Friends not only can provide support and companionship, as we learned last week, but they also can be the people you turn to when you don’t know what to do or where to turn to. And in the same way, you can be that person in someone else’s life. Great friends help share each other’s burden, celebrate each other’s victories and forms a bond that becomes like family. In this week’s message, we look at how this type of friendship is modeled in the Bible and what it takes to have a purposeful friendship and how you can work to become this type of friend for someone else.




  • 46% of us claim to frequently/always feel alone.
  • You NEED a friend, who shares your faith/worldview, to have your back and you need to be that friend for someone else
  • It takes two things: TIME and COURAGE


Back in the thirteenth century, the German king, Frederick II, conducted an experiment intended to discover what language children would naturally grow up to speak if never spoken to.

He thought it would be German.

So King Frederick took babies from their mothers at birth and placed them in the care of nurses who were forbidden to speak in their hearing. But a second rule was imposed, as well: the nurses were not allowed to touch the infants. To his great dismay, Frederick’s experiment was cut short, but not before something tragically significant regarding human nature was revealed. As you may have guessed, the babies grew up to speak no language at all because they died.

In the year 1248, an Italian historian named Salimbene di Adam recorded, “They could not live without petting.” The babies literally died for want of touch.

Modern medicine calls this phenomenon, “failure to thrive.” For some reason, we humans flourish under the influence of love and we gradually die without it. The implications of this are huge. Consider the research of Dr. Dean Ornish. In his national best seller, Love and Survival, Ornish presents study after study demonstrating that love is a chief influence for mental, emotional, and even physical health. On page 29 he summarizes the unexpected message of the rapidly accumulating body of data:

For some reason, we humans flourish under the influence of love and we gradually die without it.

“Anything that promotes feelings of love and intimacy is healing; anything that promotes isolation, separation, loneliness, loss, hostility, anger, cynicism, depression, alienation, and related feelings often leads to suffering, disease, and premature death from all causes” (Dean Ornish, Love and Survival, p. 29).

Modern science is now proving through controlled studies that human beings are literally engineered for love. We are made for love, as if our DNA contains the message, “You must love and be loved in order to survive.”

But this presents Dr. Ornish, and the mainstream of modern science, with a serious problem. He explains: “The scientific evidence . . . leaves little doubt that love and intimacy are powerful determinants of our health and survival. Why they have such an impact remains somewhat a mystery” (Ibid., p. 22).

So to solve the mystery, Dr. Ornish posed a question to a wide range of scientists. The basic gist of the question was this: Why are human beings so vitally dependent on love? The bottom line answer was along the lines of, Well, it is strange, isn’t it? We don’t know why.

Dr. Ornish then concluded: Scientists are baffled by the existence of love and the fact that we need it. But why are they baffled? Well, quite simply, because love creates a break, actually a contradiction, in the train of logic in the evolutionary worldview. The problem for many scientists is that they are trying to understand the human need for love within a paradigm of reality that does not allow for the existence of love! Because Darwinian evolution begins with a survival-of-the-fittest premise, it dictates that self-preservation must be the highest law and the main factor in our survival. Love, by contrast, is essentially self-giving rather than self-preserving, and, therefore, makes no sense in the evolutionary context.

If materialistic evolution is the truth of human origins, then human beings are merely biological animals and there is no such thing as love. And yet, here we are, creatures who thrive on love

and are utterly dependent on it. A tenacious desire to love and be loved pervades every human heart. We try to explain it with no reference point beyond ourselves, and we seek its satisfaction in countless material pursuits, but it remains, larger than anything this world can offer, more persistent than our most determined resistance, and insistently fixed on something MORE than ourselves.

We can’t help but ask the obvious question at some point: What is that something more that we so desperately long for? In two simple declarations, the Bible offers this answer:

“God is love” (1 John 4:16).

And “God made mankind in His own image” (Genesis 1:27). Mystery solved!


BUT I’m not talking about ROMANTIC love. I’m just talking about the intentional relationships we build with a select, small group of close friends.

In 1 Samuel we find a beautiful example of this kind of friendship, this bond that we’re talking about in this series.

Context: David was the eighth son of Jesse, the grandson of Ruth & Boaz

  • Jesse overlooked David
  • David was not treated well by his older brothers (1 Sam 17)

Purposeful Friendships have Natural Chemistry

After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond between them, for Jonathan loved David. From that day on Saul kept David with him and wouldn’t let him return home. 1 Samuel 18:1-2

  • This wasn’t a romantic love.
  • It was a genuine “I see who you are and accept you for that way”.
  • David had never experienced this before, that we can tell
  • There are some people you just naturally connect with
  • They should share your faith/values
  • “Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?” Amos‬ ‭3:3‬
  • “There are ‘friends’ who destroy each other, but a ‘real friend’ sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs‬ ‭18:24‬ ‭

Difference between a Friend and a friend closer than a Brother

  • A friend tells you what you WANT to hear and a FCtaB tells you what you need to hear
  • A friend hangs out when it’s convenient and a FCtaB stays close for life
  • A Friend has similar interests but a FCtaB has the same values (compass) that you do

As a follower of Jesus, I’m called to greater acts of obedience, generosity and personal sacrifice.

  • Which is why I need a friend who believes the same thing

Disclaimer: Jesus was known as a “friend of sinners”. This is how people described him. So he obviously spent a lot of time with people who believed/valued different things

  • You should too.
  • But there was a different level of access that he gave his disciples
  • Pulled them aside after parables and before big events

Purposeful Friendships are Committed
And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, because he loved him as he loved himself. Jonathan sealed the pact by taking off his robe and giving it to David, together with his tunic, sword, bow, and belt. 1 Samuel 18:3-4

You must sacrifice, personally, to develop this kind of friendship

  • Purposeful friendship requires that you proactively pursue your friend and make sure they have what they need

A great friend takes responsibility for your needs. Your health. Your faith.

  • Do the closest friends in your life have the capacity of being this kind of friend for you?

Chemistry and commitment. That is the foundation of a great friendship.

Saul now urged his servants and his son Jonathan to assassinate David. But Jonathan, because of his strong affection for David, told him what his father was planning. “Tomorrow morning,” he warned him, “you must find a hiding place out in the fields. I’ll ask my father to go out there with me, and I’ll talk to him about you. Then I’ll tell you everything I can find out.” [1 Samuel 19:1-3]

Because of Jonathan’s commitment to David, he had his back. He was looking out for him. Jonathan was willing to put his neck on the line and stand up to his dad (in the wrong) in order to save his best friend (in the right).


I want to be the kind of friend that would put his neck on the line for his friends.

The next morning Jonathan spoke with his father about David, saying many good things about him. “The king must not sin against his servant David,” Jonathan said. “He’s never done anything to harm you. He has always helped you in any way he could. Have you forgotten about the time he risked his life to kill the Philistine giant and how the Lord brought a great victory to all Israel as a result? You were certainly happy about it then. Why should you murder an innocent man like David? There is no reason for it at all!” So Saul listened to Jonathan and vowed, “As surely as the Lord lives, David will not be killed.” Afterward Jonathan called David and told him what had happened. Then he brought David to Saul, and David served in the court as before. [1 Sam. 19:4-7]

What did Jonathan do? He pointed his dad to what was true.

He stood up for his best friend by fighting for justice.

He fought for his friend. Why? Because he was committed. David was family to him. Not just a friend. He was a FCtaB.

Watch what happens in the life of David, as a result of the friendship of Jonathan…(1 Sam 22)

“So David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. Soon his brothers and all his other relatives joined him there. Then others began coming—men who were in trouble or in debt or who were just discontented—until David was the captain of about 400 men.”

‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭22:1-2‬

Purposeful friendships aren’t an accident.

They are the result of two people committing to something deeper than just hanging out. They come together naturally and then intentionally commit to helping each other become all that God intended them to be.

  • Who are you going to be this kind of friend for? Who are you sharpening?


You will not thrive on your own. You MUST find a friend that “sticks closer than a brother”

  1. Pray for God to bring that person into your life
  2. Invest in that friendship and seek their good
  3. Be Intentional in the Spiritual Health of that Friendship as a Growth Group