…to give your friends a bigger place in your life’s decision making process
if you are a friend of faith to someone, wouldn’t you consider them in the decisions that you take regarding your life? Is there space for them? Isn’t that what it means to love your neighbour as yourself?
We looked last Sunday at how being OR having friends of faith can seriously change your life.
Here is the power point as a PDF:
and here is the message which is about 35 mins:
And some of my notes:
The changes we are hoping to see require us to put ourselves in a place where God can influence us and be involved in our transformation
More than being members we are all people who are looking to be born again into the love of God.
Why do I say that: because there is in our culture as I am sure there is in many spiritual communities a tendency to identify membership with salvation. Several problems with this, such as complacency, making what we believe more important than how we live,
Strictly speaking salvation is experienced in our heart. For St. Paul, he felt constantly renewed by God’s spirit whether he was with friends or in being chased, or in chains. It was not an outward matter.
As Unificationists we teach about not only spiritual salvation, but also physical salvation.
And we also teach that from studying the bible the two are meant to be experienced together.
How do we put spiritual renewal at the heart of our culture ?
Often we could avoid things changing for the worse, and instead be supporting change for the better if we were all more open to each other’s fellowship.
Fellowship is not superficial friendship, but is a friendship that involves us being mindful of how God wants to use us to uplift eachothers life, that is rooted in our common love of our parent in heaven.
If only Jacob had had a small group, he may have not ended up with a limp.
We have 100s and 1000s of friends on facebook, but how many close friends do we have that we can be intimate with?
I never joined up or made a commitment to where a badge, to be a member, but I joined up because of new life. The possibility of a new life. I found it, but I am still having to cooperate with God to build it.
It is simple to slip back into the old life. There is something incredibly refreshing, invigorating, uplifting, about finding God in one’s heart, and feeling cleansed, and renewed.
The simplest things become moving moments, like washing your hands in warm water.
Relationships feel straight forward.
And so, here I am attempting to build that new life, that kingdom that I experienced errr…..with you.
That is a v different reality than when as an individual I experienced God’s grace.
(St. Paul’s letter)
I often don’t know what to do.
But when I look at Paul’s rel. with those that he wrote to, they lived shared lives, which allowed them to continue to grow and change.
One of the problems we have is that because we believe in human responsibility, and we believe God has a plan for all of us to become Christ like and also that we live in a time when the gate has been opened to heaven on earth, we tend to expect a lot of one another, whether it is one thing or another, they should know better, do better, be better.
That is a great thing in one sense that we have high standards, but our ability to be compassionate, to be embracing is often not all there.
Keys to great friendship: genuine interest in others, invest in others.
So often we think friendship is about getting people to be interested in others, but it never works.
“You will make more friends in two months by being genuinely interest in other people than you will in two years trying to get people to be interested in you.”
Dale Carnegie, how to win friends and influence people.
The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out. proverbs
Give your friends a place in your decision making