March 9, 2008am   Footprints of a Friend    John 11:1-17

by Ronald E. George Jr. at the Fayetteville Baptist Church

Where do you go when you need a friend?  Who do you turn to?  Where do you go when you have a problem for which there is no solution? 

Footprints

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the LORD. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one belonging to him, and the other to the LORD.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.
This really bothered him and he questioned the LORD about it: "LORD, you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me."
The LORD replied: "My son, my precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."
                                         By: Mary Stevenson (1922-1999)

Scripture Text:  John 11     Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” 4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days. 7 Then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” 8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world’s light. 10 It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light.” 11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” 12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. 14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

What kind of footprints has Jesus left in your life?  Here are the footprints that he left in the life of some of His friends. 

  1. Come to Jesus when you need a Friend.

 

  1. Come to Jesus when you need a Friend who can make a difference in your life.
  1. Come to Jesus when you need a Friend who can give you a miracle.

 

  1. Come to Jesus when you need a Friend who will listen to your problems.
  1. Come to Jesus when you realize that He is a Friend who loves you.

 

  1. Come to Jesus when you need a friend who will take a risk for you.
  1. Come to Jesus when you need a friend who will go out of His way for you.

 

  1. Come to Jesus when you need a Friend who will come to you when the time is right.
  1. Come to Jesus when you need a Friend who can help you when you die. 

 

  1. Come to Jesus when you need a Friend who understands what you are going through.
  1. Come to Jesus when you need a Friend who will give you a reason to believe and have hope.

 

  1. Come to Jesus when you need a Friend who won’t die with you, but He will live with you.  Jesus doesn’t do funerals.  He only does resurrections. 
  1. Come to Jesus when you need a forever friend. 

 

  1. Come to Jesus.  Don’t wait too late. 

The Holy Bible : New International Version (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984). Jn 11:1-16.