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Reach Out Together: 7 Tips on Spreading Love and Sharing the Gospel

Alright, let’s open our Bibles to the book of Philippians in the New Testament. It’s one of my favorite books. We’re reading from Philippians chapter 1 today. While you’re turning to that, let me quickly mention a couple of other things.

Some of you might be tired of me approaching you and giving you these cards, but here they are. Tonight at 5 P.M., we’re having a class called “Discover Life.” If you want to learn more about a new way of living, not just regular life, but a different kind of life, come join us. Okay, let me clarify. When it comes to life, the most important thing is Jesus Christ, who offers eternal life. So, at 5 o’clock, we’ll be in the conference room. If you’re thinking about joining or you have questions, you don’t have to commit, but we’ll be there from 5 to 7. Food will be available, and we have childcare too.

If you’re visiting us today and you’re interested, you’re welcome to join. Even if you’re already a church member and you haven’t been to this class, you can still come. It’s open and transparent. Just to be clear, when you’re looking for a church and thinking about joining, it’s important to know the pastor’s beliefs. The same goes for me.

Do they believe that the words in the Bible are from God and are always correct? And do they believe that the only way to get to heaven is through Jesus Christ? These are important things to know because sometimes people are drawn to a church without knowing what the leader of the church actually believes. That’s why I talk about it. Feel free to ask me these questions. I might not have all the answers, but I’m willing to tell you what I believe.

Alright, now let’s begin. Last week, we discussed five reasons why we need each other, according to what God’s word says. In the coming weeks, we’re going to talk more about being in a community. I want to break down those reasons and take a closer look. I want us to really understand why we need other people in our lives. It doesn’t matter how much you keep to yourself; this is still important.

I don’t mind if you’re someone who only comes out on Sundays and might be a bit grumpy. It doesn’t matter what the reason is. We all need people in our lives. We’re made to both give and receive love, and God has put certain individuals in our lives. Maybe not a lot of them, but we need two or three people who we’re really close to. Unfortunately, our world is moving away from this, even though we’re designed to connect with others. Now, I didn’t mean that we’re designed perfectly all the time. Sometimes we’re a bit odd or unusual, right? Okay, let me change that. Is the person next to you a bit different, and do you know why? Yeah, okay, I see a lot of nods with that one. So, we all have our quirks, and it’s important to know that God wants us to be connected in a community with each other. And here’s the thing: I’m not saying we need hundreds of friends, but we do need some people who support and influence us positively.

We need people who are ready to stand by us no matter what happens in our lives. Let me share something. I’ve had people who called themselves my friends, but later on, I realized they weren’t exactly the friends I thought they were. And there were times when I didn’t think some were great friends, but they were there for me through thick and thin. You get what I’m saying? As a church, we need those kinds of people. Even in marriage ceremonies, there’s a part where we promise to love, care for, and respect each other through good times and bad. The good times sound nice, don’t they? But when the tough times show up (and don’t pretend they never have for you), we’re still committed to love. Through sickness and health, right? We can’t just say it and not follow through.

Well, I only love them when they’re feeling well all the time. Well, that’s not going to work. My youngest son, Austin, is a pastor in Dayton, NV. When he was really little, sometimes I couldn’t find someone to take care of him. So, he used to come with me and Kelly to funerals and weddings. He’s been to more of those than some of you have been to in your whole life. He sat through the funeral services pretty well. But one day, he came up to me and said, “Dad, I’m never getting married.” Now, how old was he? Maybe 3 or 4 years old or something like that. I told him, “Well, you don’t have to worry about that right now.”

Has anyone proposed to you when you were 3? He said, “No, because they ask you to promise to love in sickness and in hell.” He heard the words wrong. It’s “sickness and in health.” He said, “I don’t want to promise to love during sickness and in hell.” Maybe he understood more than we’re willing to admit. Maybe he saw something wise in this childlike understanding.

But here’s the main point: we’re meant to have relationships. Today, we’ll talk about how we’re made for a mission. We’re not just saved to do nothing. God has a plan and a mission for our lives. He wants you to share His love with others, like your friends, family, and co-workers.

He wants you to show His love to people who haven’t experienced it yet. Do you get it? That’s our mission. That’s what we’re meant to be part of now. Why does He want us to do this? Because God wants everyone to be part of His family. He loves the world so much that He gave His only Son. Whoever believes in Him won’t perish but will have eternal life. That verse shows that God loves every person He created. So, we should be like a light, spreading that love. We need to do all we can.

Now, let’s focus on reaching out together. The title of this message is about that. It’s easier when we all reach out together, don’t you think? Not just one person, but all of us together. We should help each other and reach out as a team.

We’re really happy, but hold on a moment. What’s our main goal? No matter what, our goal is to bring people not only to New Life Baptist Church but also to Jesus Christ. Through us, they can get to know Jesus. We’re like a family.

Now, let me tell you something funny. I was going to wait until Monday to get this, but your daughter Sophie told on you and gave it to me early this morning. Just wanted you to know that.

In my life group, we’ve been discussing connecting with and helping people around us – friends and others we can invite. I really enjoy my life group. Here’s a short lesson for you. We have different life groups in this church. Some meet on Sunday mornings, some on Sunday afternoons after the church service. Mine, for example, meets on Mondays. We’re also thinking about having a women’s group on Wednesdays. There’s another group that met on Wednesday mornings, but it’s not going on right now. But the thing I want to say is this:

Join a life group, where you can be part of a small group with other Christians and worship God together. It’s definitely worth it and has a lot of value and power.

Now, if you can’t find a life group that suits you, here’s an idea: consider starting one yourself. Find people who share your interests and say, “Let’s meet up.” You can pick a day of the week, a Sunday morning, or any suitable time. Just come together to study the Bible and do life as a group. You can also work together to make a positive impact on your community.

Let me tell you about Brandon’s cool idea. I’m going to share it with you, even if he might not be too thrilled about it. Here it goes: he had this great idea for his life group. He said, “I want to create something with the new life logo and information on one side, and on the other side, I’ll draw these little codes.” It was really interesting. He drew each one of them.

So, he’s got these codes on the back that people can scan. This way, they can learn all about our church and his family. And you know what? He beat us to it. I thought he’d bring the cards tomorrow night during our gathering, because I asked him, “Can I have some of those? I want to give them to people.” But my life group had a better idea. They said, “Give us the cards. We’ll share them with our friends and neighbors. We can take them around our community and say, ‘Hey, this is who I am, and this is what my church is about.’ Let’s be real, don’t act like you’re not part of us. Because if you’re with us, this is what you’re a part of. Okay?”

We’re meant to be like a family of God. And our goal is to reach out together. Not to freak people out, but to reach out to them in a friendly way. There’s a big difference. We’re not here to hit them with a huge Bible and scare them into anything. We’re just trying to connect with them through the message of Jesus Christ.

That’s what we’re meant to do: to show love to this community the way God wants us to. Now, let’s dive into the text. I’ll add some explanations along the way. We’re looking at Philippians chapter one, starting from verse 3. Paul is writing to the church in Philippi, and he’s giving them encouragement. They’ve been strong Christians. Check out what he says: “I’m grateful to God whenever I think of you.” Isn’t that how a church should be? You don’t sit there thinking, “I don’t care what I remember about you.” No, you’re thankful for them. You’re thankful even for their quirks. Who here is a bit quirky? Don’t answer that. I’ll say it for you. Yes, we all are a bit quirky, right?

Paul goes on: “I’m always praying with joy for all of you in every prayer of mine because of how we’re working together in spreading the gospel.” Let’s stop right there. If you like to make notes in your Bible, go ahead and underline or circle the word “partnership.”

Do you all get it? We’re in this partnership with each other for a special reason. We’re partnering together for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s not about money, fame, or having a lot of members. Our partnership is for spreading the message of Jesus Christ. When we come together, it’s so others can learn about who Jesus is. Paul talks about this too. He says, “I’m really thankful for this partnership we have in sharing the gospel. It’s been like this from the very first day until now. And here’s something important: I’m completely sure that God, who started a good work in you, will keep working on it until Jesus Christ comes back.”

Now, let’s take a moment to pause here, like we do in our life groups. Think about this part, Patrick. Do you catch what Paul just said? He’s telling us that he knows God is doing something good in us. It doesn’t matter what’s happening in the world or all the crazy stuff around us. None of that matters. God is strong enough.

Wow, this is a confidence we really need. Ryan, I’m sure He can do it because this world is so crazy, don’t you agree? It’s totally nuts. And you know what? I’m a part of it, which makes it even crazier. But here’s what Paul says: “I’m certain that God can do it.” How awesome is that?

Seriously, the day when Christ Jesus comes back, or honestly, it’s totally right for me to think this way about all of you. It’s because you’re all in my heart. And guess what? You’re all partners with me in Grace. Let’s focus on that word again: partners. Underline it, circle it. What that means is, none of us deserve to be saved. None of us deserve to be here. But we’re all partners because we’re all sinners who’ve been saved by Jesus Christ’s blood. That’s what Paul’s saying. He tells us, “You’ve been with me as partners in Grace, not only when I was in prison but also when I had to defend and confirm the message of the gospel.” I wish I could talk more about that. It’s really powerful stuff.

And here’s something big: God is my witness to how much I truly miss you all with the kind of love that comes from Christ Jesus. And I’m praying this for you.

Now, pay attention to his prayer. He’s praying that your love will keep growing, along with your understanding and your ability to tell right from wrong. This way, you can figure out the things that really matter. You’ll be pure and without blame when the day of Christ comes. You’ll be full of the good things that come from being right with Jesus Christ. This brings glory and praise to God.

So, let’s move forward. I want you to look at what Paul told a young church in verse 27. I’ll show it on the screen. Look at what he says: “Here’s one thing I want you to do: Live your life in a way that matches the good news about Jesus. Then, whether I can come and visit you or not, I’ll hear that you’re strong and united, all working together with one goal. That goal is to have faith in the good news.” That’s what he wants to hear about you, whether he gets to see you or not. He wants to know that you’re standing strong.

Let’s stay strong, everyone. Let’s join hands and work together, side by side. We have a single mission: to shine a light in this dark world and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You know what? This is a task for all of us. Brandon and the Russell family can’t do it alone. Each of us needs to find a way. Kelly, as amazing as your ministry is and how much you spread the message of Jesus Christ, there are just too many people for you to reach on your own. It will take all of us to make this happen.

Now, I don’t want to scare you, but what I’m about to say might seem a bit overwhelming. I have seven points to cover, and we only have a short time to get through them. I know, I know, Tom. Preachers are supposed to have three points and a poem. I messed up there. On Thursday, I got too excited and just kept writing. So, I’ve got seven points. Are you all ready? Quick question, because I’m curious. Are you on board with me? I believe you are. Do you remember those commercials for Evelyn Wood’s speed reading? Yeah, you remember that? It was from a different generation. Well, we’re going to do an Evelyn Wood-style preaching right now.

Okay, get ready, because we’re going to speed things up. But don’t worry, we’ll go quickly. So, the first thing we need to know is the qualities that make us good partners and help us make the right choices. These are the things that will help us stay strong and work together with one goal: to believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s start with the first one. Ryan, put it up on the screen.

The first thing is that we need to pray together, folks. In simple words, it means we should talk to God about people before we talk to people about God. We need time for this. And let me tell you, in your life groups, I really hope you’re spending time praying for each other. It’s great if you have a chat like we do. I love getting messages there. Someone says, “Hey, something’s going on in my life. My aunt has cancer. I need a job. Please pray for me.” We should be praying for each other and also for people who haven’t found faith yet.

#1: Pray Together

We need to pray for the community because prayer is really powerful. It helps us trust. Look at Paul, he keeps talking about it. He’s like, “I’m thanking God in my prayers. I’m thankful for you all. I’m praying that your love keeps growing.” Listen, the first thing we should be asking our life groups and even our friends is this: “Is there someone we can pray for, who needs to know Jesus Christ?” See, we can’t make them believe, but we can ask God to help them understand. And here’s something amazing: some of you are living proof that prayer works. Prayer can soften the toughest hearts. It can warm up cold hearts. Prayer can wake up hearts that don’t care, and it can change stubborn hearts. So let’s pray. Write down this phrase, and I can’t remember who said it, but I read it once and it stuck with me: “Prayer makes me aware.”

When we pray for someone, it makes us notice their needs. We become aware that they’re there and they need help. Friends, you get it, right? The people in our community want us to see them as folks who need a hand. Why do we look at them and judge them, saying, “Well, they’re not acting right, they don’t know Jesus Christ.” Instead, let’s introduce them to Jesus Christ and let Him transform their life. And don’t say to me, “Oh, that’s impossible. It can’t happen.” Let me tell you, God has the power to change anyone He wants. He’s incredibly strong. That’s why we need to take time for prayer. And as Christians, we should be praying together.

#2: Appeal to the common interests.

Here’s the second point, like I said, we’re moving quickly. I’ll cover these fast, and next weekend, I wish we could go through the three points as quickly as he covered the seven.

So, point number two: we need to connect through shared interests. What do I mean? Well, we should take the time to know people and realize that sometimes we’re too focused on them knowing us. We should talk to them, you know, like saying “amen” to what they’re interested in.

Listen up, let me share something about me. But no, folks, we have to make an effort to know them. We’ve got to understand their pains and struggles. People go through tough times, and it’s our job to care for them. They might even have addictions. If you think that reaching out to this world won’t involve getting a bit messy, let me tell you something. Jesus spent time with people who messed up. He was with those who were struggling. We need to be open to doing the same. Can I say it like this? We should put aside the fancy stuff in Christianity. Does that make sense to you? Get off your high horse, let your heart be touched by God, and together, share the love of Jesus Christ. Because all of us are saved by God’s kindness.

You know what? None of us deserve it, right? None of us really deserve to be saved. Nobody earns God’s love. And that’s why we should find things we all like. But what does that mean? Check out First Corinthians 9:21-23. Let me read it from the living translation, which might be more familiar. Paul was saying the same thing. He didn’t change the gospel, but he was like, “I’ll be like the people I’m with, so I can help some of them believe.” In simpler terms, he adjusted to who he was talking to. Don’t say, “I can only talk to certain people.” That’s not right. We should be whatever we need to be to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Check out the new living translation. I do my best to find what people have in common with me, so I can talk to them about Christ and how He can save them. I do this to share the message and because I feel really happy when I see them believe in Christ. It’s the same message, just a bit easier to get. I adapt to different people so that some might believe. What does God want you to do? Well, it might push us a bit, but we need to find common things. Let’s not be scared to know others or let them know us. Point number three: if we’re going to help, we’ve got to do it with love. Look at what he says.

#3: Reach Out In Love

I’m praying that your love keeps getting bigger—for God and for others. Friends, our motive needs to be right if we’re going to help. If we’re doing it for any reason other than love, we’re off track. If it’s just to fill up seats, that’s not right. If it’s to make our own name bigger, that’s not right either. And if we think that New Life Baptist Church is the only answer, we’re mistaken. We want people to know Jesus Christ, the Savior, the One who rescues. And yeah, that might help our church grow. But let’s not pull them in with flashy shows or programs. I really appreciate what Steve does, you know. But look, I mean, I’m so thankful for many people in our church. And just to be clear, I’m not saying, as my dad would say, “Son, don’t forget to bait the hook.” You’ve got to do that. But remember, what you use to bring them in is what you’ll need to keep them.

So, what we really want to keep them interested in is Jesus Christ’s love. You see, we’ve got the most amazing news for all of humanity, and love asks us to share it. I’m sure you all know what I’ve been dealing with regarding my mother’s cancer struggle. My brother faced cancer too. Some of you have dealt with cancer, and you might have had loved ones who recently passed away because of it. Those fights are tough. Can I tell you something? I’m fed up with cancer. You get what I mean? It’s so awful and terrible, and I really dislike it. But listen, here’s the thing: if I had the ultimate cure, let’s say God gave me the cure for all types of cancer and it was absolutely free, you can bet your bottom dollar I’d be out there on the street corners shouting it to everyone so that they could get better. Now, friends, if we’d do that to battle cancer, why wouldn’t we be willing to do something similar? I’m not saying we should go out and shout loudly or anything like that.

Don’t hold up signs like “Turn or burn, you’re all going to hell.” I’m not saying that at all. But why wouldn’t we be willing to at least talk about God’s love with someone? Why can’t we open our mouths and share because we care about them? Just like I wouldn’t want them to face cancer, I wouldn’t want them to face hell either. It’s all about love. Look at First Thessalonians 2:8. Paul told this church that they cared so much about them that they were happy to share not only the news about God but also their own lives. They really cared about them because they loved them. We should do the same and love like Jesus did. Love pushes us forward. Number 4: So, when we’re loving others, we should share our own stories. Listen up, this is important. The best way for others to understand is when you tell them what God has done for you. Check out 1 Peter 2:9. It says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

#4: Tell Your Story

Hey there, folks! People can debate and argue, Brandon. They can go on and on discussing scriptures. I’m sure you’ve had folks debating scriptures with you, just like I have. It’s not like we doubt or ignore what the scripture says. But you know what’s unshakeable? Your own personal story. What God has done in your life. And by the way, people don’t only want to hear what happened to you 25 years ago. They’re curious about what God has been doing for you recently. They want to know that God is alive and active, not some distant figure. They want to know that you’re ready to share your story. Remember that young girl who got baptized? She was telling you her own story. She was sharing her own experience.

How many of you can understand that feeling of being hurt and let down by the church? I’ve been there too. But you know what’s amazing? Her father-in-law, Mike, talked to her on the phone when she was in Seattle and shared the message of Jesus Christ with her. She prayed and decided to follow Jesus. Then she came back here, moved here, joined our community, got involved, and surrendered her life. And today, you all had the chance to hear her story. Isn’t it wonderful? Aren’t you thankful? Every person’s story is unique, just like every snowflake is unique. Every one of us has our own story. Your story, John, is different from mine. But guess what? We’re all saved by the same Savior, with the same blood, same grace, and same forgiveness. Isn’t that amazing? And if you’ve also chosen to follow Jesus, your story is just as wonderful. I remember going to concerts back in the 70s when music groups would come around to perform. This was before Caleb’s time, by the way.

Back in the old days, church groups would come to sing and share stories in the 70s. They would have these sessions in coffee houses during the Jesus movement. People would stand up and share their stories. One would say, “I ran away from home at 13 and was addicted to heroin.” Then the next one would say, “I was hooked on heroin from 18.” Another would stand and say, “I was addicted to heroin, but now I’m free from it.” I remember listening to all these stories and telling my dad, “I can’t be saved because I’ve never used heroin.” He told me, “Son, that’s not your story. You don’t have to use heroin to be saved.” Just in case any of you were thinking about it, you don’t need to use drugs to find salvation.

Now, let’s quickly move on to point number 5. We need to take care of our friendships. I often make jokes about how marriage takes effort, right? Well, being a true friend also requires work. We should put effort into nurturing and developing our friendships.

#5: Nurture Friendships

What can I do to improve my friendship skills? How can I become a better and genuine friend? Can I share something with you? Many times in church, I used to think, “I wish someone would do this for me or help me in this way.” But that’s not the right mindset. Church isn’t just about receiving; it’s about giving. I used to complain to my mom about needing friends, and she would tell me something I didn’t really like, but I’ve come to accept it. She said, “If you want a friend, be a friend.” It means you should take the lead in being a friend. We should focus on nurturing a sense of community here and beyond, rather than just waiting for others to reach out to us.

Let’s take care of our friendships. Paul, in his writings, shows how he nurtured the sense of family and friendship among believers. Remember Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times.”

Number 6. This point is super important. Steve, if they grasp this, they can anticipate God’s action. If we’re going to do something, let’s not waste our time or God’s time. I’m not up here preaching because I hope God will act; I expect Him to act. I didn’t share this earlier, but I have a favorite story from Charles Spurgeon, a famous preacher. When he preached, thousands would come to listen and respond to God. He was mentoring young pastors. One of them asked him, “Why do people respond to you, Dr. Spurgeon?” He replied, “Do you expect them to respond when you preach?” The young pastor said, “Not every time.” Spurgeon’s response was, “Then you shouldn’t be preaching.” If we don’t expect God to do something, why are we praying for it? Why are we preaching? Why are we distributing those cards? You know what I expect from those cards? I expect God to work through Brandon. I expect God to move this morning. Paul had expectations of God’s action too. Let’s see what he said.

#6: Expect God To Act

I know that God is capable of finishing the work in you. Cheryl, even though I might not teach those classes, you believe that God will use them for something meaningful. He’ll make something happen with them. I might not be a greeter outside, but I trust that God will use that too. Do you see what I’m getting at? There’s so much happening that God is a part of. I really do anticipate that God is going to take action. We need to shift our focus back to being a church that’s not just about us, but a church that expects God to act. I want to play a role in that.

#7: Represent Christ With Your Life

Lastly, as the praise team comes up, let’s remember that we’re representing Christ with our lives. Bruce, as much as I love this church, my main responsibility is to represent Jesus Christ. And you know what? It’s even more significant than my connection to this church. Stay with me; this is important. Even though I’m dedicated to my family, my ultimate role is to represent Jesus Christ. Now, here’s the question: Are we mindful of how we’re portraying Jesus Christ? Are we living in a way that shows our love is growing? I hope so. I hope we’re growing in a way that lets us discern what’s excellent and be pure and blameless. I want us to be filled with the kind of goodness that comes from Jesus Christ, all to bring glory and praise to God.

Let’s take a look at Colossians 3:17 as we finish up. Whatever you do, whether you’re talking or taking action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, and remember to thank God the Father through him. It doesn’t matter what your job is, who your employer is, what business you own, or what role you have in this church. Do everything in a way that brings honor to God. That’s who we’re representing. It doesn’t matter who your spouse is; do things for God’s honor. Your kids might be a bit different, but do things for God’s honor. And let’s flip it around, Rachel. No matter how odd your parents might be, do things for God’s honor. You can say “amen,” Rachel. It’s okay. They can’t get you here. We’re in church now.

I want to conclude with this thought, folks. We’re meant to do this together. But here’s a prayer for you to consider in the next few weeks. It’s just two words, but it can be a bit scary. Are you ready? Here’s the prayer: “Use me.” It’s not about telling God what to do with us; it’s simply saying, “God, use me. How can I be a part of your Kingdom?”

God, please use me to share my story with someone. Use me to be a friend to someone who needs to know about Jesus Christ. Use me to serve you, Father, and your Kingdom. Simply use me. Just use me. Use me. Let’s dance. Stevie, play this and let’s see.

Philippians 1:7-11
New International Version
7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 1:27
New International Version
Life Worthy of the Gospel
27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit,[a] striving together as one for the faith of the gospel.

22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


New Life Baptist Church is a small, community-centered church located in Hillsboro, Oregon. With a warm and welcoming congregation, the church strives to provide a safe and loving environment for individuals and families to come together in worship and fellowship.


Address: 3440 E Main St, Hillsboro, OR 97123
Phone: +15036484547


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