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January 21, 2007
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Sermon Series: Friends With God

Today: “We Need Friends”

 

Do the “mom” on the cell phone routine.

 

Do we treat our friends (or our mom) the same way?  Have we built a wall around ourselves in other ways so that people can’t get in?  Do we live on an island all by ourselves?

 

I have been guilty of this…I have been known to say: “You don’t pay my bills and you don’t tuck me in at night so I don’t care about you or what you have to say!”

 

John Donne, a 17th century pastor and poet said, “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”

 

-         In other words, we, as Christians are meant to live as a continent.

o       Many of us have isolated ourselves in some sort of invisible prison that keeps us from having genuine friendships with others.

 

-         Some of us are fighters and that is how we keep people away

 

o       Because we have been hurt in the past, we keep ourselves safe by being on the offensive.  We go around hurting others before they can hurt us. 

 

-         Some of us curl up in a ball and cry and feel miserable and throw pity parties for ourselves.  “I’ve been hurt so I’m just going to sit here by myself and cry”

 

o       Don’t get me wrong.  Hurt is real and often makes us cry, but we can’t allow ourselves to stay that way for ever.

 

-         We were created to be part of something bigger than ourselves. 

o       That something bigger comes in the form of friendships. 

 

-         The church cannot function as a healthy church if friendships are not genuine within the church

o       People won’t come back to a church if they feel like the people within the church don’t care for each other

        The Barna Group did a survey and it said that: 53% of people said a key factor in determining whether or not they will return to a church is how much people cared for each other

 

 

Are you someone who does not see yourself as part of the bigger continent?

Are you someone who does not want to be part of the bigger continent?

 

I’ve Got news for you today. 

 

God’s Word teaches us that we need friends.

 

However, I must warn you…

 

If you want real friendship with others, you must be willing to take some risks.

 

There is no genuine friendship that does not experience hurt, pain, frustration, etc. heartache. 

 

If we get close to each other, chances are we will hurt each other.  Its part of being human. 

 

Instead of taking risks, I suppose you can choose to live inside a tiny little bubble.

 

(Get inside the tent)

 

It seems much safer in the bubble. 

 

Dialogue…

“If I stay in this bubble, I am protected from so many other things.  People can’t say mean things about me or my family.  They can’t see how chubby I am.  They can’t see that I’m depressed and discouraged by the look on my face because they can’t see my face!”

 

“when I’m in this bubble, I don’t have to reach out to others and that will defiantly keep me safe, because…people do hurtful things….so as long as I stay away from people I won’t get hurt.  Yah, that’s a great plan!  I’ll stay away from people, especially Christians!  Life will be much better inside my safe, and comfortable, little bubble. 

 

(Pop my head out of the tent)

 

You can try this too… but you can’t have my tent!

 

Why don’t you give it a try?  Take the paper bag and place it on your head.  That way no one can see you and you can’t see anyone else.  It’s just you in your little world all by yourself.

 

If we would all do this, we can have a safe comfortable church.  People wont find Jesus and lives wont be changed, but that’s OK, at least I’m OK. I’m safe!

(Come out of the tent)

 

We can’t do that! As I said earlier, God wants more than that from us.  He wants us to live in friendship with one another!

 

The option of not having friends so we don’t get hurt is not a real option. 

 

Choosing friendship is worth the risk of getting hurt once in a while because the benefits of friendship far outweigh the occasional mess-ups.

 

Things are not friends.

 

Animals are not friends

 

People are friends.  We need each other!

 

Are you living a life separated from others?

Have you built walls around your life to keep people from getting close to you?

It is time to tear down the walls that separate us and start investing in friendships.

 

Turn to 1 Corinthians 12:12-26

 

As we have just seen in the Scriptures, we were created to be a part of each others’ lives

 

Whether you like I or not the good, the bad and the ugly are all part of your body

 

EXAMPLE: (As with our own bodies) Just because there are things about your physical body that you don’t like, that does not mean you can just cut it off or ignore.  It is part of you for the rest of your earthly life.

 

In a sense, “we complete each other” (Gerry McGuire Movie)

 

We all have a place.  We all belong.  We all have a part to do.  We all have gifts to use.  We all have others we are supposed to be connected with in friendship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, How do you make these kinds of friendships? 

 

(Watch the video)

 

1. Get to know the body

 

14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.

 

Spend time with the body

Get to know other parts of your body

Stop acting like you are the only part of the body that matters, or even exists

 

Hint: You must take the first step.  “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people then you can in two years by trying to get others interested in you.”

 

2. Serve within the Body

 

18But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 

 

Each of us are here for a specific purpose. 

 

When we all do what we are gifted to do, the church becomes a wonderful place.

 

Lets take a sense of pride and ownership and responsibility for our body.

 

3. Experience life with the body

 

25so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

 

I do not believe life was meant to be lived outside of the church family and that church is something we do as a part of our week.

 

Our church family is to be our family!  We are to share our lives with each other.

 

When you see someone hurting, share their hurt.  When you see someone succed, celebrate with them (don’t compete with them)

 

 

Basically, If you want a friend, you need to be a friend

 

The Bible shows us what true friendship is all about.  Are you willing to make it happen?

 

Sure it takes risks.  Yah, you’ll probably get hurt down the road.  But there is still no other way to live.

 

God’s perfect plan for us includes Christians living in friendship with other Christians.

 

Closing

 

Before we go, I want you to look at The Daily Challenge insert.

 

It includes 4 things you can do between today and next Sunday to help you make steps towards building friendship with others.

 

Lets pray.