Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Relationships are at the core of who we are as human beings. It really is what makes life worth living. When we have deep, meaningful relationships with God and other people it puts our lives in order and helps us deal with the difficulties of life

What kind of relationships do you have? Are they deep, fulfilling and committed or are they shallow, hollow and flighty. I ask this question as we continue our series on “The Life you always wanted.” Relationships are at the core of who we are as human beings. It really is what makes life worth living. When we have deep, meaningful relationships with God and other people it puts our lives in order and helps us deal with the difficulties of life. In our society that is not often the case. Most relationships today are superficial, lacking any depth and sadly that can describe relationships within the Church. Many relationships in the church never go beneath the surface. In fact many conversations go a lot like this: (TIM)

Unfortunately that really hits close to home. That’s not what God intended for his people to experience. There was once a group of people that were committed to radical relationships, not just with God but also with each other. Look at Acts 2:42-47

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Notice that it says that they were devoted to developing their relationship with God and devoted to building relationships with each other. This was a radical kind of existence. Never before had the world seen a group that was totally devoted to these things. In fact notice that because of their example they “enjoyed the favor of all people” and the favor of God” (verse 47).

Our world today rarely gets a chance to experience this level of relationships.

Just like the believers in the early church, our decision to receive Christ puts us into a relationship with Him and all who believe. God made us to be relational beings, One of our deepest needs is to be loved. God did not make us a new creation in Christ to be alone. So he developed a new community that was first:

Made to Relate to Him

1 John 4:7-10

“Dear Friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love; not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His son as an atoning sacrifice for our Sins.”

God knew though that for us to thrive we need companions along this journey. He recognized in Genesis 2:18 that “it is not good for man to be alone.”

Second, we were:

Made to Relate to one another

1 John 4:11-12

“Dear Friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.”

For us to truly relate to either we must become real

How does that happen? How do we become real?

Read the Velveteen Rabbit

Our greatest need is to become real in our relationships with God and each other. The first believers after receiving Jesus as their Lord and Savior devoted themselves to learning God’s word and to loving one another in fellowship. In addition to committing ourselves to following and obeying the Lord and His word, my greatest desire is that we become a people who are becoming real in relating to one another and to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The problem is that we isolate ourselves from one another. We separate ourselves from each other by putting a layer of protection around ourselves so that the real “us”- our needs and our anxieties, never touch the real part of anybody else. The example of the first believers tells us that they did just that look at verse 45 . In order for each one to receive what they needed they had to be vulnerable enough to admit that they had a need.

You will never fully know how much God loves you until become vulnerable and allow His love to flow to you through His people. Don’t let selfishness and pride separate you from others in the Body of Christ. You need that encouragement and support.

Let us break through that “Layer to Layer” fellowship and have “Heart to Heart “Fellowship. Too often- and men are the guiltiest of this- we protect ourselves so securely that we put our hearts in a box. We don’t want to be hurt. We don’t want anyone to know the “real” us because we’re fearful that they won’t accept the real “Us” if they knew us. What we don’t realize is that we are killing ourselves- emotionally and spiritually by isolating and withdrawing from one another.

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