Dr. James Merritt
1. I saw a cartoon in a newspaper once, and the first frame showed a thief that was wearing a mask, and his gun was pointed toward a frightened victim. The next scene the robber is holding out a sack and saying, ''Give me all of your valuables!'' In the next scene the victim begins stuffing into the sack all of his friends.
2. I don't believe there is hardly anything in life, outside of salvation, that is more valuable than a true friend. With few exceptions, people everywhere hunger to have friends; I mean real friends, true friends. You'll learn in life that you may think you count many friends, but there aren't many friends that you can count on.
3. In fact, if you think you've got a lot of friends, I've got news for you. Not only do you not have as many friends as you may think you have, but you really better not have many friends at all, for our text today, in the New American Standard, reads this way: ''A man of many friends comes to ruin.'' It can be a danger to have too many friends.
4. The name John Carpenter may not mean very much to you, but he is the thirty-one-year-old Internal Revenue Service Officer who won the single largest one-time cash award in the history of American television, excluding lotteries, when he won $1 million. When he appeared on the show Regis and Kathie Lee, Kathie Lee Gifford looked at him and said, ''John, be careful. You're going to be amazed at how many new friends you're going to make.''
5. I can honestly say I don't know of anything more valuable, more blessed, more strengthening, and more encouraging than a true friend. I want to talk to you today about this issue of friendship, how to make them and how to keep them.
I. How To Make Friends
1. Solomon said, ''A man who has friends must himself be friendly.'' Although that may not be the best translation, it is certainly a true translation. The friendliest people do make the most friends.
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