WE’RE GOING BACK INSIDE
Morning. My name is David Sorn. I’m the Lead Pastor here at Renovation Church.
As you may have heard by now, we are moving our services back inside Northpoint Elementary in just 14 days!
We’ll be outside one more week after today, and then on the 27th, we’re moving inside…before things get super cold out here
We’re really excited about being back inside.
It’s a great environment for worship and teaching…plus we’ll be offering Children’s Ministry again.
We’ll be using the four LARGEST pods for our Renovation Kids’ classes.
These pods are 2-3 times larger than a typical school classroom (where maybe 10 kids and a teacher will meet during the week), so we’ll have a cap of 12 kids in each pod.
We’ll be social distancing in the gym, so you’ll be seated at least 6 feet away from anyone not in your household.
And they’ll be an attendance cap in the gym as well, with the cafeteria being used as an overflow room where the service will be streamed.
The cafeteria will also serve as a “Family Viewing Area”
We want your kids coming to church with you on Sundays.
If you don’t feel comfortable yet putting them in Renovation Kids, they can sit with you in this Family Viewing Area…where there is a “no-shush” policy
Masks will be required at our Indoor Services…as that is a requirement for any indoor public spaces in MN
So we will be doing masks the whole time.
You can’t just sit down and take it off.
Even our drummer and guitar players will be wearing them.
The only people who won’t wear masks will be people who are singing or speaking on stage.
But listen, it is going to be great.
Even though I just listed off a bunch of rules and things that will be different, that doesn’t take away from all of the MANY benefits of meeting together inside!
I can’t encourage you enough to come!
Again, if you’re vulnerable, or sick, or have virus concerns, no worries, you’ll still be able to watch live at home on Sunday mornings.
But for everyone else, it will be well worth your time!
Listen, the reality is 90% of us are out and about every day.
We go to stores, at a friend’s house, the dentist, to school, to work…
We’re used to wearing masks and going about our lives at this point…and doing the things we used to do on a weekly basis.
Church is such an essential part of your week.
I’d argue, the MOST essential.
So make plans to keep coming.
For those of you that have been coming here every week, hasn’t it been such a blessing to attend church again?
To worship together, to hear the Word, to see your friends, and be encouraged??
Keep up with it.
For those of you online, if you can make it, make it a priority to come in person.
If you’re vulnerable, or uncomfortable with coming in person, we still love you…we appreciate you, we understand, you are a valuable part of our church…and we will be together again…
I’m excited for you at least to be able to interact with a House Group online!
And then, very quickly, I do want to mention that we did get enough volunteers to open up 2 services on the 27th.
It’s tight…but we made it.
Thank you to SO many of you (SO many) who contacted your ministry leader and said you would now serve.
That made all the difference in the world!
Okay, let’s get into the message.
We’re in week 3 of our DISRUPTED series where we’ve been talking about how different parts of our lives have been disrupted by the virus.
And today I want to talk about how our relationships have been disrupted….particularly our friendships and also our relationships with our family members.
Many of us, back in January and February were still getting together with friends.
But, when March hit, all of the normalcy of seeing friends & family basically stopped.
Our relationships were disrupted.
Almost all of us completely stopped getting together w/ people.
And maybe since then, you’ve started to re-engage your friendships, at your own pace.
But for most of us, it’s not back to where it used to be…or it’s awkward to know how to move forward.
And I think the disruption of our relationships is actually even more intense than this.
Not only have our friendships been disrupted, even our conversations are harder than they were before.
For example, imagine you’re trying to get 4 friends together to hang out.
One is very concerned about the virus
Two are in the middle
And the fourth one licks doorknobs just to prove how unconcerned they are
So how are the 4 of you supposed to get together?
Friendships are splintering over this as we speak.
It could be even worse with your family members
Maybe you want to get together with your parents, but they’re concerned, and don’t think you should get together.
Or, I actually hear this next scenario, ironically even more often:
The grandparents want to get together with their adult children and grandchildren, but the adult children don’t want to get together because they’re worried about the grandparents.
And it’s caused disruption…and tension.
Relationships are really hard right now.
THE STORY OF DAVID & JONATHAN
And so we need to go to God’s Word to get His truth…to learn His way.
As I’ve been saying to you almost every week this summer, As Christians, we don’t look to the media, or social media, or politics first…our foundation is found in God’s Word.
(outdoor services – weekly verses)
Today we’re going to look at one of the greatest friendships in the Bible: David and Jonathan
A little background for you:
David is known, even by those who’ve never read the Bible, from his victory over the 9 foot tall Goliath in 1 Samuel 17
But, if you read the book of 1 Samuel (which we taught through back in 2015), you’ll see that the young man David was actually anointed as the future and new King of Israel, the chapter before “David & Goliath”
Even though there already was a King, King Saul.
And so after his defeat of Goliath, David begins to become famous, much to the chagrin of the present king, King Saul.
And King Saul starts to be insanely jealous of David.
And meanwhile, fascinatingly, David develops a really deep friendship with King Saul’s son, Jonathan.
And what I want to do this morning is take a look at 3 Marks of Friendship we can learn from David & Jonathan.
Who by the way, had MANY disruptions and difficulties test their friendship!
There is much we can learn for life in 2020 here.
Let’s take a look in 1 Samuel now
(1 Samuel 18:1-4) – NIV
After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. 2 From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. 3 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 4 Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.
MARK #1: THEY HAD A FRIENDSHIP COVENANT
The first Mark of friendship I want you to notice comes from verse 3
If you’re taking notes, write this down:
#1: They had a Friendship Covenant
We see that in verse 3: “Jonathan made a covenant with David”
We don’t use the word “covenant” all that often in conversational English, but it’s one of the most important words in the Bible
A covenant is a sacred bond between 2 people.
We sometimes talk about the marriage covenant as Christians.
When Christians get married, they make a covenant together that they will never leave each other, in sickness or health, for richer or poorer
…even if things get really difficult, they have made a covenant to always be married.
And we do that because Jesus made a holy covenant with us when we believed…to never leave us.
That’s what Jonathan and David are doing.
They’re saying, “We’re going to be friends to the end…no matter what may come”
And that’s what true, deep friendships should be like
Unfortunately, too many of our friendships today are more like transactional friendships, than they are covenantal
We have friends that we watch sports with, or friends that we trade off watching kids with, or we’re in a group with (a group that benefits us), or neighbors that you borrow things from…
And so many of our friends, are merely our friends, because we get something out of it that benefits us
But if they were to really hurt us, or they were to really mess up, we could just move on, because it was just a transactional friendship…
But we also need covenantal friends.
And honestly, you might need just 1 of them.
Someone who will be with you through anything.
Look at the disruption, the challenge that eventually happens to David & Jonathan’s friendship
Jump ahead one chapter, to chapter 19
(1 Samuel 19:1-6) – NIV
Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan had taken a great liking to David 2 and warned him, “My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding and stay there. 3 I will go out and stand with my father in the field where you are. I’ll speak to him about you and will tell you what I find out.”
4 Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king do wrong to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly. 5 He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The Lord won a great victory for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why then would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?” 6 Saul listened to Jonathan and took this oath: “As surely as the Lord lives, David will not be put to death.”
Now that’s intense!
Can you imagine?
Think about your best friend…….
Now imagine your best friend’s father is out to get you
Jonathan knows that his father Saul is not following the Lord anymore, and he has a Friendship Covenant with David.
Nothing will get in between them
Is that true of you and your friend right now?
Or have you let a virus get in between you?
Or politics get in between you?
I’ve talked to multiple people just in the last 2 weeks who have said, “I have friends in my friendship group that have now stopped talking to each other because of their political beliefs”
And families…listen, our bonds (as family members) should be thick…really thick…there should be a covenant.
Many friends will come and go, but you will always have your family.
Don’t let this virus, or the current political climate, come in between you and your family. .
You know, the Bible speaks so often of reconciliation and asking for forgiveness.
Let me just ask you: “Is there someone in your life (a friend or family member) that you need to ask for forgiveness this week?”
To call them up and say, “Hey, I’ve been letting this thing get in between US…will you forgive me?”
MARK #2: THEY PUT THE OTHER ABOVE THEMSELVES
Let’s take a look at the second mark of their friendship that we need to learn from
The first was that they had a friendship covenant
The second is this: They put the other above themselves.
This is of monumental importance in our culture right now.
I preached on this a month ago: Christians must live out Philippians chapter 2: To value other’s interests above ourselves… (just like Jesus did for us)
And notice, Jonathan does it for David
Look back at chapter 18 verse 4 again:
(1 Samuel 18:4) – NIV
4 Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.
What is Jonathan doing here?
He’s not just saying, “Hey, I think you might like my sword, here you go”
I think Bible readers sometimes forget that Jonathan is the prince!
His father Saul is the King.
Therefore, Jonathan is supposed to be the next King…not David.
But by giving David his robe and armor, he’s symbolizing that he wants David to be the next King.
Giving one’s sword to another was a sign of submission to one who is greater.
In ancient times, Kings were recognized by their clothing, their royal robes.
Now, David would have the royal robes of the prince…the next King.
Saul, of course is not happy about this
As Jonathan continues to defend his best friend to his dad, this exchange happens in chapter 20…Saul says this to his son Jonathan:
(1 Samuel 20:31-32) – NIV
As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die!”
32 “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” Jonathan asked his father.
This is true friendship.
To put another above yourself.
Think about your friends….and let me ask you a question:
Where have you been putting your needs, your preferences, above your friend’s?
Simply because it would be an inconvenience for you to love your friend in that way?
Look at the inconvenience of Jonathan….his humility in friendship
He was supposed to be the King!
But Jonathan valued relationships above even royalty
Jonathan does this because, as the Scripture said, “He loved David as himself”
That is the foundational principle of friendship in the OT, and also the new.
It’s just written in a different way.
You are to love your neighbor (and your friends)…as yourself.
#3: THEY STRENGTHENED EACH OTHER IN HARD TIMES
And there’s a 3rd mark of friendship to see here:
And we can find it in chapter 23 of 1 Samuel.
David is now on the run, hiding from the angry King Saul.
But Jonathan sneaks out, and goes to his friend to strengthen his friend’s faith
(1 Samuel 23:15-17) – NIV
While David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, he learned that Saul had come out to take his life. 16 And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God. 17 “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.”
This is the 3rd Mark of Friendship I want you to see:
#3: They strengthened each other in hard times.
This is what we need our friends for.
Life has been hard for many of us lately.
We NEED our friends.
This is one of the great things about our House Groups which are starting up in 2 weeks, and by the way, sign-ups start today.
They give you a community of friends.
People who will love you, serve you, and stand by you in hard times.
…as well as people whom God wants to use you to love and support!
And listen, I think it’s more important for you to sign-up for a House Group this year, than maybe ever in our 10-year history as a church.
For those of you that have been in a house group before….
You need each other…to strengthen one another in God (like Jonathan and David)…you need each other now more than ever.
I encourage you to come together again, put aside any of your differences, or preferences on how this ought to be, and spur one another on to love and good deeds like the writer of Hebrews says.
For those of you who have never signed up for one.
This is your year.
This is what God has designed you for.
Solid Christian friendship.
In our house groups last year, there were those who celebrated new births (and their house group rallied around them with support and meals)
And there were those who lost loved ones.
You know, in a complete statistical anomaly, I didn’t officiate ONE funeral for someone from our church in 10 years…but I did 3 this Winter & Spring.
And one of the most powerful parts of funeral (for me) was watching House Group members attend, en masse (pre virus) and support their people
Both that day, and in the weeks to come.
Sometimes the support from a House Group comes in the form of a home visit when someone’s really hurting.
Sometimes it’s just a bunch of mom’s hanging out at the park with their kids.
House Groups provide you a space to make bonds, because none of us have any idea when we’re going to really need a friend
And it’s not something that happens overnight.
A woman from our church wrote in this week and said this: “I can honestly say that my husband and I have met some of our dearest friends through house group, and that never would have happened if we didn’t join…but it takes time…and effort”
And the end goal isn’t even community…or to have support…
The end goal is to help each other grow in your faith.
Notice, Jonathan came with the main purpose of “helping David find strength in God”
That’s key…but we need friends for that.
Don’t try and do this alone.
You need friends.
If you haven’t heard yet exactly how our house groups will look this fall, you’ll get a few more details in announcements in just a second
But I encourage every single one of you to sign-up for one today by signing up through the Connect Tab of our app or on our website
When we live out Christian friendship, we emulate Christ.
David was saved through Jonathan’s sacrificial friendship…just as we are saved through the sacrificial friendship of Christ.
Be in a group, befriend another…not just for your own sake…but for theirs.
That’s the way of Christ.
Let me pray
Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN
You may use this material all you like! We only ask that you do not charge a fee and that you quote the source and not say it is your own.
SEPTEMBER 13, 2020.