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ALL OUT - RELATIONSHIP
Some of you understand that I think the entire Word of God is about relationship. Of course, the most important theme in the entire Word of God is that God wanted relationship with each one of us. Sin entered, and separated us from our heavenly Father. Jesus came, took our sins, covered them with His sacrificial blood, and restored us to God’s family by the SPIRIT. Hallelujah!
Then, Jesus imparted His heart into His disciples to carry on His work. If we think of what He has truly asked us to carry on, isn’t it about reproducing the ability to have authentic relationship with the Godhead? We are also reproducing the ability to have authentic relationships with each other, for the sake of the Gospel and for the sake of the world. Come on now! It is ALL true!
Just in case that isn’t enough, let us look at Paul’s final words to the Colossians. As we do, please notice how many relationships he spoke about in these few Scriptures.
Colossians 4:7-15 NKJV
7 Tychicus, a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord, will tell you ALL the news about me. 8 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts, 9 with Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will make known to you ALL things which are happening here. 10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, with Mark the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him), 11 and Jesus who is called Justus. These are my only fellow workers for the Kingdom of God who are of the circumcision; they have proved to be a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in ALL the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness that he has a great zeal for you, and those who are in Laodicea, and those in Hierapolis. 14 Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you. 15 Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas and the Church that is in his house.
Paul spoke of nine people personally. He mentioned brethren in several verses. I think this is a beautiful picture of Paul’s heart. He was truly EMPOWERED by the SPIRIT, and received from his own relationship with the Godhead, to build relationship.
Paul learned to live a life of building relationship. Without it, Paul would not have been the one to speak of the Gospel life that was made so evident to him. Jesus became Paul’s acquaintance rapidly on the road to Damascus. Jesus became such a beautiful Savior and Friend to him that Paul was able to write two-thirds of the New Testament about what he had learned directly and indirectly. ALL of it was born of relationship.
Look at ALL he had to say about some of the people he mentioned:
- Tychicus was a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord. Paul was sending him to build relationship, “that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts.”
- Onesimus was a faithful and beloved brother.
- Aristarchus,his fellow prisoner, was sending them greetings because they were “one.”
- John Mark was a relative of Barnabas, and Paul was making sure they would welcome him.
- Justus, John Mark and Aristarchus, whom Paul said were ALL his fellow workers for the Kingdom of God, had proven to comfort Paul in jail.
- Epaphras was not only a bondservant of Christ, but a prayer warrior.
Paul spoke of many others that He obviously cared about and had some kind of relationship with. I think we need to take a good look at this, because one of the greatest needs in the Church in these days is the need to become relational on purpose. Relationship goes beyond saying hello.
I love that we have a great “hang factor” at Liberty, as I heard one Pastor name it. Before and after church, we like to get to know each other. I love that and I know there is more. The Church must be inter-related in going beyond convenience to have relationships, and in pressing forward to have relationships that are real, caring relationships.
God wants us to spend quality time getting to know each other. He wants us to spend time with friends inside the four walls, and with those that we are to befriend outside the four walls. If we listen to the voice of the SPIRIT, He is calling US to reach OUT.
I recognize how busy our lives are. I think about the fact that Paul didn’t just preach; he was a tent maker. He was a friend. He made “brothers,” and he watched over many churches. We probably did not have more time to spare than we think we have. I believe we have many friends, many of whom we are not acquainted with yet.
Relationships of the God-kind go beyond talking into being inter-related. It takes a heart that serves and wants others to succeed. I believe the recent series on discipleship taught at Liberty outlined everyone’s needs in different types of relationships as well.
- We need to be able to be taught by others and to receive from others who have gone before us in the faith.
- We need friendships that have the ability to give to us and to receive from us.
- And we need to be looking for those whom we can win to the Lord and mentor.
I believe, as we posture our hearts before the Lord, desiring true relationship, that He will order our steps right into the proper relationships that will build us together. Understand that you will not have close relationships with every single person. Also understand relationships are a must, and this is the season for VERY CLOSE relationships to be built. Those relationships will never be broken, whether near or far.
We must be SPIRIT EMPOWERED to locate who, where, when, and how we are to build “God relationships” to bring glory to our God. I am excited to see what ALL of us will discover as we discover the joy of each other’s gifts and talents this year. So many treasures inside of ourselves and others are yet to be uncovered. Let’s make it a point to be who God has designed us to be. It is always about relationship.
I thank You, Lord, for giving us Your heart towards others. We know that it means sacrificing our time to reach OUT to others. But we also know someone thought we were valuable enough to reach to us. We thank You that You have brought us to the place of surrendering our convenience and our satisfaction to Your will being done.
We know that it will push us past our comfort zone. We recognize that You are always ALL-inclusive, and we are asking for that to be a part of the big picture of what You are doing in the Body of Christ.
We are going ALL OUT as You EMPOWER us by the SPIRIT this year to enjoy those You join to us. Thank You for this opportunity,
In Jesus’ beautiful Name. Amen.
Take some time to reflect on what you just read by answering these questions in the comment section below:
- What was your “aha” moment from today?
- Do you have questions about today’s Fasting Guide or need further clarification? Write out your question(s) here.