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October 09, 2005
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Sermon Outline

"Building Relationships by Cleaning up Messes"

Pastor Matt


Last few weeks we have been talking about how to build relationships with people so we can bring them to Jesus.

We’ve talked about:

-         how to share Jesus without shoving Him down people’s throats

-         making friends with the lost without losing who you are as a Christian

-         providing opportunities to build a relationship by giving of ourselves to others, by serving others

-         using our words to proclaim life and healing instead of death and hurting because it is Jesus who truly gives life and when we share words of Life with others, we are sharing Jesus




“Cleaning up messes”

90 % of witnessing is cleaning up the messes other people have made.


You can’t reach people for Jesus if they have built up a wall against you/ Christians. 


How do we clean up the messes we’ve made (by others or ourselves)?


1. Confront the lies with the Truth.  Galatians 2:11-16


How do we do this?


Sometimes you need to confront the lies face to face


o       People can only think differently about something if you lay the truth next to the lie so they can see the difference.


o       When talking to them, ask yourself, “What does the bible have to say about what they have been through?”  Show them the Truth in God’s Word as it compares to what they have been through and experienced


o       1 Peter 3:15.  “…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,”


Sometimes you just need to go straight to the Truth


-         You do not always have to focus specifically on their problems and try to fix them, just give them the truth. 


o       Focus on the Truth and the future. 


o       “I’m sorry that happened to you, but let me tell you about the God I believe in.”


Always be honest with them, but not judgmental of the “other side”


o       Being hateful to the other side never fixes things.


o       Remember that every story has two sides to it. 

        Be careful to not pass judgment because we rarely know all the facts.


o       Do not criticize others or play yourself against others

        Your setting yourself up for the same thing down the road

        And your making yourself look “perfect” in their eyes

        If they think you are “perfect” you will let them down later, and make another mess


Always match your actions with your words


-         As I’ve said before, words without action are dead


-         We need to not only tell them the Truth, we need to live it out in front of them.


-         If we proclaim the truth but don’t live it, we too are making a mess for someone somewhere else to come along and have to try and clean up. 


-         We have to live our lives in such a way that it lines up with the Word of God


o       “I’m sorry that happened to you, but let me show you about the God I believe in.” (don’t actually say it)


o       Examine your own life…Am I being a wrecking ball to the lost


o       Do I present Jesus/myself to the lost the same way Jesus presented himself to the lost or did I “invent” a new way to “share” Jesus


o       God gave us a personality we are to use to share Jesus with but we are not to share the part of our personality that God never intended us to use


2. Confront the lies with love


1 Peter 4:8.  Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Colossians 3:13-14.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

-         Sometimes people just need a hug. 


1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Sometimes people just need you to be patient, kind. to not envy them, to not be boastful, to not be proud, to not be rude, to not be self-seeking, to not be easily angered at them, to keeps no record of wrongs they’ve done, 


Sometimes people need you to protect them, trust them, give them hope, persevere with them (be with them for the long haul).


-         If you argue with them to prove your point you will miss the opportunity just to love on them. 

-         Let the Holy Spirit show you the inside of people as to whether or not they just need some love without all the explaining


Important thing to mention:


When we do everything in love we do not judge


-         When we judge we are really just attacking the hurting because we feel our faith or fellow Christians are under attack. 

o       We need to expect to be under attack by the lost but we never have the right to bite back


-         We never attack or become defensive.

o       We are not to feel personally under attack when someone rejects the Truth

        They are not rejecting you, they are rejecting Him. 


3. Confront the lies by pointing them to Jesus


-         Remember humans will fail you but Jesus will not.

o       This does not give us the excuse to have wrecking ball personalities. 

        I’m not perfect, just forgiven is not an excuse to act improperly towards others.

-         Why do we point people to Jesus?

o       1 John 4:16.  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him

        Remember 1 Corinthians 13…love never fails

o       Hebrews 13:8.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

o       Deuteronomy 31:8.  The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."


-         We are supposed to look to Jesus for the perfect relationship. 

-         Don’t present yourself or the Christian world as a perfect place to be or be a part of because it is not.

-         Just present Jesus because he is perfect and He is the One who never fails!


Who is Jesus?  Look at His names:


4. Confront the lies by pointing to what is most important


-         2 Corinthians 5:14-21


-         We are in the ministry of reconciliation.


-         The most important thing we can show people is that all people have sin and need to be forgiven


-         Our goal is not to make things right in this world but to make things right between people and God.




Are you right with God?


Have you been hurt and holding back but need to respond to Him today?


The Truth is that God loves you, He wants you to come to Him for forgiveness. He wants you to give control of your life to Him because He has great plans for your life.


Have you been hurt?

-         give it to God today


Have you hurt others?

-         ask God to give you the courage to make things right


Matthew 5:23.  “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.