day all the time
            1. Paul & Timothy; Job & his friends; Elijah & Elisha; Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego; Judas & the disciples

SHARPENING - IRON TO IRON - SPURRING EACH OTHER ON TILL THE DAY DAWNS

Proverbs 27:17
As iron sharpens iron, so a person sharpens his friend.

    1. THE PROCESS – PERSISTENCE IN FRIENDSHIP 
      1. Make no mistake that the Bible’s bottom line is God’s chosen Messiah sitting on the throne. And those who believed in the Lamb of God, the Messiah, and chose to walk in righteousness according to His promise, are there with Him in the end.
        1. This is central in the Bible and was part of why the early church believers lived the way they did…in community and close accountability. So the process of sharpening each other is ultimately for the sake of enduring to the end well and being resurrected unto life in eternity with Jesus.

Hebrews 3:12-14
See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has an evil, unbelieving heart that forsakes the living God.
But exhort one another each day, as long as it is called “Today,” that none of you may become hardened by sin’s deception. For we have become partners with Christ, if in fact we hold our initial confidence firm until the end.

      1. Sharpening of an iron stone or other iron tool against an iron sharpener. Just as a man might sharpen the face of his sword against a sharpening iron in order to make it more suitable for combat, so does a faithful friend equip his friend for success by constructive criticism.
      2. Giving a tool or sword the desired sharpness took time in the ancient world, as there were no electric whetstones or other sharpening devices. Persistent, careful striking of the tool against the sharpener was required, and the process lasted longer than a matter of seconds. Thus, the proverb is underscoring the importance of persistence in friendship.
      3. One man does not sharpen another with just one speech or dialogue, though words spoken in the right season can go quite far in helping improve another person. Instead, people sharpen one another over time, through years of friendship and all of the ins and outs that come with enduring relationships. A truly constructive friend is faithful over time to offer prayer, encouragement, rebuke, prophecy, etc. And he does not give up the first time his friend does not heed his advice.
      4. Personal and spiritual growth is communal and done alongside others.
  1. FRIENDSHIP EVALUATION
    1. PERSONAL QUESTIONS
      1. If you were to put into one word, what kind of friend you are, what would it be? 
      2. Besides that word, what is another word that you think does not yet describe you as a friend but you hope to get there?
      3. What would you describe as the purpose of your friendships?
      4. Does your friendships involve pursuit of God in any way? Should it? Why?
        1. The Word, Prayer, Prophecy, Life Issues 
      5. If our belief in the end is truly about either redemption or destruction based on standing rightly before God via repentance, what part does our friendships play in all that?
      6. Is there anything specific that you feel could be added to particularly close friendships that could help deepen them? Or grow them?
      7. Do you feel like you have any friends that would be considered IRON2IRON friends? If so, why do you see them that way? What specifically defines it as that type of friendship?

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