Deuteronomy 13:6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
10 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
Good friends are a tremendous blessing to be nurtured and treasured. Yet, friendships are to have certain God-ordained limitations. The wrong kind of friends and inappropriate associations have led many people away from the truth and astray from God. The Bible provides detailed instructions to help people avoid any relationship that tends to lead to rebellion against God. Although these instructions were explicitly given while Israel remained under the Law of God, they forever reveal God’s feelings toward those who would lead someone away from Him. Just as it was instructed of the Israelites, men today should never consent, nor hearken to, those who seek to lure them astray (Deuteronomy 13:8). In refusing to listen to those individuals, a believer should never feel guilt or pity the so-called friend, but rather find joy from making the right decision.
· (For children): A friend asks you to go to the mountains for a picnic on Sunday morning with him and his family. God wants us to set aside that day to go to church to praise Him and learn of Him. What will you choose? A true friend will want you to obey God first.
· (For everyone): How do you choose your friends? What kind of traits do you look for in a friend? Do you merely look for common interests, or are there other things for which you look?
· What should you do if a friend asked you to do something that you know would displease the Lord? Should you continue to spend time around this person?
· Ask God for wisdom and discernment when choosing friends.
· Ask the Lord to give you friends who sincerely love Him.
SONG: Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners