Summary: This is a sermon that I delivered at a Church Picnic. It is about finding God in the love of a friend and letting others find God in you.
Finding God, Isaiah 55:6
I heard a story recently about a man who was playing hide and seek with his two year old daughter. They were upstairs in his house and the little girl had decided to hide into one of those closets with the folding doors. When he called, “Where’s Shelley?” there was no answer. Instead, a little arm came out and a finger pointed down the hall.
Sometimes in life it feels as though we are playing hide and seek with God. Contemporary Christianity often speaks about an intimate-personal relationship with God.
The Bible tells us that God is near. In Psalms 73:28 it says, “But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.” (ESV)
This morning I going to talk about one of the many ways that we can be near God and enjoy His deep abiding presence in our life. Today, as we share in a time of fellowship and food, let us be reminded that fellowship and friendship can, in fact, be a form of worship and adoration to God.
Scripture: Read Luke 5:1-11
In this passage Peter and his friends decide to leave behind their fishing nets to follow Jesus. Listen again to verse 11, “When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.” (Luke 5:11 NASB)
God is calling us to do a very similar thing. He is calling us to leave behind the entanglements of the world, the trappings of our past, and sin of our present. He is calling us to set those things aside and together follow him.
A woman in our church said to me recently that she believes that fellowship and the social aspect of church is important. I agree with her so much that I am actually convinced that we can find God in each other.
God’s primary means of expressing his comfort and love to us is through other people. Our hands are His hands if yield ourselves to His service.
Our Christian life should be characterized by strong fellowship and lasting friendships. One of the many ways that we find God is in one another. As God reveals Himself to us, He uses our lives to make Himself available to others… through the love and friendship that we share together.
A friend, just like God, is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you today just the way you are. God’s perfect love is found in the friendships that we have with imperfect people.
But if all we ever do is keep that friendship and love for ourselves, we will only fulfill half of the call of God. And we will miss out on so much of the blessing that God has given us in one another.
For most of us, it’s really not that hard to believe that God make Himself known to us through our friends. But what about those who we don’t know yet? What about those who are different from us? What about those who God has called us to love even though they make us uncomfortable?
Rebecca Manley Pippert, a prominent authority in the area of Christian evangelism, wrote, “Christians and non-Christians have something in common: We’re both uptight about evangelism.”
We are not the only ones trying to find God. We live in uncertain times and people are searching for the truth. Psalms 119:160 says, “The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.” (NASB) John 17:17 says, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” (NASB)
Ultimate truth is found in the pages of Scripture where it tells us that God loves us even though we are imperfect according to God’s standards and where it also tells us that God loves them, even though they may be imperfect according to our standards.
Erwin W. Lutzer wrote, “Mass communication can aid in personal evangelism and the development of Christians, but it cannot be a substitute for the world seeing the truth lived through us.”
You see, words are just not enough. While inviting others to church is a good place to start, inviting them to see the love God in you is even better. Let your love for them be an invitation in itself. The love of God in you is the light that guides them to His grace.
God is calling us to love others so that in our love for them they can find Him. No matter whom they are. Just as we find God in the love that we share together, we are being called to let others find God in us.
There is an old Christian adage which says “each one, reach one.” You don’t have to be a great Christian thinker, scholar, theologian, or communicator to reach one. All that is required is a sincere heart toward God and a willingness to be used by God.
If you want to find God, find him in a friend. And if you want to find a practical way to serve God, be a friend to someone else. Let them find Him in you.
Let Us Pray