Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Serving the Lord Part 7: Serving the Lord with our Friends


Serving the Lord Through Friendships by Rev. Bruce A. Shields

Previous messages by Rev. B. A. Shields found here


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Serving the Lord

Part 7: Serving the Lord with our Friends

By Rev. Bruce A. Shields


This document is a Sermon Outline. You may hear the full audio of the sermon by following the link to the Online Audio Files located above for this and other Full Sermon Audios. For a complete list of Sermon Outlines, visit TruthDigest.org or Truth Digest on Facebook; for our Official Church website, visit PS127.org, or find us on Facebook at House of Faith Church. #worship #godheals #newtestament #jesuslovesyou #churchfamily #godsword #loveoneanother #holy #godislove #church #jesus #god #bible #christian #love #faith #worship #jesuschrist #gospel #prayer #christ #christianity #pray #holyspirit #godisgood #hope #blessed #armorofgod



1.      Introduction to Serving

2.     Serving the Lord through our Faith

3.     Serving the Lord through our Relationships

4.     Serving the Lord through our Marriage

5.     Serving the Lord through our Family

6.     Serving the Lord in our Home

7.     Serving the Lord with our Friends




Today is Sunday. March 17th, 2024


          Over the last few weeks, we have discussed the many ways we can serve the Lord in our lives.


It begins with getting where we need to be, examining ourselves, and digging deep into the word of God.



Today’s Topic: Serving the Lord with Our Friendships



Joshua 23:15

“If it is evil in your sight to serve God, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve Yahweh.”



a.   By showing compassion to friends

                                  i.    John 4:7-26 – Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well

1.    Jesus asked the woman for a drink

2.   She was shocked because He was a Jew, and she was a Samaritan.

3.   Socially, they had nothing to do with each other.

4.   Jesus tells her in verse 10, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

5.   Without going deeper and making this the entire sermon, Jesus shows how the people we meet may not have the Holy Spirit (Living Water) and may not know we have something they need unless we engage with them and share with them, as verse 14 continues, “a well of water springing up to eternal life.”


                                ii.    Acts 8:25-38 “So, when they had solemnly borne witness and spoken the word of the Lord, they started back to Jerusalem, and were proclaiming the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.”

1.    Here we read of Philip befriending an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure, and he had come to Jerusalem to worship

a.   Candace is not a name but a title for the Candaces of Meroe, who were the queens of the Kingdom of Kush.

                                                                                  i.    Kush was the oldest son of Ham and grandson of Noah.

                                                                                ii.    Kush was the father of Nimrod.

                                                                              iii.    Nimrod became mighty in the earth (Genesis 10:8). His name is similar to the Hebrew word for "rebellion," and traditionally, he was considered a dictator and tyrant.

                                                                               iv.    Nations founded by Nimrod, including Nineveh, Assyria, and Babel, will become some of Israel's chief enemies.

                                                                                 v.    It is suggested he was a “hunter” of God’s people.

                                                                               vi.    He also built the Tower of Babel, the epitome of rebellion.

1.    Trying to get into heaven by any other means but submission to Yahweh.

b.   Kush is now Sudan in Africa, just below Egypt.

2.   We see Philip befriend a believer who read the word and even traveled to worship but lacked understanding

3.   God brought Philip to this Ethiopian so that he would grow spiritually and in understanding because his heart was right, but he lacked knowledge and wisdom, which Philip supplied.

4.   Philip explained the scripture and Jesus, and the eunuch confessed, believed in Christ, and was baptized through their meeting and brief friendship.

5.   Side note: this is the second instance we read of the Jews ministering to Samaritans, as well as to an Ethiopian citizen and official of an enemy state to the Jews.

Remember, we are not enemies of God because of the place in which we live, or the rulers over us, our nationality or race.

We are separated from God because of sin and need confession, repentance, and calling on the name of the Lord to save us.

I have friends with all sorts of beliefs and hope to bring them to light. If ever our relationships reach a point where I can no longer be a positive influence, I focus my friendships elsewhere.

Matthew 10:12-14 “Now as you enter the house, give it your greeting. 13 And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you leave that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet.”

Colossians tells us why we should move on from unfruitful relationships.

                              iii.    Colossians 4:5-6 “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, redeeming the time. 6 Let your words always be with grace, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should answer each person.”

1.    Walking with wisdom means watching for opportunities, as we just read with Jesus, the Samaritan girl, and Philip and the Ethiopian.

2.   Redeeming the time means making the most of it with others. Not idle chit-chat, but looking for opportunities to grow them closer to the Lord.

3.   Always speak gracefully, but your words are seasoned with salt.

4.   This is how we teach others about God’s will, the Lord’s desire, and the Holy Spirit’s empowerment.

Be open and honest about your faith. Answer questions and genuinely share your experiences from your heart.


b.   Encouraging and uplifting friends

                                  i.    We are there for them, helping whenever we can

                                ii.    We celebrate their successes and offer kindness during their struggles

                              iii.    We pray for them and offer scriptures to uplift them.

Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpens Iron, so one man sharpens another.”

1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore, comfort one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.”

Hebrews 10:24-25 “let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”


c.    Being a “Christ-like” example to friends

                                  i.    Our actions are an example to them (living as one imitating the Lord)

                                ii.    We reflect God’s character through the Spiritual Fruit.

                              iii.    Be someone who draws them to the Lord, not away from

                               iv.    Philippians 2:3-4; 1 Corinthians 11:1; Titus 2:7-8



a.   Open communication is an opportunity for ministry

                                  i.    Friendship is a bridge to faith


b.   Inviting friends to church and church events

                                  i.    Invite them to join you for worship service

                                ii.    Or faith-based church activities

                              iii.    Or for a one-on-one bible study or group

1.    You may feel unqualified to lead a study, but that’s OK. You learn together.

2.   There are plenty of trustworthy studies to guide you.

3.   My book, Drowning in Milk: A Guide to Spiritual Maturity, is a great way to start. It has group studies at the back of the book to guide you through small group discussions.


c.    Leading by our example

                                  i.    Live your faith authentically

1.    You should be the same at home as you are at church

2.   If you are not, then you need to mature spiritually.

                                ii.    Your actions will always speak louder than your words.

                              iii.    Be someone who lives the things you say you do

Some may say, “Well, I believe Jesus is God…”

Good. 1 John 5:3 says, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”  

1 John 2:3-4 says, “By this, we know that we have come to know him if we keep His commandments. Whoever says, “I know Him” but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

Do you reject the world? You can either be godly or worldly. You cannot be both. (1 John 2:15-16; James 4:4; 1 John 3:13)

Are you repenting from your sins? 1 John 3:9 “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.”

1 John 3:5-6; 1 John 5:18; 1 John 2:29; 1 John 3:10

If we are to lead others, we must be right, not blind. The ONLY way to be correct and not blind is to fill yourself with the Word of God.

Reject false teachings (you must know true teachings), and examine yourself (you must know the measure from the word).

We may be able to pretend for others, act the part, and put on the show when others are around, but we will not deceive God. And, eventually, you will reveal yourself to others in the way you talk and act and by the things you allow and do in your life.

Matthew 12:33-34 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.

What is your heart filled with? You may not even realize people are hearing the truth from your very lips.

If we are not honest with ourselves and others, they will make assumptions about God because of us.

One assumption may be that no God exists because he says one thing but does another.

Or, why would I want this God? Because this guy is no different than me (or the world).

Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out to be trampled under foot by men.”

We need to be honest with ourselves because not only does our relationship with the Lord depend on it, but so does our relationship with our spouse, children, neighbors, family, friends, and ministry for the Lord.



a.   Praying for our friends

                                  i.    Matthew 18:20; James 5:16; Acts 12:5

                                ii.    For their growth, well-being

                              iii.    For their needs and concerns


b.   Studying scripture together

                                  i.    Acts 8:30-35; 2 Timothy 2:15; Proverbs 27:17

                                ii.    Invite them to bible studies and small groups

1.    We have a couple starting up this summer!

                              iii.    Read scripture together and discuss its meaning and impact.


c.    Holding each other accountable

                                  i.    Galatians 6:1-2; Ecclesiastes 4:9-10; Proverbs 27:5-6

1.    By the way, this can only be done by judging others…

2.   We judge their fruits and know where the needs are

                                ii.    What about “Don’t judge”?

1.    Don’t stop reading at Matthew 7:1

                              iii.    Matthew 7:3-5 “why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye

5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

1.    First, we examine ourselves and get right by taking our plank out…THEN we can judge and help our brother!

                               iv.    We offer help, encouragement, and support so you can grow in the Lord!



Our friendships are a great way to serve the Lord and grow spiritually with others. When we have healthy Christian relationships, we serve the Lord, increase His kingdom, and strengthen ourselves and others through the process!


NEXT WEEK: Serving the Lord Part 8: Serving at Work



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