Summary: Life is stressful with strained and broken relationships at the core of our stress. God created us to be in relationships and in His Word we find key principles for relationship restoration. Join us as we go beyond restoration to hope.

Lakeview CHURCH November 16, 2014

Series - New Beginnings – Part 1

Humility . Grace . Hope

Relationship Introduction:

Walk on stage and on a big white easel board write: “Relationships” - Note: I will diagram the sermon on a large flip chart sheet as I preach.)

Turn and pause let that word sink in.

1-4 If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

5-8 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

9-11 Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father. Philippians 2:1-11 (MSG)

That is the plea from Paul in his letter to the Philippians found in chapter 2 verses 1-11.

Paul was calling out the people because he knew why each of us was created, given breath and life and what must happen for our lives to be fulfilled, full of joy with a since of purpose and completeness.

You see in Genesis we read of how God created the world, on the first day God created the light and separated the light and the darkness and saw it was good; on the second day God created the expanses separating the waters form sky which God called heaven and saw it was good; on the third day God gathered the water together leaving the land and called it earth and upon it God created vegetation and the trees and saw it was good; and on the fourth day God created the lights to be hung in the expanse of the sky, the sun, the moon and the stars and God saw it was good; and on the fifth day God created the birds of the air and the creatures of the sea and God saw it was good and blessed them; and on the sixth day God created the living creatures to roam on the land and God saw it was good, after creating all that we know is beautiful and perfect in this world God was not satisfied so on that sixth day as the crowning moment of creation God said, “Let us make man in our own image, after our own likeness,” and after God created man and women He saw that it was VERY GOOD!”

But notice what God said on that sixth day, “Let us . . . make man in our own image, after our own likeness.” You see before this world was spoken into existence, before there was a sky, the son or moon or stars, before there was land and birds and animals before there was any matter there was communion and community, there were relationships between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. At the center of the universe in eternity past there were relationships. In the Great Commandment Jesus told us, “To love the Lord God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. And to love your neighbor as yourself.” Friends, life and death and eternity is all dependent on Relationships.

(write above the word Relationships on the paper “It’s All About . . .”)

Psychologists, doctors and researches over the years have shown that humans are hard wired to connect. They could have saved a lot of money if they would have just read the Bible. Researches, using ultrasound technology, have observed twins in the womb offering comfort, with pats on the shoulder, when one or the other seems to be in distress. We have become so self indulgent that we have replaced relationships with things; houses, jobs, looks, cars, achievements, “the person who dies with the most toys wins” mentality. If God’s word is true than our satisfaction, purpose, and joy can only be fulfilled in relationships, otherwise why did Jesus die? I have never stood over a bed of a person close to their last breath who desired one more day to ride in their car, one more day to go fishing, one more day to make that sale, no they would take one more day to spend with their wife, children, grandchildren, it’s always and will ever be all about relationships. You see apart from relationships we have no way of knowing who we are or who we may become, no way of having joy, satisfaction or purpose.

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