For the month’s blogs of June I will be sharing how to have and maintain good relationships. I have chosen five important relationships every individual needs: With God, family, community, co-workers, and other believers in Christ Jesus.
A Relationship With God
Starting and maintaining a right relationship with God is essential to enjoying productive associations with others.
Charles Swindoll in his devotion, “Loneliness,” describes best the need for this relationship. “It is the most desolate word in all human language. It is capable of hurling the heaviest weight the heart can endure. It plays no favorites, ignores all rules of courtesy, knows neither border nor barriers, yields no mercy, refuses all bargains, and holds the clock in utter contempt . . . Crowds only make it worse, and activity simply drives it deeper . . . Loneliness, that uninvited guest of the soul, arrives at dusk and stays for dinner.”
Loneliness of the soul can only be filled by a relationship with God. When we recognize and acknowledge this deep vacancy of the soul, we need to lift our eyes and focus our attention on one person, Jesus Christ. He and He only can fill that emptiness. He only can heal the soul. Jesus said only through Him can one enter into a relationship with God the Father. “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father but through Me.” There is simply no other anguish like the consuming anguish of loneliness when there is no relationship with God.
John Piper states in his book, Don’t Waste Your Life, that you are in one of two groups. “Either you now have a relationship with God through faith in Christ Jesus or He is now calling you to enter into that relationship with Him. We are brought into this world for this purpose.”
Rick Warren shares in his book, The Purpose Driven Life, “The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by His purpose and for His purpose.”
In their book, Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby and Claude King share, “God Himself pursues a love relationship with you. He is the One who takes the initiative to bring you into this kind of relationship with Himself. That is the very purpose of your life. This love relationship (with Him) can and should be real and personal to you.”
Even though life on earth offers many choices, eternity offers only two, heaven or hell. For that reason your relationship with God while here on earth will determine your relationship to Him in eternity. If you trust Jesus Christ, God’s Son, inviting Him into your life as Lord and Savior, you will be invited to spend all of eternity with Him. But, if you reject His love, forgiveness, and salvation, you will spend eternity apart from Him. It is tragic, that so many people will have to endure eternity without God because they chose to live without Him here on earth. “There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘All right then, have it your way.’” (C. S. Lewis) “Life on earth is just the dress rehearsal before the real production. You will spend far more time on the other side of death – in eternity – than you will here.” (Rick Warren)
I have shared with you the purpose and need to have a relationship with God, now I want to share with you how to respond to His “pursuing” love relationship.
So how! How do I have this love relationship with Him? Jesus said, “You must be born again . . . For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:7 & 16) Faith, trusting Christ Jesus is the door into eternity with Him. There must be a confession and willingness to renounce your sin and trust Christ Jesus. This is not easy. All of us have pride. We do not like to confess that we are wrong or have failed. But it can be done. Thousands have done it already and so can you. Probably one of the clearest passages of scripture of what to do to enter into that relationship with God where you can refer to Him as your heavenly Father and He can call you His child was written by the apostle Paul. Paul said, “That if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart a person believes resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made resulting in salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10) A very simple confession, “Christ Jesus, I believe in You and receive You into my heart to be my Lord and Savior.” “As many as received Him, (Jesus Christ) He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12)
“Surely God would not have created such a being as man to exist only for a day! No, no, man was made for immortality.” (Abraham Lincoln)
“It has been my privilege to know what it means to walk in the way of Christ. What a thrilling, joyous experience it is to wake up every morning and know His presence in the room. What a thrilling, joyous experience it is to know in the evening, when the sun is setting, the peace of God as you go to bed and sleep the sleep of only those who know Christ! What a joy it is to walk in the eternal and permanent experience of Christ.” (Dr. Billy Graham)