Make Room for Relationships

 Here is a sermon by Greg Surratt in the series about making room for God. The entire series is based off of 1 Kings 4:8-37, which is the story of Elisha and his interaction with a woman who made a room for him in her house.

This is a great sermon; very practical and insightful about something that is so simple and blatant -- eating meals with friends.

Probably the biggest takeaway for me in this was that Jesus did A LOT of his ministry around eating. Meals with people, especially family, are so powerful, but sometimes we neglect them in our society. A great quote from this sermon is that friends are seen as a number on a blue and white website rather than people we spend time with or care about. How true is that about the society we live in?

Never neglect the power of  a meal in building lasting relationships with people.

Here are some notes:
  • Jesus came...
    • Serve and give his life as a ransom for many (purpose)
    • Seek and save the lost (purpose)
    • Eating and drinking (method)
      • In Luke, Jesus is either at a meal, going to a meal, coming from a meal
  • The Shudamite woman got to know Elisha through a meal (1st step in relationship). Relationship started before they built the room for him.
  • Acts 2:42-44: "They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common."
    •  You don't have time for "awe" when you're in a hurry
  • Life happens at the dinner table - decisions are made, lessons are taught, discipleship, etc.
    • Someone we share a meal with is likely to become our friend, or well on their way to becoming one.
    • Unresolved conflict cannot be ignored when gathered around the table - everyone notices. The table becomes a sacrament of forgiveness. 
  • John 17:20b-21: "I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me."
    • Jesus said the world would know He is real by our love for one another.
  • You'll meet weird people; (Romans 15:7) people will make a mess, people will eat too much, people will take advantage of you.
    • REMEMBER that verse! God invited us to his table even though we weren't perfect. 
  • A meal forces us to slow down
  • A meal connects us
  • A meal reminds us of God's grace
  • Jews bless God after the meal (Deuteronomy 8:10) for his graciousness.
  • Assignment: eat a meal with your group, eat a meal with a non-believer (goal of meal isn't to convert him/her, but walk away and make him think you're not weird), get someone accountable to ask when you do these things.
  • Make room for relationship and let God move there.