Faithlife Sermons

Reaching Your Sphere of Influence (Oikos)

4 Chair Discipling  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The Most Important Word

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The most important word, outside of proper names, it he word relationship
1 John 1:3 ESV
that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
Now you might be thinking, “Wait a minute pastor, isn’t love a more important word?”
And yes, love is very important, but love moves through relationships. You cannot have true love without relationship. You and I cannot experience Agape, which is God’s love, unless we are in a relationship with Him. And we cannot share Agape love unless we are in some form of relationship with others.
Relationships are the tracks that love travels upon.
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1 John 1:3 ESV
that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
And we must have right relationships in order for Agape love to flow through us.
Relationships help to make us who we are and what we will be.
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When our relationship with our parents are right, it prepares us mentally and emotionally for marriage and beginning our own family. Think about birthday’s, anniversaries, Thanksgiving, Christmas - these days are fulfilling because of the wonderful relationships.
Right relationships allow us to experience the best that life has to offer. And the best place to learn about right relationships I believe is in the home.

Broken Relationships

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I would be remiss in our discussion if we are not realistic and understand that sometimes relationships get broken.
Every failed business partnership, broken friendship, broken home is a broken relationship. From every crime committed to every war fought since the beginning of time has resulted from wrong/broken relationships.
As our society has ceased to value relationships, it has become decadent. Broken marriages, broken homes, unsuccessful businesses, divided church, weak governments, and chaotic nations are all produced by bad relationships.

Restored Relationships

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If we could fix the relationship problem in the world there would be no more divorce, no more split families, no more employer-employee disputes, no more war, and the list goes on and on.
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Jesus came to earth to fix the broken relationship that is at the core of all broken relationships, our relationship with God the Father. When Adam and Eve sinned, humanity’s relationship was broken and would require fixing.
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Jesus came to meet our deepest need, restoration of our relationship with God the Father. He did this by dying on the cross.
When Jesus ascended to be with His Father, he left His earthly body here, that’s you and me, to go out and to enlarge and strengthen the body of believers. Jesus builds amazing relationships in the body of Christ and it is His intent that we love one another the way He loves us.
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God’s plan is for you and I to go and build relationships with other people that He is calling to Himself.

Remember....the Gospel moved and continues to move through relationships

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Your Oikos

We all have an oikos, an extended family in Greek, or
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what might be called your “circle of influence.’ God will hold each of us responsible for those He brings into our sphere of influence.
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Circle 1 - Self
Circle 1 - Self
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Circle 2 - Family
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Circle 3 - Relatives
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Circle 4 - Friends
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Circle 5 - Neighbors and Associates
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Circle 6 - Acquaintances
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Circle 7 - Person X
How do we reach our Oikos?
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We first have to begin with ourselves. What should be the theme of our life?
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2 Corinthians 5:17–21 NLT
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
You and I are to share the Gospel with people with compassion and in the power of the Holy Spirit with our goal being to win them to Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.
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We are ambassadors for Christ.

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Second, the best time to begin our ministry is now.
Many times we might say, well when this happens or that happens I will begin to reach my sphere of influence.
But the reality is that if you do not have a ministry now, you will not have one in the future. If we are not faithful over a few things, God will not make us ruler over many.
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Matthew 25:23 ESV
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
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The Time is Now

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Third, we all have a calling.
Some of you might say, “Pastor, I don’t have a calling to be a pastor.”
And my response would be that the highest calling is to be a Christian, not a pastor. All of us, every one of us is a minister of the Word of God and have a ministry to those in our sphere of influence.
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1 Peter 2:5 ESV
you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
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You Have a Calling, will you answer it?

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Fourth, you are not alone.
You are not expected to reach your world on your own.
Acts 1:8 ESV
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
We all have our Jerusalem, our own Judea, and our own Samaria. We can only reach those within our sphere, and the end of the earth by the power of the Holy Spirit.
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The 5 Stages of Chair 1 Disciple Making

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Stage 1 - Get Right
Before we even begin to make disciples we need to get our relationship with God right.
If we are all honest, humans are for the most part very opinionated. We have a certain way we like things done. And that way is usually our way under our conditions. This is how many people approach their whole life.
But when we come to God we must do it on His conditions. When we accept Jesus as Lord of our life we are forever surrendering our right to choose who we will love.
If we have some disobedience in our life, we need to repent and get our relationship with God back on the right track. This is the only way for the Holy Spirit to flow through our lives.
We need to have a proper perspective on who we are. We need to love others as we love ourselves, so we need to love ourselves, but not in a selfish prideful way, but within the understanding of who we are in Christ.
Once our vertical relationship with God is where it needs to be, and we have a good balanced view of ourselves, we must be certain our relationships with others is correct.
We cannot be right with God and have broken relationships with others. The love of God cannot flow through our relationships when there is a dam of broken relationships blocking the way.
Slide #34-36
Matthew 5:23–25 ESV
So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison.
Matthew 5:
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Stage 2 - Survey Your Relationships
This is where your circle of influence comes into play. You may not think that you have any relationships with people who are lost. But we have to remember those people that God brings into our lives.
Start in the center and work your way out. Specifically name those in each circle and what you know about each of them. As you identify each person you will find all kinds of people who need the Lord.
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Stage 3 - Work With God Through Prayer
Prayer is a relationship with the Maker of the universe.
Prayer is entering God’s throne room, pulling up a chair, and sharing your heart in the very place where decisions are made about the whole universe. Talk about being in a place of influence and power.
Pray for wisdom and discernment as you pray about making disciples. Pray for God to orchestrate encounters with people in your circle of influence and to draw them the Himself and to Jesus Christ. Pray for those in your circle and watch as God works in their lives. If you become aware of a need, join God and show His love to the needy person.
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Stage 4 - Build Bridges
Your relationships will be at different levels with people in your circle. But as you become aware of someone who needs Jesus, intentionally being to build a relationship with them. There are a lot of ways to do this. Show an interest in them during special times of joy or times of stress. Use hobbies and shared interest to build bridges. The relationship you build will help them, when they accept Christ, in developing a growing relationship with the Body of Christ, the church. Maybe even your church.
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Stage 5 - Show God’s Love
Meet a need. God will engineer circumstances in the lives of those you are praying for and He will create an opportunity for them to experience His love through you life. As you show them God’s love, he will draw them to His Son.
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This is all in Chair 1.
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In Chair 2-4 you will experience Stage 6, helping them grow, and Stage 7, doing it all over again.
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Who has God placed in your circle?
Make a list, pray for them, intentionally build bridges to them, and love them with God’s love. You never know God will use you.
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