Accelerate 5 - Never Ride Alone

Pastory Doyle Jackson shares the importance of friendship.

Doyle Jackson
Oct 7, 2018    43m
In this sermon Pastor Doyle Jackson closes out the series Accelerate. He teaches us about the importances of friendship. He explains to us that God wanted us to have fellowship with others. This sermon gives a lot of thoughtful advice on what to to look for when making friends, and also tips on how to start a friendship. Video recorded at Columbus, Ohio.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Doyle Jackson: 00:05 Thanks for watching this message from The Church Next Door. We're thrilled that you're joining us online today. We'd love to have you stop by any weekend as well. We're located at 5755 Federal Road in Columbus, Ohio, and have services on Saturday evening at 5:00 and Sunday morning at 9:30 and 11:00. We hope to see you soon.

Speaker 2: 00:26 (Music plays.)

Doyle Jackson: 02:24 Now you know the truth, that's what some of us are doing during the week. Hey, we think church ought to be a lot of fun. And if you haven't been to church in a awhile, this is what church is like today. Alright?. It's a lot of fun. I'm glad you're here with us. Hey, we've been doing a series lately. This is the fifth part of that. We've called it accelerate because we wanted to talk about how could we get the most out of life? How can we celebrate life? And so we started five weeks ago. I can't believe it's gone so fast. Five weeks ago we started with this idea and we said, we need balance in life, you can't accelerate until you have balance. And we looked at how important our soul was. We've talked about the importance of being healthy, you cannot get the most out of life unless you're willing to deal with the health issue. And then last week we talked about our spirit, how we could be spiritually fit Well this last piece, is the social piece, so I want you to do me a favor. Alright? There are people right now that are watching us online. Would you applaud and welcome them to be a part of this? Awesome. Awesome.

Doyle Jackson: 03:31 Every week now, we have hundreds of people that are joining us through social media online. That's really exciting, it's exciting, the new avenues that God has opened up for us. Well this week we've got to talk about our social part of our life, because if you want to get the most out of life, friendships and relationships really are another piece to this puzzle of getting the most out of life. Because your relationships reflect your life, your relationships add value to you. They can detract from it, and we're going to talk about that too. We want to make sure that we look at the relationships in our life the way God wants us to, and we could get more out of it, so I'm glad you're here with me. If you would like to. Alright? You can pull out your phones, pull up the app, you can follow along, the notes are there. Can I tell you my number one reason for following along in the app? Is it has the correct answers. I wish I'd had that in high school, if I'd had that in high school, who knows what my grades would have been. But just get out your notes, let's follow along. This to me is really, really, key, and really important when it comes to relationships. In Genesis it says, "It is not good for man to be alone." That means that God doesn't want us to be lonely. God really cares about us, and he wants relationships to be an important part of our lives. And sometimes we think, well, that's not so important, but God doesn't feel that way. God feels that you are important, you shouldn't be lonely, and you need people in your life to add value. You need God in your life, and you need these relationships to encourage you, because it's these relationships that really add depth and meaning to who we are.

Doyle Jackson: 05:21 I can't imagine who I would be today, if it wasn't for my friends. See, my friends have influenced me along the way. They're the ones that have given me courage to take steps. My friends are the ones that that have said, you're going to make it through this. It's okay. My friends are the ones that have believed in me, and valued me. And see, your friendships, your relationships, the social part of your life, is just as important as these other pieces we've looked at. So I want us to really dive into this today, and really take a good look at it. I want to share something I learned from this most famous book. You've probably heard of it. Whether you've read it, I don't know. It's called How to Win Friends and Influence people, by Dale Carnegie. Did you know that it's one of the bestselling books of all times. It's sold over 27 million copies. That's a lot of copies folks. And on page 100, Dale Carnegie summarized his entire book in one sentence. You're like, oh, awesome, I don't have to buy the book. If you'll just tell me, pastor. He spent years researching how to win friends and influence people. He talked to literally thousands and thousands of people. He hired researchers to go into libraries, and read entire libraries to find the keys, the keys to friendship. They read every biography of all the major characters of that time. He said that together, he and his team read over 400 books on Theodore Roosevelt alone, just to look for the keys. Just one man, 400 books he read about him, trying to find out what are the keys to winning friends. On page 99 and 100, he summarizes it in one sentence, and this is it, so listen up. Philosophers have been speculating on the rules of human relationship for thousands of years, and out of all that speculation is evolved only one principle, one principle. It's not new, it's as old as history. Jesus taught it among the Stony Hills of Judea, nineteen centuries ago. Jesus summed it up in one thought, probably the most important rule in the world, do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. I want you to know everything that I'm going to talk about to you today, really revolves around that one principle that Jesus laid out.

Doyle Jackson: 07:59 You know, and most people around the world agree with that. Most people, doesn't matter what culture you go to, they agree. If you really want to do well in life, treat people well, and people will treat you well. If you're kind to people, people will be kind back. Will there be people that will be unkind? Yes they will. But guess what? Eventually your kindness will pay off. Your good nature will pay off. See the way you and I treat the world, will dramatically change how we receive the world around us, and how we do in life. Here at The Church Next Door, our mission is this, is to move people closer to God. It's about us helping people see that God cares about them. And then our vision is this, we say meeting people right where you are, the Jesus way. That's the relationship [inaudible] this way. That's why Jesus said you're to treat everyone around you, the way you want to be treated.

Doyle Jackson: 08:55 So every time you see our logo, you may look at it and say, well that looks like the four corners of a street, it's about the cross. It's about us having this right relationship with God, and this right relationship with the world around us. And you and I cannot do that, we cannot embrace the world around us until we know God well enough, when we receive this truth from him, and then we share that love that Jesus has taught us with the world around us. And friendships are key to that.

Doyle Jackson: 09:24 So I want to give you some principles that I believe are common knowledge, but we don't sit down and really kind of peruse them, and think about them. And so as we're going through, take some notes, you'll see how it's impacting your life right now. Take some notes. Who knows, who knows? You might walk away with something that you really think, oh, I've been doing that, or I need to start doing this. I believe there's two types of friends that we all have. Number one, we have casual friends. Casual friends are the result of circumstances. Now see, we all have these casual relationships. These are friends because you've got a locker near them at school, or your cubicle is near them, or you got a job, or whatever it is. You have these casual relationships, these casual friendships in your life, and those casual relationships can go further than that.

Doyle Jackson: 10:19 The Bible tells us this powerful story about a friendship that was built, and it started at this level, and it went deeper. It is the story of Ruth and Naomi. See Naomi's son married Ruth, but then her son and her husband died, and they were left in a hard place and they had a decision to make. Would they take that relationship to the next level? And they chose, in the midst of their grief, in the midst of their pain, not just to be a mother and daughter in law. They decided we're going to get through this together, and they chose that.

Doyle Jackson: 11:01 And that takes us to the second kind of friendship that we have, and that's what close friends are the result of a choice. Close friends are the result of a choice. You will not get a close friend without choosing to invest time, investing energy, investing money. See close friends come at a cost, and you have to choose to invest in that relationship. And when we read through the Bible, we find these kinds of friendships. Did you know that God says, the Holy Spirit will be your helper, the Holy Spirit of God will be your friend. That means if you and I want to have a relationship with God, we can have one, but we have to choose it. And I know a lot of people, they've never imagined, you mean I can have a real relationship with God? They've chosen a casual relationship with God. It's only when they're in church, or when they're with others. It's when they're in proximity, when circumstances are right. But see, a close friendship is developed, when you begin to invest in it, and you spend time with God, and you get to know God. See, you can have a close relationship with the living God. This is why we love the story of Jesus. He stepped into our world. Why? Fully flesh and blood to build a friendship with us. What did he do? He had campfires by the lake. Yeah, he walked on water, my friends haven't done that yet, but I'm looking forward to it. See, last night, one of my friends, Ms. Lynn, she sent me a text. She said, I loved your sermon, and I was thinking about this while you're talking about it. This is what she sent to me. She said, the gifts of the spirit are not medals of honor to glorify self, but tools for believers to win friends for Jesus. See the reason you and I welcome the Holy Spirit in our life, the reason we welcome the gifts of the spirit, is because God will give you words of knowledge, God will give you words of wisdom, God will give you faith to believe with your friend through a hard place. And when you and I have those kind of friendships, it adds value to them, value to us, and we can walk the road together. That's what God invites us to. God invites us to deep, meaningful, relationships with him, and with the world around us, and that's what it's about.

Doyle Jackson: 13:29 I like this, this is a fact. You need to make note of this in your mind. The closer I am to a person, the greater their impact and influence on my life. Therefore, I need to choose carefully. Therefore, I need to choose carefully. I know my Dad was really concerned about this when I was growing up. He'd say, son, be careful who you choose as your friends, it will really impact your life. He taught me these principles. He poured them into me. He said, son, be careful who you associate with. And it's true, the more time you spend with somebody, the more influence that they have. So of my closest friends, you know, what kind of people should they be? I like this verse from Proverbs 27:19. it says, "A mirror reflects a man's face, but what he is really like, is shown by the kind of friends he chooses." When I read that, I think about David, King David in the Bible, King David chose Jonathan. Now Jonathan was King Saul's son, and there should be no reason that they should have been friends. But David leaned into that relationship, and Jonathan leaned into that relationship. it added so much value. They made it through some of the hardest times in life, because of that friendship. If you want to know how to be a good friend, you say, I don't know how to be a good friend. Then go read Ruth. Go open up Samuel, and read the stories of David and Jonathan, how they treated one another. It's an outline, how to be the kind of friend that you need to be to somebody.

Doyle Jackson: 15:03 How about this verse also from Proverbs, "A righteous man is cautious in friendship." That means you and I, we need to look at our friendships. We need to evaluate who we're giving most of our time to, who we're spending our social time with. What kind of people are they? Now, be clear on this, God says that you and I are to love everybody. Say everybody. See, no one is left out in that, you're to love everybody, but that doesn't mean everybody gets all your time. That doesn't mean everybody gets to be your closest friend. Not everybody has the right to know your heart at that level. See, you can love everybody, but it doesn't mean they're your closest friends.

Doyle Jackson: 15:45 So I want to give you five kinds of people you want to be aware of. That the Bible says you and I need to be careful in our relationships.

Doyle Jackson: 15:52 Number one, I'm going to go through these quickly. Number one, lazy people. God says that you and I need to avoid lazy people. Now, if you're a lazy person, I just tell you today, on your way out leave it in the garbage. Just turnover a new leaf, I'm no longer going to be lazy. God, forgive me, I repent. But if you've been lazy, you need to abandon it. It will destroy you. It will enslave you to a life of unproductivity. You'll never accomplish anything if you're lazy. You need to abandon it.

Doyle Jackson: 16:26 Number two, are angry people. Please do not invest your time in angry people. They're anger will bleed off on you, and you'll become angry and dissatisfied, and it will blow up your life.

Doyle Jackson: 16:37 Number three, immoral people, immoral people. Immoral people believe that they can do no wrong, so they're unethical in nature. So they'll do things like, an immoral person believes it's okay to lie, believes it's okay to steal, believes that sexuality is for their own pleasure. An immoral person doesn't believe that there are standards for the way you treat other people, and that will bleed into your life, and they will challenge you. That's why we read Proverbs, because then an immoral person is always going to invite you, and entice you to steal from somebody else, to take from somebody else, to take advantage of other people. You do not want these kinds of friends, because when people look at you, they'll think, well, he or she is just like them. It rubs off on you.

Doyle Jackson: 17:23 Number four, greedy people. Don't let greedy people be your friends. Say, I'm sorry, I got something else to do. Find a new path to take, because we're going to run into greedy people, that's not going to stop. Okay?

Doyle Jackson: 17:39 And then the last one is, unbelieving people. Unbelieving people. Now, some Christians say, but I thought we're supposed to win people to Christ. You are. I didn't say you couldn't know them, and have acquaintances with unbelievers. You are called by Christ Jesus to reach out and love unbelievers, but your number one friend, your best friend should not be someone who doesn't respect God. Who doesn't believe that there is an order to the world in which we live, and a rhyme and reason and a purpose for life. Because see, out of that purposefulness, we have purpose, and that will bleed into your life. So you want believers in your life as your best friends, and then you're reaching out to unbelievers, and those acquaintances, and challenging them to get to know the love of the whole universe, the creator. Alright?

Doyle Jackson: 18:35 Now, how do you choose friends? I want to go back to what I said earlier. Alright? I'm going to give you a secret to Doyle's dating life. This is long past in my history. Okay? But I learned something about dating, and this is what I learned. I learned that most of the time when you went on a date, it was all pretend. We put on our nicest clothes. We'd make ourselves smell nice. We'd make ourselves look nice. We put our best foot forward, but we weren't honest, you know what I'm saying? We'd be nice, and say pleasant things all evening, and when you got done you saw that person at their best moment, and not what they were truly like. And so I determined that I would not approach dating from that perspective. So I created a whole new formula for dating, and I called it gang dating. Alright? So this is what I'd do. I'd say to my roommate, hey, you want to go out tonight? He said, sure. I'd say to him, do you mind if I invite some girls? And they're like, no, invite some girls that's great. I said okay, see if one of the guys across the hall wants to go with us. And then he would go and see if one of the guys. I said, I'll take care of getting the girls. Alright? And I get on the phone and I'd start calling. I would say, hey, Nick and Tom and I are going to go out, would you like to go with us? And I'd work until I could get three or four girls that wanted to go with us. Alright? Then we go to a movie, and the whole time in this casual, casual way, I was getting to know them. I was observing what kind of ladies they were Alright? And then I started picking the right guys, that the girls want to go with too. See what I'm saying. And then after we went bowling, or we went to a baseball game, or we did something like that. Then I would throw in the real kicker, I would say, hey, Nick and I are signed up to go help the people at the homeless shelter, would you like to go? That was the first round of the real test, you know what I'm saying? The girls that didn't want go to the homeless shelter, they went down on the "B" list. Okay. They stayed casual acquaintances. And then the girls that went to the homeless shelter, I watched how they treated people that were in a hard place. I was evaluating their compassion level. Folks, we would volunteer at hospitals, we did all sorts of things. And in those environments, I found out who the quality people were, so they could make it to the second cut. See, I know way too many people who take people from casual to close, and they've never really thought about what they're doing.

Doyle Jackson: 21:31 So I want to give you three keys, three keys, to finding great friendships. Okay?

Doyle Jackson: 21:37 Number one, you might want to write this down, I look for people that stimulate me mentally. I look for people that have challenging ways of thinking about life, and doing things differently, I love people that are creative. I love it when someone has a different perspective on life for me. That's why I've got people from all kinds of backgrounds. I love people from all over the world. I love different kinds of food, all sorts of things. Okay? You want to know who some of the people who are most stimulating to me now, at this time in life? My boys. My sons have grown up to men, and it's so neat, because they challenge me mentally. They will say, hey dad, have you heard this song? They send me music, they send me YouTube videos, you've got to listen to this podcast. They're constantly challenging me in the way I think. Some of you heard Pastor Dave Holdren recently. He came and preached for me. And he's one of those friends that I like to go, and he'll stimulate me. He said, have you read this book? He's thinking, he's challenging the way I think. Who are the people in your life that are challenging your thought patterns? We've got some real sickness going on right now, you've got to only think like me to be my friend, ain't working.

Doyle Jackson: 22:57 Number two, this is what I look for. I look for people who can support me emotionally. I'm looking for people that have what I call emotional intelligence. Someone that has the ability when they're with you, to figure out what's going on in your life, because they're not just always thinking about themselves. They have the ability to imagine what it's like that you're going through. When our boys were small, we had these friends, Harvey and Tina. And they knew it was hard, they knew we didn't have any extra shekels in our wallet. And I remember Harvey would call me, and he say, hey Doyle, Tina and I would like to take you to dinner for tonight. Can you find a babysitter? I said, I'll find a babysitter. If you're buying, I was thinking the neighbors, we'll just knock on the door, and leave them there on the porch. You know what I'm saying? They'll recognize them, and take them in until we get home. See, listen, listen. I was so thankful that I had someone that knew what it was like to raise children, and cared about me. And they would listen over dinner, and we would listen to them, and we would talk about life. And we would just have fun for a couple hours with somebody. Yesterday, Jennifer and I went to breakfast, we were on a date. And we're sitting there, and this family, they had three children. I told Jennifer, it took them twenty minutes to pack up to leave. I was feeling for them, you know what I'm saying? And I was thinking, wow, if they only had a Harvey and Tina in their life, if they had a Harvey and Tina and their life. Can I say something? If you're lonely today, if you're lonely and you're hurting, tell God. Say, hey God, I need some help. You don't want me to be alone, and I don't want to be alone anymore, would you bring me a friend. Just say a prayer like that. And you need to look. This is why we have small groups in this place. Some of you've been coming for years, and you've heard me say again and again and again, you need to be in a small group. And you keep saying in your mind, I'll do that eventually, why not today? How long do you have to keep going? I'm telling you, I have so many wonderful friends that God has brought into my life, people I don't even deserve. He'll do the same for you.

Doyle Jackson: 25:58 Third quality I look for, you might write this down too. People that strengthen me spiritually. People who strengthen me spiritually. First Thessalonians 5:11 says, "Encourage one another, and build each other up." Encourage one another. Hebrews 10:24. It says, "Stir one another on towards love and good deeds." This is why I've gone to small group. This is why I build relationships. This is why I encourage you. Listen to this week, this week, I went with Brian. we went to breakfast. I said, hey Brian, can we go to breakfast? I got this new sermon series I'm working on, and I want to ask you some questions, I want to get your input. I want to do a sermon series about freedom, because Jesus came to set us free, and I want us to talk about the freedom that comes in Christ Jesus. Give me your thoughts. And I just sat at breakfast, and took notes, as I listened to Brian. I asked him questions, and we challenged. He was mentally challenging me. He knew exactly emotionally where I was at. And then spiritually, he was saying, we've got to help people know this. We've got to get this to them. And do you what? I walked out of breakfast, I don't think I was touching the ground. I got back to the office, I had a pile of work like that, just to went right down. Took care of it in no time. Why? Because I was filled by this relationship.

Doyle Jackson: 27:12 Let me tell you something, friendships are like the cherry, the whipped cream, the hot fudge, I don't know what you like best on the top. Okay? Friendships are that added extra in life, and you know what? You get to pick them. You get to pick the topping. You get to say, I think that person will be a great fit. Then you start investing, and you build into them. The next thing you know, you've got a friend.

Doyle Jackson: 27:44 I'm going to give you in closing really quickly, I want to give you eight things that will help you build a friendship. Okay? These eight things, they all fit within what Jesus said. Okay? Love people as you want to be loved. Okay? Treat people the way you want to be treated.
Doyle Jackson: 28:02 The first one is this, number one, be interested in others. Just show interest in other people. Just show interest.

Doyle Jackson: 28:12 Number two, smile. It's amazing what that'll do to build friendships. I can tell you this, Jennifer has taught me more about smiling. She's always happy. She's always smiling. People will just talk to her because she's happy. People will talk to you if you, if will smile at them. If you say, well, I'm just not that kind of person. Okay? Let me help you bring it out, just a little bit. Okay? I want you to just to close your eyes and imagine you're a teenager again. See, get your inner teenager happy. Start smiling. Kids can have fun just with a video game, and being together. Look what they did with Carpool Karaoke. Just have some fun, turn on some music, go get a milkshake. Sit at McDonald’s, and enjoy the sunshine, and smile.

Doyle Jackson: 29:10 Number three, don't complain. If you want to get rid of your friends, be grumpy. Grumpy people, that's the best way to get rid of people in your life. Can I tell you something? If when I say that, you're like, oh my gosh, I've lost all my friends. I am grumpy. Before you leave today, the trash can is right there. Just drop your grumpiness in. We don't want you to put it on the altar, it will stain the carpet, but you can leave it in the biohazard trash can on your way out.

Doyle Jackson: 29:48 Number four, number four, listen. You know, everybody likes to be listened to. Everybody likes for you to listen to them, and to accept them, and to respond to them. So listen to people.

Doyle Jackson: 30:03 Unconditional acceptance is number five, unconditional acceptance. That means when you're listening to them, you're willing to be transparent. And you're looking at them, and you're saying, wow, I haven't been through that experience. but it sounds to me like it's really hard. Or you might be able to say, oh man, I was through something similar. See when you're listening to somebody, you're trying to identify with their experience, and you see where they're broken. And you're just saying to them, wow, I've been broken too. I'm a broken person too, and all I can tell you is God's going to help us through this. See, that's what real friends do. Some of us don't know how to be real friends, because we can't just accept people. And let me tell you, there's healing, there's healing in the community that goes on like that. There's healing when you're part of a group of people that are doing life together, and you're sharing life together. And there's this honesty, and integrity, and they know.

Doyle Jackson: 31:14 Honor people, honor people. Number six, honor them. This week we went to dinner with friends to celebrate a birthday. It was a big birthday, it's a zero on the end, you know what I'm saying? When you get to a certain part of life, those zeros mean things. Because we're like, oh no, I can't believe I've climbed this high on the mountain. You know? And just doing life together. But this is what happens. Let me tell you something. When you're listening to people. And you're doing life together with them, and you're accepting people. These are the kind of conversations that go on. You speak into their life, and you say, you know, I respect you so much. That needs to become a part of all of our vocabulary. I respect you. What was the last time you said that to somebody? How about this? When you're building a friendship, and you say to them, you know, I value you so much, you mean so much to me. I can't imagine where I would be without you. I mean these friends that we went out with the other night, we've spent twenty years together. We have twenty years of history together, twenty years of doing life together, a choice again and again and again to re-up. See, when you really connect with people, you begin to say, man, I know you, and I know that was important to you, that you got to do that. I know that's not me. Okay? I would never like that, but I know you love that. Tell me more about it. See you're listening, you're accepting, you're, drawing it out of them. Friends bring the best out of one another, not the worst, the best. Because they want what's best for them. Alright?

Doyle Jackson: 33:07 Sympathize. Friends sympathize. They know those feelings. That's why I use some of those words, they know life together.

Doyle Jackson: 33:15 And the number eight, they stick with one another. You stick with them. I mean I've watched friends go through difficult places, losing jobs, relationships falling apart, and when you stick with people through the ups and downs of life. And when I talk about sticking with people, I mean the ups too. Do you give your friends a high five, when they get an award, do you go to celebrate with them? Are you happy for them when they get a new car? Or do you look at it and go, man, that should be mine. That's jealousy, that's not right. See, friends stick through life.

Doyle Jackson: 34:00 Here's the last one, number nine, probably the most important one. They share Christ with them. I love this from Luke 8:39, it says, "Tell them how much God has done for you." See, when you love your neighbor as yourself, you're listening, you're sharing, you're sticking together, you're accepting them. See, all these things go into it. It's all put together in that one principle. Jesus made things so clear, so clear. All you've got to do is answer this question, is that the way I want to be treated? Is that the way I want to be treated? If the answer is no, don't treat people that way.

Doyle Jackson: 34:42 Now, as we close today, I want to invite you to say a prayer. Alright? It's in your notes. It says, I can see that loneliness is not a part of God's will. Good friends are. God help me to work together with you, to make good friend choices. God bring healthy people into my life. Finally, help us here at The Church Next Door, to be the best kind of friends to each other. As you think about that, how would that change the way you lived? Let's say that together, if you're willing, I can see that loneliness is not a part of God's will. Good friends are. God help me to work together with you, to make good friend choices. God bring healthy people into my life. Finally, help us here at The Church Next Door, to be the best kind of friends to each other. Amen.

Doyle Jackson: 35:39 At this time, some men and women are going to come to serve you communion. And while they're coming, I want to talk to you about this, because it's really important. The Bible tells us that on the night that Jesus was betrayed, he sat down with his twelve best friends. It says, that Jesus knelt down, and he washed their feet. And he served them on that night. And on that night he knew the not everything was perfect with all twelve. Yet, he still loved them, and he said, guys, I want you to know this. Wherever you go, wherever you go from now to eternity. Men and women, young people are going to gather all over the world and they're going to take a cup of wine and they're going to take some bread. And I want them to remember that I came to cross this bridge, to build this relationship with humanity. And I want them, wherever they go, to build more and more friends, to do this in remembrance of me. I want to break down all the anxiety, all the hatred, all the anger, I want to bring people into real healthy relationships. So when you and I come to communion, it's not a ritual, it's not some old tradition, it's a reminder. Jesus died for me, and he died for me, that I can have a relationship with the creator of the universe. That I could know God, that I can love God, so that my body, soul, and spirit could be healthy. So that I could be a friend with other people. So you may need to leave some things in the trash can today. Come and dip that bread in, and say, Jesus, I thank you that you were broken for me. I receive the joy of this covenant. You say, I've never received communion in my life. It's okay. As you dip that in and say, Jesus, I believe in you, I'm trusting you, I can't do this without you. And receive this as the gift of God, for the people of God. That's what this is about. We do it in remembrance of Jesus. We do this in remembrance of him, and the grace of God. Lord bless this cup, bless this bread, and God, teach us how to be the best kind of friends that share your hope in Jesus' name. Amen. There are stations at the back of the room, at the front of the room. Come receive God's love for you, no pressure, but it's for all who want to receive.

Doyle Jackson: 39:12 Hey, if you're watching online right now, I want to tell you this. You can receive communion right there in your home. Just come to Jesus today. I don't care if you have grape juice and bread, or if you have Coke and Doritos, come to him and say, God, I need your love in my life, and I do this with The Church Next Door right now, because I believe that Jesus came for me. Give God a moment in your life. As you grab a seat around the room, just thank the Lord. And this is your communion with him, this is your communion with one another, that's what this is about. Communion is a fellowship with God's people. It's a fellowship that God so loved the world that he gave his one and only begotten son, that whoever believes in him, would not perish but have eternal life. That is God's gift for you and I. If you need someone to serve you, to come to you, just kind of raise a hand, get eye contact. They'll bring it to you right now. You can go ahead and receive that now if you'd like to. Whenever you're ready, you go ahead and receive.

Doyle Jackson: 41:15 Can I tell you? If you're a part of a small group, this is one of my favorite parts about being a part of a small group, when we will gather and have communion together. Because then it's the people in my small group that are praying with me. I've watched you guys, and I know I see you going up to receive communion from the people that you're in small group with. Your picking your lines according to who you know, because communion is very personal, it's a friendship thing. This is what we want you to know before you leave today. You are valuable to God. You're valuable to God. He wants a relationship with you, and he wants you to have a relationship with other people that's healthy, and that adds value to your life. So you can have more strength, more joy, and you can share the hope of Jesus Christ to other people.

Doyle Jackson: 42:06 So before you leave today, we want you to hang out on the patio, have a hot dog. You can just spend some time together. We thought it would be wrong of us to tell you need to have friends, and not give you time to make friends, and so that's what we're doing today. We also, we have the mugs, because we want you to take them and give them to somebody. We really believe that God has called you to build relationships with the people around us. So that's why these mugs are sitting out. You're to have them, and to take and giveaway. If you say, man, I would like to have one for myself. Well talk to them at the resource center, they'll sell you one I'm sure, they're sweet people. But go today knowing that God loves you, that you're valuable. I want to thank you for meeting us here today. I pray that you would cover our hearts and minds, God, you'd bring healing to the loneliness in our lives. And God where we have failed, lift the burden that we feel, so that we can trust you for the new day. In Jesus' name, Amen. Amen. God bless you. Have a great day.

Sam Overla: 43:11 We hope you are encouraged and challenged to grow in your relationship with Jesus by this message. If you like to learn more about The Church Next Door, stop by our at Or look for us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Recorded in Columbus, Ohio.
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