*Pastor’s Note: This is another short article I wrote in the late 90s along with some others for the Church section of the local newspaper where we lived in Globe, Arizona. I thought it might interest my readers and I HAVE updated some of the Scriptures references. All in all, it is pretty much as it was published in the Church editorial of the newspaper. The pictures were added for this posting.
Our walk in and with the Lord is truly one of relationships. The funny thing about relationships is that no matter what your stand on a certain matter, you still have a relationship. You either have a close personal relationship or you have a meaningless or non-existent relationship. Either way it is still a relationship. It’s either positive, or it’s negative, but it still IS!
One of the greatest struggles that we who are striving to practice TRUE Christianity has, is in relationships with others who at the very least claim to be Christians. The thing is, what is supposed to be my duty to others? Well, the Bible is full of examples concerning what to do with those that are supposed to be Christians and those who have never claimed to be.
I first want to start out with the one scripture that I believe covers everything. You have heard me quote it before but it concerns an answer that Jesus gave to a Pharisee scholar and lawyer that was trying to trip Him up as they always tried, but never succeeded in actually doing.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said to him,” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ “This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 22:36-40.
This is the foundation of each and every relationship that we have or will ever have; from even before our birth until long after our physical death, for this kind of love is eternal. This is the kind of love that Jesus as our Savior and Redeemer came to earth to share with all of humanity. Each and every person ever born or ever to be born has the opportunity AND choice to experience this type of love.
To truly experience the kind of love I’m talking about though takes relationship. Many people know OF Jesus as an historical figure and they might believe in A God or supreme being, but that doesn’t make a relationship anymore than me saying I know so and so is a lawyer, or a doctor and yet have never used their services!
God sent Jesus to earth to save and redeem us for one purpose. To restore a broken relationship with Him, as Heavenly Father, that was lost due to man’s early rebellion and disobedience against Him. That’s the reason we have the written Word of God AND the Living Word of God; it’s all about relationship!
“Oh, but I thought Jesus came so I will be saved and go to heaven.” So many believe this deep down. They believe the Word, the Holy Bible was given to show them how to be saved. That is a truth, but only in part. The Word of God, the Holy Bible was given to us under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit, to show us WHO He, God truly is. It is meant to show us His character, nature, His attributes, His personality and every other aspect of His being that it takes to have a true and legitimate relationship. It shows us how to have a relationship with Him based on His Fatherhood. You can’t have a relationship with someone you don’t know and the only type of relationship with someone your are estranged from is a broken one! Jesus came as all God and all man to give us the opportunity to mend that broken relationship with the Father THROUGH Him as Christ.
God has always been a Redeemer to His chosen people, His children. Jesus came that the rest of mankind as well has the opportunity to be redeemed to their Creator as Father. Jesus came as the Living Word to SHOW us the Father by taking on the form of man, since God is Spirit. Man is so visual and that is part of the problems facing many today. This is why Jesus came as the Living Word, still living today, and why we have the written Word so that we can continue to “get the picture.” The Holy Spirit Who inspired the Written Word and is the Spirit of God the Father and Christ Jesus the Son, inspires and anoints us and His Word so that we DO get a clear picture.
If your spirit has be reborn, reawakened to God, Who is Spirit, then that is the Redemption that Christ Jesus came to provide so that we might have the relationship with the Father.
So today, you have a choice and that choice, because of God’s total love, is your ability to HAVE a close personal and intimate relationship with our Creator as Heavenly Father, or you have a relationship based on rejection and in essence, self-centeredness. God, because OF His love will allow you to choose and from that point on, your path is yours. That path is either surrendered to the Lord or total rejection of Him and what He offers you. He will NOT force you.
Every body in this life at one time or another is looking for that true love, that best and most intimate friendship, but due to human nature, you can always count on ups and downs, on and off types of situations in any relationship. When you choose God, He gives you a promise that He has never broken since the creation of man; “For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” – Hebrews 13:5b-6.
You can’t get that type of relationship in the natural; it can only come from our Heavenly Father.