When the world becomes flesh – Fred Henry

Friend of God? … friend of sinners? … friend of this world?
HOW navigate that challenge?

Scriptures today provide the topic …

WHEN THE WORD BECOMES FLESH
John 1:1, 14; 3:16-17

“LIVING INCARNATIONALLY” – what Jesus did, and what we continue to do …
…  in his name … by his Holy Spirit.
His Story and Our Story become One Story!
“THE DISCIPLE’S RELATIONSHIP TO LOST PEOPLE”

But what terms can we use to describe people of this world who are not walking with God?
“People … who do not yet know God who made them and loves them.”

The bigger question …
HOW CAN WE REACH OUT TO THEM?
3 Words that shine through our scripture texts for today … LIVE … LOVE … GIVE

The Word became flesh and MADE HIS DWELLING AMONG US.
We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son,
who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.  – John 1:14

LIVE among them! – what Jesus did (WWJD) and does through you and me!
Life among lost people – both including as well as incarnating.
•    When they “come” to us, we welcome and include them! …
… in our lives … our family … our circles …our church.
•    When we “go” to them, we live among them!  – life becomes an “INCARNATION.”
Difference between infiltration and incarnation? … openly live among them so that they know!
“On Common Ground”- Intentional positioning of ourselves with people of this world!
the conception and birth of GENESIS! … not so much our ground as common ground!
A holy challenge!  – “Singing the Lord’s song in a foreign land”  (Daniel)
•    Mutuality!  – common interests and concerns – share together in life with lost people.
•    Intentionality!  – living on purpose!  … Jesus’ purpose!  … YOURS?

For God so LOVED the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  – John 3:16

LOVE them! – what Jesus did and continues to do through you and me!
•    Pray for them! – intercede! – Prayer lists … Prayer walks among them
•    (individually and together)
•    Pray with them!
… Put prayers into ACTION! …
For God so loved the world that he GAVE his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  – John 3:16

GIVE yourself to them! – what Jesus did and does today through you and me!
Is there a difference between GIVING and SHARING?  (Children know all too well)!
•    Give them God’s time!  – Is your life divided or whole?
Do our Christian lives reflect the fulness of Christ and the wholeness of life God has designed for us!
(UP-IN-OUT)
•    Give them God’s home and family! – meals, clothing, shelter, love!  (basic needs)
•    Give them God’s material resources!
•    Give them God’s Good News!  – LIFE … KINGDOM … CROSS and REDEMPTION.
This is about …
… Giving our lives away to God and others for his glory and everyone’s good!
… Giving ALL!  (children’s sermon – rose petals or bouquet … tokens of love or all?)

CONCLUSION:  I’ll be the first one to say …
“That’s a RADICAL way to live!”   … Motivated by …
… God’s LOVE for all of us
… his LIFE among us
… the GIVING of himself to us!
“That’s WHEN THE WORD BECOMES FLESH!”

APPLICATION and PERSONAL RESPONSE TO GOD’S WORD:
YOU ANSWER …
“The Word becomes flesh when I …”  (personal consideration and scenarios)
… live like … love like … give like …
“The Word becomes flesh when we …” (church consideration and scenarios)
… live like … love like … give like …

Friend of God? … friend of sinners? … friend of this world?

* * * * *

John 1:1,14; 3:16-17
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God … The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth … For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him … Glory to God in the highest!

James 4:4
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

Trinity International Church of Paris 21December2014