Sermon Title:  Reflection of God
 
Summary:  Our God is a God of Love and fellowship which exists between the
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  God desires that we as his people reflect his love
and fellowship among us as his body.

Function:  To motivate the hearers to participate in small group ministry

Scripture Reading:  Eph 4:1-3


Intro:
1.  How many of you have boxes from movers in your house?
	a.  Shows we move around a lot
	b.  40-60 % of a town moves in a years time in the U.S.
	c.  More of a challenge to make freinds
2.  Used to live in Apartment in Fort Worth
	a.  Irony - Closer physically that any other place
	b.  But more distant than ever before - DIdnít know neighbors
3.  This isolation has affected the church
	a.  With all the business and mobility, harder to know others
	b.  More lonlely people in church than ever before
	c.  Thatís not how God intended it
4.  We need to be a close knit family of God

I.  It is in Harmony with Godís character
	A.  Iím starting here, that is what Paul often does in epitles
		1.  Before the practical, lays theological groundwork
		2.  Rom 1-11 - Theology;  Rom 12-16 - Practical application
		3.  Eph 1-3 - Theology; 4-6 - Practical application
	B.  Harmony, fellowship, and love in line with Godís character
		1.  Jesus and God are one
			a.  John 1:1-3, 14
			b.  Heb 1:1-3
			c.  Holy Spirit is God too - ACts 5:3-4
		2.  Abstract to concrete - (John 17:24-26)
			a.  God loves Jesus and vice-versa
			b.  God not NEED us to be whole
			c.  God not NEED us to keep from being lonley?
		3.  (Acts 17:24-25)
			a.  God not NEED anything from us
			b.  God got along fine without us
	C.  ILL:  Do parents NEED children?
		1.  NOt say, ďIím lonely, letís have children
			a.  Many married couples content without children
			b.  Get along fine without children
		2.  If have children for personal fulfillment reasons
			a.  Wrong reason
			b.  If NEED them, sets up unhealthy co-dependence
		3.  Parents love eachother, want to share with another
			- They desire, not need children
	D.  Similar with God
		1.  God not lonely, and created us
		2.  Father, Son and Holy Spirit enjoyed fellowship
		3.  Godís character is love, fellowship, and union within himself

II.  It is an imprint of God
	A.  Godís creation is a reflection of his glory
		1.  (Rom 1:20)- See character of God through creation
		2.  Example:
			a.  Invisible Attributes:  Mercy - Rain on just and unjust
			b.  Eternal Power:  Lightning, Hurricanes, Waterfalls
			c.  Divine Nature:  Canít creat life, DNA, Order not chaos
		3.  Godís character reflected
	B.  ILL:  Character in Greek means something like imprint
		1.  Found footprints in house, tracked mud
		2.  They twice the size of my imprint
		3.  Knew immediately whose size 13ís they were
		4.  God has a distinct imprint.....
	C.  1 Jn 4:8 - God is Love -- 
		1.  Love is about relationship
		2.  Notice how it plays out in Biblical story
			a.  God created both Adam AND Eve
				- Fellowship with God and each other
				- Became one flesh
				- Togetherness reflects Godís character
			b.  Abraham - Only one personí
				- But not just about Abraham
				- Seed would be numberless
				- All the families if the earth
			c.  Israel - Not a people, then became people of God
				- Didnít redeem just Moses
				- Redeemed a people, community, a family
		3.  Gave/created Torah
			a.  It a reflection of God??
			b.  Part of it was how to treat each other
			c.  Jesus - Summed up in 2 commands
				- Love God, Love each other
			d.  Imprint of God in Torah!
		4.  A reflection of God - GOD IS LOVE
	D.  Then we come to the church
		1.  (Jn 17:22-23) Jesus prays for the church
			a.  Pray for unity and love, just like God and Jesus
			b.  So the World will know --- Reflection of God
			c.  Light to the Nations
		2.  (1 John 4:7-11)
			a.  God is love, and showed it through Jesus
	.		b.  We to love each other
		3.  **Imprint of God in church by our love and fellowship

III.  As Demonstrated by Christ
	A.  (Mk 3:14-15)  -  Chose 12.  Why?
		1.  Theological number?  
		2.  40 is theological, but not practical
	B.  To be ďwith himĒ
		1.  He wanted to be freinds.  Calls them freinds - Jn 15:15
			a.  Didnít limit self to healing and preaching
			b.  Spent time being ďwithĒ them
		2.  Thatís his desire for us as his church
			a.  Jn 17 - Prayed we be one
			b.  Jn 13:34-35 - Wants us to love as he loved
			c.  Involves being ďwithĒ each other
	C.  Thatís what the early church did - Acts 2:37-41
		1.  Devoted to meeting house to house
		2.  They were together with gladness and sincerity
	D.  Application:  Life Groups - Can be ďwithĒ each other
		1.  Meaningful relationships are so needed
			a.  6 or less relationships in church, will drop out
			b.  ďAttendance isnít belongingĒ - George Barna
				- Can be in pew and still be disconnected
				- ILL: Church in Biloxi - Was disconnected
		2.  Americans are Lonliest people in the world
			a. Mobile, busy, etc.
			b. ILL:  Coal of fire, burn out alone
		3.  Greatest threat to church not doctrinal or moral, relational - 
		      James Hinkle

Concl:
1.  Need to be close knit family - Reflects Godís character
	a.  How?  Life Groups a good place for the ďhow?Ē
	b.  Sign ups in the back
2.  What is Life Group - A place to Share life
	a. S - Serving
	b.  H - Healing
	c.  A - Application
	d.  R - Relationships
	e.  E - Evangelism
3.  Do you need to get plugged in to God?  (Invitation)
4.  If already baptized, then sign up for Life Group - I believe they reflect God