Life can be challenging at times, to say the least. God never designed us to go through it isolated and alone. The antidote to trauma is relationship. God said, “It’s not good for man to be alone”. We always take that in the context of marriage, but it’s in the context of life. It’s not good for you to be isolated or separated.
Jesus and His followers taught us that good human relationships were one of the primary ways that God changes our lives, that God heals us. Life is relational. God created us for Relationship. Yet all throughout the Word we see relationship struggles. Throughout the Bible we see people who loved God and had one area of their life really working, but other areas in complete failure and lack…
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In John 13: 34,35, Jesus gives us a commandment. He provides a prescriptive, authoritative command. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
We are told to have a “divine love” for one-another. We all struggle in relationships somewhere. How many of us have “failed” to love one-another at times. It is pretty incredible when we sit back and think about how God has loved us unconditionally, and yet how hard we can struggle to show that same love for our fellow man, even for our family.
Our first thing is to love God with all our hearts and mind. That is the foundation of making all other relationships work.
Throughout the Word of God we see relationship struggles, here are several:
- Adam & Eve.
- Abraham, “Our Father of Faith”.
- Jacob, Rachel, and Leah.
- Judah. David.
- Miriam, Aaron, and Moses.
- Samson and Delilah.
- Joseph and Potiphar’s wife.
- Noah (drunk in the cave).
- King Ahab and Jezebel.
- Paul (most theologians believe he divorced after his conversion).
- Judas. Peter.
Life is relational, and God created us for relationship and commanded that we learn how to get them “right.”
He starts by wanting us to have a relationship with Him… one where we really know Him and share in His love for us!
Without God at the center of all relationships, there will always be struggle and conflict. This is the first relationship that makes all others work well.
Ephesians 3:17-19 (AMP), “May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]; [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!”
God wants a deep, intimate real relationship with you!
Jesus sums this up in 2 Commandments: Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV), Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
To truly love others well this requires us loving God well and loving ourselves well… WHOLENESS.
“Wholeness” occurs when you have a realistic, appreciative, loving opinion of yourself, in spite of your imperfections. You must be able to discern your unconditional human worth.
Love depends, in part, on our ability to own and share our faults.
Luke 7:47, “The one who is forgiven much, loves much.”