Sermon 1 - WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS

by Douglas Amobi


This was a song written by Joseph Scriven in the 1900s and the music was by Charles Converse in the same time frame. Since then the song has brought much joy to children of God the world over. In this world today we all need a reliable and faithful friend. Jesus is more than a friend, He is also Lord.

God does not use the word friend loosely; in 2nd Chronicles 20:7 Abraham was referred to as the friend of God forever. Isaiah 41:8 reads, "but thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend." In Genesis 18:17 it reads, "and the Lord said, shall I hide from Abraham that which I do." Also James 2:23 reads, "Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness; and he was called the friend of God." Finally a look at St. John 15:15 makes every believer joyful as children of Abraham by faith; it reads, "henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of the Father I have made known unto you." Jesus Christ is our friend, Savior, Lord and God; to every believer. That is why the lyrics of this song are really amazing and tell a whole lot about our friendship with the Lord. While we were yet sinners Jesus Christ died for us, only a friend like Jesus Christ can lay down his life for his friend. The song is thus:

What A Friend We Have In Jesus 1.
What a fiend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Ev'rything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Ev'rything to God in prayer.

2:
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our ev'ry weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.


3:
Are we weak and heavy laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms He'll take and shield thee;
Thou wilt find a solace there.

Thinking about this song will make you know how great a friend we have in Jesus Christ and yet we do not call or go to him first with our needs or problems, before consulting anyone else.He has the solution to all our problems including eternal life. Even when you are despised, forsaken and cumbered with the cares of this life, always lean on the only shoulder you can trust; that of Jesus Christ. Every believer is the apple of his eyes.

Isaiah 49:15-16 reads,"Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee." Also Psalms 27:10 reads, "when my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up." Finally Hebrew 13:5-6 reads, "let your manner of life be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have; for he hath said,I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." Our precious Savior is still our refuge, friend and Lord. What a friend we have in Jesus Christ, all our sins and cares to bear.Talk to him.

A friend is someone you can lean on, tell anything, and accept his or her rebuke. And there is no better friend than Jesus Christ- He is a friend with full disclosure of his standing in every issue, so compassionate, faithful, powerful and righteous in judgment. He will tell you if you are in the wrong and he weighs out his judgment justly (David counting Israel and God’s three judgment options: II Samuel 24: 12-15). I admonish you, choose good and not evil (Deuteronomy 11:26-28). Psalms 37:5 tells us to “Commit thy way unto the Lord.” John 14 v 13-14- reads “If ye shall ask anything in my name I will do it.” Many men who put their confidence in God like, David (1st Sam. 30:5-8), Jehoshaphat (1st King 22:5-12), and Hezekiah (Isaiah 38:1-5)to name a few, always inquired of God before taking actions. Today we have the word of God, the Holy Spirit in us to confirm in our spirit the leading of God in every matter, if we will only listen to Him. He really speaks, if we can be quiet and wait patiently.

If we really consider ourselves Christians, children of God, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ at the Cross by faith, filled with the Holy Ghost, confessing Jesus Christ as Lord, Master, Savior, King and Friend. Why can we not tell him all things that we need, want and desire. Remember before you ask, he already knows what you have need of. It is important to remember part of this song that says what a privilege it is to carry everything to God in prayer.” There is nothing wrong in a pastor, deacon, or brother having admiration towards a sister even if it is outside of marriage. Even if you are in a safe room with the other sex and you are both attracted to each other and are ready to be intimate with one another- it is still alright. The problem is, we have a friend we can and need to tell all things before we act, He who knows tomorrow and who is righteous altogether, He who has given His life, for this same friendship. Call your momentary attraction to order, and tell him or her, " let us pray and talk the matter over with Jesus Christ." If you are not talking it over with Jesus, then something is wrong. Simply say, “Lord, Anne and myself, love one another, even though she is married we just want to sleep together this one time (adultery) bless our desires in- - -Amen”. If you love the Lord and you get the confirmation in your heart by the Holy Spirit to go ahead, then commit sin. If not, run for your life. The key here is whatever you are doing, eating, drinking , money, living, sex, etc, commit it to God first in sincere prayer and act as the spirit leads you. It is only fair to commit thy ways to the Lord as your friend. If you do anything without running it by the Lord, then something is wrong. Even a husband and wife should commit their every sexual encounter to the Lord so it will be pure, not filled with strange thoughts and unholy acts. Remember wherever 2 or 3 are gathered in the name of the Lord, He is there. Jesus in the midst of a committed couple is the strongest human bond. It is a threefold cord because Jesus is the third cord. Always pray before you act no matter the situation.

Remember that Jesus Christ sees every act. If you learn to commit your ways to the Lord, tell Him everything, even your most vain imaginations in sincere prayer, He will not allow you to fall into sin, judgment, and separation from God. In our work with Jesus Christ we should have no secrets hidden from Him. Learn to be transparent with Him by talking things over with Him before making any moves. Read 2nd Samuel 12:7-12 and learn to always tell the Lord Jesus Christ everything before taking any steps. Imagine if King David had prayed to the Lord and told Him that he wanted to sleep with Uriah’s wife with sincerity of heart what the outcome would have been. Please learn to talk over everything with your friend, God, before you act, to avoid mistakes. The consequences could be terrible and destructive when he is not informed first. What a friend is JESUS CHRIST.