Summary: This is the second sermon in a series of five to help my congregation become more outward focused. It is based on the church outreach program titled - "Outflow".
Hide and Seek – Overflowing Outreach
God wants to give us an overflowing life – an abundant life. Last week we focused in on John ten – ten where it says:
“I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance.” John 10:10 (HCSB)
If you recall we spoke of how the word abundance in the Greek actually means – an overflowing abundance. We talked about how God wants our lives overflowing with is His love, His joy and His peace. He wants our lives so affected by all the gifts He has to give to us – that it overflows into the lives of other people. That’s called outflow.
Today we want to discover the fact that we can not flow over into other people’s lives – unless we have a personal relationship with God Himself. Our ability to reach out always begins with the depth of our personal relationship with God. Let’s watch a video clip.
(This video clip is about a father talking about how he liked to play “Hide and Seek” with his children when they were growing up. He speaks about how much he enjoyed his children finding him.)
God wants us to have a relationship with Him. In fact just as the father in video enjoyed having his child find him – God wants us to seek Him too – He wants us to find Him. How many of you remember the verse from Matthew chapter seven where it says: "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” God wants us to have a relationship with Him. The next verse in Matthew says: “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 (NKJV) – that is a promise from God. If we seek Him – we will find Him – because God Himself will make Himself known to us. We were created to have a close relationship with God.
People have all types of relationships with each other. Some are good relationships some are not. Some are productive – some are not. This is true of human relationships, but it is also true of the relationships we have with God. Let’s talk about some negative relationships for just a moment then we will look at the type of relationships Jesus had with the people around Him.
We can be:
a. stingy and stuck-up – self absorbed
b. sour and legalistic – overbearing – an attitude which says, “My way or the highway.
c. angry and mean – angry at the whole world
d. uncaring and self-centered – we can have an attitude that says, “I just don’t care.
Would want to be around people with attitudes like this? These are not the attitudes that God wants us to approach Him with. Just as happiness in a marriage depends on how a husband and a wife relate to one another, so too, how we relate to God will determine our joy, our peace and our happiness. Being filled to overflowing depends on the kind of relationship you have with God. What kind of relationship do you desire to have with God? Let’s look for a moment at the relationship that Jesus had with the Father.
In John chapter ten and verse thirty Jesus says,
“The Father and I are one.” John 10:30
In John chapter fourteen verses eight and nine, Phillip says to Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus answers, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!”
These verses show that:
Jesus had UNITY and HARMONY with the Father.
Of course He did! According to the Bible, God is exactly like Jesus. Or you could say it the reverse way – Jesus is exactly like God. That’s because Christ is God in the flesh. Jesus is God in human form.
In Colossians chapter one and verse fifteen it says:
“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.” Colossians 1:15
Later in Colossians Paul says:
“Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.” Colossians 2:8-9
Christ is God in the flesh – the Father and Jesus were in harmony. What we are going to look at this morning is – how Christ relates to the people around him. That leads us to point one:
1. Jesus does relationships DIFFERENTLY.
We are going to look at four relationships Jesus had with people. Let’s start with:
If there is one thing that shows us that Jesus isn’t hung up on appearances, it’s the fact that Jesus chose Simon Peter – the fisherman – as the leader of His apostles. Running a fishing operation is a smelly, dirty and dangerous job. Handling fish and nets all day left Peter’s hands worn and calloused and I am sure when he went home he smelled like fish.