July 20, 2010

Axiom: Found People Find People (Part 1)

In this past week’s sermon, we began our new message series AXIOM, where we’re looking at five unmistakable signs of a growing relationship with Jesus.

I began this message series by sharing the first axiom we’ll look at…

I think this AXIOM is too often ignored by churches today - and I mean the people who make up the church.

What I am talking about is simply INVITATION!

Invitation to a worship service, invitation to small groups, invitation to volunteer, invitation to a meal, invitation to return again, or an invitation to BE A PART of the body of Jesus Christ, which we call THE CHURCH!

It is ridiculous how people who have encountered Jesus and chose to follow him are reluctant to invite others to experience Jesus too.

I hope you'll take a minute (OK - a FEW minutes) to read three short stories where the Bible emphasizes this axiom - FOUND PEOPLE FIND PEOPLE.

  • John 1:35-42 The story of Andrew , meeting Jesus firsthand, then finding his brother Peter and inviting him to come and meet Jesus, too.
    Key verses are John 1:41-42 “The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, 'We have found the Messiah’(that is, the Christ) and he brought him to Jesus.”
  • John 1: 43-49 The story of Phillip, meeting Jesus 1st hand, then finding his friend Nathaniel and even after inviting him to meet Jesus and receiving some push back, persisted for Nathaniel to “come and see” for himself.
    Key verses are John 1:45-46 “Phillip found Nathaniel and told him ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote- Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph’ ”
  • John 4:7-42 The story of the Samaritan Woman meeting Jesus at the well and running back to town to invite all the towns people to “come and see” Jesus .
    Key verses are John 4:28-29 “Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?’ “

What each story has in common is that each person (Andrew, Phillip, & the woman) only encountered Jesus for a VERY brief period of time before they knew they HAD to tell SOMEBODY what they had found for themselves!

Whether it was a conversation at a well, or spending the afternoon talking together, all of these stories show that each person only had a short time with Jesus. Yet this time, as brief as it may have been, had tremendous impact on each one. Nothing replaces a personal, face to face encounter with someone. It’s different than an email, a letter, or even a phone call. You can hear the tone of their voice, watch the body posture and hand gestures as they talk, you can see it in their eyes…what’s that old quote, “the eyes are the windows to the soul”. WOW! Imagine hearing Jesus speak as you are looking him in the eyes. He listens intently as you ask the questions you have been struggling with, as you share with Him about your doubts, fears, dreams, hopes.

Never underestimate the power or change that can occur when a person has an encounter - a personal experience - with Jesus. No mater how long that encounter is, it’s important.

Jesus found these very diverse people, their paths crossed, and Jesus invited them to meet and spend some time with Him. Then they found others.

I was found by Jesus, and that makes me a found person… and it started with an invitation.

Found People Find People

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