You've Got a Friend!
September 4, 2019
God is a God of relationship. He created human beings in order to have a relationship with them. He sent Jesus Christ to make the way for people to restore a relationship with Him because it was broken by sin, and we owed a debt only Jesus could pay. Everyone needs that relationship, and He calls us who know Him to invest in others and introduce them to a personal relationship with Jesus.
The importance of investing in people through friendship and then inviting them to a welcoming place to be introduced to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ cannot be overestimated. That’s why we have days like this Sunday: Friends Day! NewPointe is engaged in a partnership where we all serve one another so that our family and friends come to know Christ.
The Bible makes it clear that this is our calling, our responsibility, and our privilege.
- Jesus said, “Come and follow me and I will make your fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19
- I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. Philemon 6 NIV
- I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ. Philemon 6 NLT
- The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives. Proverbs 11:30 NIV
This week is a great opportunity to work at your calling to help introduce your friends and family to Christ. We believe that everybody spends forever somewhere. Jesus said that no one who has ever taken a breath will ever cease to exist. We will either live forever with God or without Him. I believe that the greatest gift we can give a friend or someone we love is the opportunity to experience the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.
We begin by investing in them. We build a bridge of love. We become friends with them, spend time with them, invite them to church and lunch. Meet them and sit with them. Work on the relationship throughout the week. You know, we talk a lot about random acts of kindness—they’re good. Nothing wrong with that. But that’s actually not what Jesus asked us to do. He calls us to do premeditated acts of mercy and friendship. We invest in people by doing for them what they haven’t deserved and might never even ask for. You even do it for people who are outside your circle.
You ask why? Because you cannot win your enemies or even people you don’t know to Christ. You can only win your friends. Before somebody’s going to accept Christ they’ve got to have a bridge to Christ. Before they want to know if Jesus is credible, they want to know if you are credible? Before they choose Jesus, they’re going to want to know if you will be their friend. Long before anybody comes to Christ, somebody’s got to befriend that person, invest in that person. You must win them to yourself before you win them to Christ. You must become a friend. That’s an act of premeditated mercy.
You have people in your life in whom you have invested. They are friends, but friends who don’t know Jesus in a deeply fulfilling way. This is the week to show the greatest act of friendship and help them take a step toward Jesus. Perhaps you know some people who are excluded from your circle and they would be surprised to get an invitation from you. Whether they come this week or not, don’t give up investing. Invite them to coffee or stay in contact as a friend. You may be the one best equipped to bring them to Jesus!
I have invited some people, and I trust you have as well. If you haven’t invited anyone, I want to encourage you to stop and ask God who you need to invite. It is the greatest invitation you can ever give. Here is a tool to help you: newpointe.org/toolkit
You can also let them know that this week we are kicking off a brand-new series called “Slow Your Roll.” It is for people who feel overwhelmed, overscheduled, and overextended. Tell them you need it and are looking forward to starting the fall by getting your life in better order and thought they’d like it too! Be sure to let them know you will meet them and sit together!
Friends Day. Let’s do it!