Hope in Relationships

Faith Church September 6, 2009 Romans 8:18-25

 

Introduction:

-  We are continuing our new series: Finding Hope in the Wonderful Counselor

- we all need hope at various times in our lives . . . every day!

- the issue is: Where are you going to go to get it?

- Our definition of hope is::

  • Hope = the anxious anticipation of good – (biblical perspective) vs. the world’s definition more as ‘an uncertainty of the outcome’

- that definition comes from Romans 8:18-25 [esp. v. 24-25]

  • Romans 8:24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

>  but we have HOPE because of Who God is, what He can do, and what He promised to do

-  We have to keep our focus on Jesus as the Wonderful Counselor and how He is greater than we could begin to comprehend. 

- and how He is abundantly qualified to guide and direct our lives because He is GOD!

-  So far, we’ve seen how we can have hope in the Questions He Asked

-  Last week, we focused on how we can find hope in Defining the Problem

- whatever the problem was (spiritual/physical), Jesus identified the problem and used words like:

  • Sinful
  • Mark 8:38 "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."
  • Adultery
  • Matthew 5:27 You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY';  28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
  • Foolish
  • Matthew 7:26 "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
  • Little Faith (unbelief) – doubting God
  • Matthew 6:30 "But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!

- Today, our study helps us Find Hope in the Relationships He Built

1.  Building relationships was/is a priority with Jesus!

- He knows (because He was involved in Creation) that relationship are a key to the heart of man

> and the fact that the God of heaven would even communicate with us is amazing

- but it’s not just about communication, it’s about a relationship!

- That’s why He said what He did in John 15:15:

  • John 15:15 "No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.

* Communication is a key to building good relationships!

- but someone has to initiate that communication because they think it’s IMPORTANT!

> and with the Wonderful Counselor, this was a very high priority

- in fact, you could argue that’s the whole point of REDEMPTION – to buy us back from the slave market of sin so He could have a relationship with us and us with Him

Note: That’s part of the point of John 3:16-17:

  • John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

- we also need to keep in mind that . . .

2.  People’s lives can be changed as a result of a good relationship (or negatively influenced through a bad relationship)

> even a world … or a church … or a family can be changed by building strong relationships

Input: What do you think about this quote?

“To influence someone, you have to get close.”The Jesus Habits, by Jay Dennis

- Let’s look at the life of the Wonderful Counselor and see how we can find hope in the relationships He built

I.  Hope: He Took the Initiative – John 4

- too often we wait for people to come to us instead of us going to them

- that’s NOT the way Jesus lived, nor do the Scriptures encourage us to live like that

- in fact, the OPPOSITE is true – we can find HOPE as we initiate building relationships w/others

A.  Began in the Genesis – Gen. 1-3

- God took the initiative and created man and then the woman

- we were made in His image and likeness (able to communicate and RELATIONAL beings)

- then when Adam sinned – he hid in the bushes

- then God took the initiative and asked Adam the question: Where are you?

B.  Continued throughout the O.T.

- God spoke to people more directly

  • Noah in building the ark – God spoke to him and told him what & how to do it
  • Abraham – God came to him and made a covenant with Abraham (Gen. 18) – the land, seed of Isaac, and blessing!
  • Moses to lead His people out of Egypt (i.e. burning bush)
  • David as the king of Israel as He inspired him to write many of the Psalms

All the prophets – God took the initiative and spoke to man throughout the OT telling them about the coming Messiah … the Wonderful Counselor Who was coming

C.  Confirmed at the birth of Christ – the Son of Man

- the Wonderful Counselor was clothed in human flesh!

- He didn’t come because we asked Him to – He was sent by the Father (John 6:57)

- upon His birth (His arrival) the magi came with gifts to honor the King that came to give His life a ransom for many!

- they weren’t there waiting for Him saying, “Come on Lord, hurry up and get here!”

- He came and then they went to greet Him

D. Evidenced by the life of Christ – John 4:1-42 [READ the passage]

[explain how the Jews hated the Samaritans - -1/2 breed Jews and culturally men did not publically address women in this manner]

- the fact that Jesus responded like this made it easier for her to open up to Him

- He knowingly and willingly approached her knowing the help she needed!

Lesson: Don’t wait for somebody to come to you – take the initiative and go to them!

IMPORTANT:  Apply that to our ABF and church family!

- if you really want to please God, you have to THINK like Christ and ACT like Christ

Key: As you minister to other people, you will find joy and satisfaction in knowing that God is pleased and He may bless you in a very unique way for your choices!

- you don’t do just to get the blessing, but He does bless obedience!

“You can more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two year by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie, Ibid

Note: Your initiative can make an impact on lives of others!

- look at what happened to her, and what happened when she went back to the city to tell everybody what happened

Point:* Taking initiative is an eternal investment!

Q: Where’s the hope in all this?

Answer:  The HOPE is you thanking the Lord He took the initiative with you and you can know Him as your Savior, Lord, and Friend … FOREVER!

- Another aspect of the example of the Wonderful Counselor is that we can find . . .

II.  Hope: He Showed No Partiality

- Jesus was no respecter of persons

- not only was this demonstrated with the woman at the well (Samaritan woman – John 4)

-but Jesus modeled this in Matthew 9:9-13

  • Matthew 9:9 As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector's booth; and He said to him, "Follow Me!" And he got up and followed Him.10 Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples.

- but keep reading and listen to the response He got from the Pharisees:

  • Matthew 9:11When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, "Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?"12 But when Jesus heard this, He said, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.13 "But go and learn what this means: 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Example: Our former Senior Pastor, Bill Goode, used to say:

“It’s easy to love the beautiful people!” – by that he meant the people we are comfortable with – people who think like we think, act like we act, where the same clothes, etc.!

- but that was NOT CHARACTERISTIC of the Wonderful Counselor

* Hope: God didn’t show partiality with you!

- in spite of your sins, rebellion, etc. – He looked past all that and in His sovereignty established a relationship with you!

- the third way to get hope from the wonderful Counselor is to realize that we have…

III. Hope: He Looked Beyond the Offense to the Need! * John 8:1-11 [READ]

- this adulterous woman was about to be stoned – her sin had become public knowledge

- while everybody else was ready to kill her, Jesus gave her hope by the way He handled the situation

Q: Was she guilty? YES

> Jesus never condoned what she had done

> He said to her “go and SIN no more” [speaking of defining the problem properly!]

Q: Was there hope for her to be different?  YES

- and knowing her heart, Jesus paved the way for her to change and gave her hope

Lesson: Keep your focus on how people can CHANGE by the grace of God!

 - really want you to think about this question:

Q: Do you really believe that God can change anybody?

Input: How does your view of God affect the way you view the sin of others?

  • God’s power can change anybody
  • God’s grace is sufficient
  • God knows what they are thinking (they can hide it)
  • God’s patient with us during the process

Hope: We can change and grow as well! – Even though we may deserve to face the consequences of our choices!

* Jesus did what He did out of love for you, and what you could be with His help!

IV.  Hope: He Modeled Unselfishness at All Times!

- No matter the circumstance, the Wonderful Counselor always thought of OTHERS!

- while Jesus was being crucified [explain the process of scourging before the cross, etc.]

- He had 2 other people being crucified with him (one on the right, one on the left)

- and while He was suffering and “becoming sin for us Who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21), He STILL demonstrated His servant’s heart

  • Luke 23:42 And he was saying, "Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!"43 And He said to him, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise."

- to build strong relationships and help others and please God, you CAN’T BE SELFISH!

- that’s why Jesus told His followers to ‘deny yourself’ (He modeled this)

- if you are a selfish person, you’ll have a hard time building relationships with other people

Hope: He humbled Himself to build a relationship with you!

>  Pride and strong relationships don’t go together – they are the exact opposite!

  • KJV Proverbs 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

> selfish people are usually not good at building strong relationships

- this is part of the reason Paul could write:

  • Philippians 2:2 Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus…

[explain the rest of v. 6-10 – how He suffered on the cross, was a bond-servant]

- because of His unselfishness

V.  Hope: He Modeled the Heart of a Servant – John 13:5-17 [READ]

- knowing that the He was about to be betrayed by all of them . . .He still washed their dirty feet

- while this ties in with our last point about being selfless . . .

- this is the ‘put on’ of the change process described in Eph. 4:22-24

Put Off

Put On

Selfish thinking

Unselfish thinking

Selfish actions

Unselfish actions

Selfish

Servant

>putting off being selfish, putting one being a servant!

Song:  [DON’T TRY TO SING IT – JUST QUOTE THE WORDS]

“Give me Lord a servant’s heart; here’s my life take every part; give me Lord a servant’s heart ... “

V.  Hindrances to our Hope in Relationships!

- we’ve talked about some of the positive aspects of how Jesus built strong relationships with others

Input: What are the some other obstacles to being like the Wonderful Counselor?

  • Too busy –not willing to take time to do
  • Wrong priorities – you don’t see it as important
  • Fear – past hurts so you don’t want to risk getting hurt again

Conclusion:

Q: Are you willing to BUILD relationships with others the way Jesus did?

Q: Are you thankful for His relationship with you?

Q: What needs to change in order for you to be more like the Wonderful Counselor?

- There is HOPE – an anxious anticipation of good – in recognizing how Jesus built relationships

- and there is HOPE in following His example so that …

1) He is glorified and

2) His people are edified and

3) Sinners come to know Christ as their Lord and Savior!

PRAYER TIME!


 

Finding Hope in the Wonderful Counselor

Hope in the Relationships He Built

 

Introduction:

1.  Building relationships was/is a ____________ with Jesus!

 

* ________________ is a key to building good relationships!

 

2.  People’s lives can be ____________ as a result of a good relationship (or negatively influenced through a bad relationship)

 

Input: What do you think about this quote?

“To influence someone, you have to get close.”The Jesus Habits, by Jay Dennis

 

 

I.  Hope: He Took the ____________ – John 4

A.  ____________ in the Genesis – Gen. 1-3

 

B.  ____________ throughout the O.T.

 

C.  ____________ at the birth of Christ – the Son of Man

 

D. ____________ by the life of Christ – John 4:1-42

 

Lesson: Don’t wait for somebody to come to you – take the ____________ and go to them!

 “You can more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two year by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie, Ibid

 

 * Taking initiative is an ____________ investment!

 

II.  Hope: He Showed No ____________

 

 

“It’s easy to love the beautiful people!”

 

* Hope: God didn’t show ____________ with you!

 

III. Hope: He Looked Beyond the ____________ to the ____________! * John 8:1-11

 

Lesson: Keep your focus on how people can ____________ by the grace of God!

 

Q: Do you really believe that God can change anybody?

 

Input: How does your view of God affect the way you view the sin of others?

 

 

 

 

Hope: We can ____________ and ___________as well!

 

IV.  Hope: He Modeled ________________ at All Times!

 

 

Hope: He ____________ Himself to build a relationship with you!

 

 

 

V.  Hope: He Modeled the Heart of a Servant – John 13:5-17

 

Put Off

Put On

Selfish thinking

_____________ thinking

Selfish actions

_____________ actions

Selfish

_____________

 

 

V.  _______________ to our Hope in Relationships!

Input: What are the some other obstacles to being like the Wonderful Counselor?

 

 

 

Conclusion:

Q: Are you willing to ____________ relationships with others the way Jesus did?

 

Q: Are you ____________ for His relationship with you?

 

Q: What needs to ____________ in order for you to be more like the Wonderful Counselor?

Faith Church