Relationships matter. When I think of all we strive for — the jobs, the accomplishments, the cars, the houses, the nice yards, the clothes, the vacations, the recreation, physical fitness, the achievements for our children, and so on — I realize how easy it is to get off base about what really is important.
What does God think is important? We are to love Him with all our heart, soul strength and mind, and love our neighbor as ourselves.
God thinks relationships are what is important.
So it makes sense that God’s sense of righteousness is tied up in relationships.
Here are some awesome passages:
- But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.” “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” Isa 49:16
- If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Ps 139 9-10
- For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
God cannot forget us. So firm is His interest in us, that it is like we are engraved on his hands. We MATTER to Him. We are on His heart. The power of His affection for us cannot be measured. “For love is as strong as death.” (Song of Solomon 8:6)
So here are three things to take away from this. If relationships are important to God, then we can know —
That He will answer prayer. Yesterday, in our sermon (which was awesome by the way!) we talked about how Jesus said in Mark 9:23, “Everything is possible for one who believes.” We even learned how God is offended that we don’t believe. Jesus rebuked his disciples, “You unbelieving generation!” He said this because they should realize, as should we, that we are of utter importance to God. Of course God is listening, and wants to answer our prayers.
That He will be with us.
- Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
- But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. II Tim. 4:7
- And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matt 28:20
That He will shape us into what we need to be.
- And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Phil 1:6
- God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. Heb. 12:10
- for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Phil 2:13
When we know these things, our outlook and lives are different. Because God treats our relationship with Him as important, we start treating our relationships with others as important.
Who are your heroes, people who go to great lengths with their lives to demonstrate that relationships matter?
It was great to see the Enterprise ministry at church on Sunday. They drove two hours to be with us.
I think of my friend Nancy. When Nancy’s good friends had to go back to Mexico, Nancy and her husband. Peter, got guardianship of their friends’ 16 year old daughter, Jennifer, so she could finish school in the US. Jennifer is now a part of their family, and they are helping her to attend college. Here’s a picture of Nancy with her birth daughter and Jennifer.
We all have many examples. Let’s strive today to have confidence in our relationship with God, so we can pass it on.