I. Your Joy: Relationships within the Church
a. John 13:34-35
34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
What is the standard that Jesus sets for our relationships?
b. 1 Thessalonians 2:17-19
17 But, brothers, when we were torn away from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you.
18 For we wanted to come to you--certainly I, Paul, did, again and again--but Satan stopped us.
19 For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?
Describe Paul's relationships: When you were previously involved in the church, in what ways were your relationships either like his or unlike his? Why?
c. Discuss prior relationship problems. Is there anyone in the church that you are not completely resolved with? (any relationship problem needs to be completely resolved before restoration). To what degree were the following sins involved in past relationship problems:
Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.
2. Resentment? (Often comes up when the person is confronted regarding his / her sin)
Elements in Great Relationships
1. Hebrews 3:12-14
12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.
13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.
Daily Contact. Discuss how to make that happen.
2. James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
Openness and confession
3. Ephesians 6:18
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Daily prayer for one another
4. Colossians 1:28-29
28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.
29 To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.
What should be your goal in your relationships?
5. Are you willing to strive to do these things in your Christian relationships?
II. Your Purpose: Relationships outside the Church
How many friends do you have outside of the church?
a. How Jesus reached out:
1. Cold Contact
a. John 4:4-10
4 Now he had to go through Samaria.
5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
6 Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?"
8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
10 Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."
What did Jesus overcome to have this conversation? (fatigue, contemporary prejudices)
5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today."
6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.'"
8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."
9 Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
Jesus invited himself over to Zacchaeus' home. They had a relationship.
35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.
36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
How did Jesus feel about the people he was reaching out to?
b. Specific Commands of the Bible
1. Matthew 22:37-40
37 Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
What does the 2nd greatest command have to do with reaching out?
2. Matthew 28:18-20
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
How is this command written to every one of us?
3. Mark 1:16-18
16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.
17 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."
18 At once they left their nets and followed him.
If we follow Jesus, what will we become?
I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.
What will the sharing of our faith do for us? Why?
c. Personal Application
1. What is the most intimidating thing to you about sharing your faith? Are you willing to work through it?
2. How many friends do you have outside the church? Does making friends, initiating conversations, etc come easily to you, or is it difficult?
3. How do you feel about reaching out "cold contact" ?
1. Resolve any relationship problems you may have had with any disciple currently in the church.
2. Make a list of everyone you know outside the church.
3. Invite at least one new person per day to come to church with you.