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Summary: How well do we know Him? How well do you know this person Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior?

Do you know Him? HHM Pastor Jim Parisi 6-30-02

My question today I want to pose before you today is.

How well do we know Him?

How well do you know this person Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior?

I don’t mean like a guy you may have bumped into on the street. A mere acquaintance. Someone in the office you have Lunch.

I talking about a relationship that is closer then a brother

The way I want to describe this today is “the fellowship with Him that will lead us to the Cross”.

The Cross-is a place of death, but also a place that Life can start anew.

This is because His love was so great for you and I that He laid His life down for all Humanity.

No man can give a greater gift then to lay down his life

John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

Yes, we are all brothers and friends of Christ.

Jesus knew it was the Father’s sheep He was to lay His life down for.

John 10:15 - As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

With this knowledge, the passage implies a union beyond words with the Father: and I lay down my life –

Jesus was speaking of the present time. For his whole life lived was only to one end, His Death on the Cross on Golgotha’s

I ask you today …..

Can you lay down your life for the one next to you?

If someone new visited your church this weekend and sat down right beside you, would you welcome that person?

Before you automatically shout "yes Pastor , of course I can ,"

think about

How you might feel if he or she practiced New Age rituals witchcraft, Spiritual hocus pocus,

Campaigned in favor of abortion, or live an alternate life style.

People who make you uncomfortable are not your enemies.

They are people Jesus loves.

In addition, He hopes those people will be welcomed into churches and your lives so they can develop relationships with Him.

Realize that no one is hopeless as far as God is concerned. His grace is strong enough to reach and transform anyone, no matter how they had been living before encountering God.

Remember that everyone is a child of God, made in His image. Therefore, every person is worthy of respect and love.

Refuse to be threatened by someone’s lifestyle, no matter how destructive.

Understand that behind the darkness is a person who is ultimately very unhappy and unfulfilled.

Ask God to give you compassion for the person and wisdom to know how to share His story and His love with him or her.

Don’t label people. Rather than categorizing them as "liberals" or "feminists," think of them primarily as human beings

Know that the underlying reason for their current alienation from God isn’t certain political ideas; it’s sin.

Understand that they are people of God just as you are, except they aren’t currently acting in ways that please Him.

Devote your time and energy to pursuing relationships rather than agendas.

Wherever you speak out against sin, help people overcome it.

Be clear about God’s moral standards and do not compromise them, but at that same time, offer ministries to those currently living in darkness.

For example, rather than simply preaching against sexual immorality, serve people in the community who are suffering from AIDS.

Genuinely listen to people living in sin. Take an interest in their lives and seek to understand their perspectives. Affirm any beliefs they have that are biblical, such as a New Ager’s concern for the environment.

When talking with people about God, use persuasion rather than force. Pray for them; that is how the real power will come into their lives.

Accept diversity. Know that God loves diversity because He has designed His creation to be diverse.

Understand that someone’s personal preferences can differ from yours, but he or she can still be living biblically.

For example,

don’t expect all Christians to necessarily vote Republican or have large families.

Offer a dynamic sense of community in which God’s unconditional love is always present,

As well as encouragement and support to grow in holiness.

Can you walk freely to the fate of the cross? Can you lay your life down as Jesus did?

Jesus is saying…. I cheerfully die to compensate to

Pay all costs … for the sins of men,

Jesus Christ came to this earth, was born of a woman and died on the cross for one reason, so that you and I may become acceptable before the God the Father.

He teaches us the ultimate sacrifice of Love, TO GIVE YOUR LIFE.

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