Intro: One word this morning for you to think about as you read: relationships—the state of being related by kindred, affinity, or other alliance. God cares so much about relationships he gave us 10 commands so we would take care of them. In fact, by God’s design, everything about redemption—price paid by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for our sins—flows through the starting point of relationship.
We are to love God relationally—to connect with him personally as our Creator and Lord. To know him in this way is to have eternal life (Jo 3:16). Jesus brings us into a new relationship with God, so we can receive communication from his Spirit and choose to follow divine direction into a deeper measure of his love. Believers—those in right relationship with God through Christ—now have the honor and responsibility to be led by the Spirit. We can know we belong to God by the inward witness of the Holy Spirit (Ro 5:5).
Therefore, we are to love others relationally, because we identify as our Father’s children. Saying we know God, but do not treat our relationships with others—family, friends, work, church, other acquaintances—as an essential point of sharing God’s relational love is to completely miss the gospel. We choose to love through our relationships, because God first loved us in relationship (1 Jo 4:19). And remember, when the Kingdom comes up against God’s spiritual enemies, great pressure is the result. We will feel the spiritual pressure in ourselves and relationships. Therefore, we must pray for the Spirit to help us stay the course in commitment and Love. If you are feeling pressure in your relationships with others, just remember human flesh is at war with the Spirit (Gal 5:17). Pray and ask the Spirit to be your Helper and Guide; then, follow in obedience because Love never fails.
Romans 8:14-17 NLT
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for bringing your children into divine relationship with you, so we know how to handle ourselves and our relationships in the world. Thank you for the Holy Spirit who leads and guides us to represent you relationally to others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.