As Carolyn Nystrom helps you to dig into ten stories of friends like David and Jonathan or Ruth and Naomi, you will experience the riches of godly friendship for yourself.
Getting the Most Out of Friendship
This section introduces the topic, explains the structure followed in each study and offers tips for those approaching the study on their own as well as those participating in a group.
Christian couples often choose the words of verse 12 as a wedding theme: "A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." If two friends invited God as the third strand in their cord of friendship, what impact would that have on their relationship?
David and Mephibosheth
Being a friend to a person in need always involves inconvenience and sometimes real risk. What all might David have lost because of his friendship with Mephibosheth?
2 Samuel 9; 16:1–4; 19:24–30
Enjoying Our Differences
What situations tempt you to think of someone else, "I don't need you"? Who among your circle of friends represents diversity: a foot, a hand, an eye, an ear?
1 Corinthians 12:12–31
Naomi & Ruth
Differences within a family make a rocky road toward friendship. What hardships did Ruth and Naomi have to overcome in order to move from a family relationship to a friendship?
In verse 21 Peter follows the teachings about attempting to reconcile with people who wander by asking a logical next question, "How many times shall I forgive my brother?" What is risky about trying to forgive someone who has hurt you?
A Father & His Son
What all did the father do to help the brothers forgive each other? In what ways does the father in this story remind you of God?
Friends Accountable to Friends
Verse 2 says that we are to carry each other's burdens, yet verse 5 says that we should carry our own loads. Why might a responsible Christian expect to do both of these—depending on the circumstances?
David & Nathan
How do you think this story would have ended differently if Nathan had refused to confront David with what he had done wrong?
2 Samuel 11:1–12:25
Verse 18 says, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear." Why are love and fear sometimes mixed in our human forms of love?
1 John 4:7–21
First Thessalonians 4:17 tells us that we will be "with the Lord forever," and 5:10 adds that we will "live together with him." If some of your friendships are in fact eternal relationships, how might that affect the way you conduct them now?
1 Thessalonians 4:13–5:11
Total number of pages—60 pages
Carolyn Nystrom is a freelance writer based in the western Chicago suburbs. She has written more than seventy-five books and Bible study guides, including the LifeGuide® Bible Studies Abiding in Christ (with J. I. Packer), Christian Leadership (with John Stott), Integrity, Money & Work, New Testament Characters, and 1 & 2 Peter and Jude.