I feel like in this season a lot of things are uncertain for a lot of people but I wanted to encourage you today that the God I have been writing about, that God that we based this whole series on, He is reliable and He can be trusted. The Bible calls Him steadfast. He is immovable. He is strong.
But just because God is great and strong and big does not mean that He does not feel our pain when we are going through rough times. The season we are in has been really hard for a lot of people. I want to remind you that God is always close when we are in trouble. Psalms 46:1 says, “God, you’re such a safe and powerful place to find refuge! You’re a proven help in time of trouble—more than enough and always available whenever I need you.” So God is closer than ever in this season, He can hear you and He can see you and He understands exactly what you are going through.
Alright, so to wrap up our series on relationships, I wanted to talk about our relationships with each other. We have been looking at how we can relate to God and let Him in. But the Bible tells us to go a step further, when we have received God’s love, our response is not only directed to God, but it is also directed to others around us.
1 John 4:11-13 says, “Delightfully loved ones, if he loved us with such tremendous love, then “loving one another” should be our way of life! No one has ever gazed upon the fullness of God’s splendor. But if we love one another, God makes his permanent home in us, and we make our permanent home in him, and his love is brought to its full expression in us. And he has given us his Spirit within us so that we can have the assurance that he lives in us and that we live in him.”
My pastors preached an amazing message on right relationships on the weekend, I encourage you to go have a listen on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uWKVIbgykI. We need to surround ourselves with the right people and there is a difference between being friendly and friendship. It’s all in the message, it’s a must watch 100%.
What I’m going to focus on is that, “strong relationships begin with a strong relationship with Christ”, Ps Esther Nurse. In this series we were looking at how to build our relationship with God. We need to let what we learn as we grow in our relationship with God overflow into our relationships with each other. God loves people, that is an unquestionable truth. He absolutely loves people.
Part of growing in our love of Christ is that we begin to love what He loves and hate what He hates. So if God loves people we too are to love people and to treat each other well. Knowing that the person we are interacting with is loved by God and we are an expression of that love to them. Our verse tells us that “love is brought to its full expression in us” when we love one another because God makes His permanent home in us.
It matters how we treat each other. There is no time like the present to show each other love and kindness, within social distancing limits and protocols of course. We need to start seeing people as people. I think sometimes we dehumanise each other. Especially when we are dealing with statistics, it’s easy to see numbers and not see people but we need to see people as people.
They have a heart, they have emotions, they have dreams and things they want for their future. They cry, they get sad, they get excited about things, they laugh but they bleed too. People. I pray that in this season, as God pours His love into you, that love overflows and touches the lives of the ones God has put around you. Love is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and the Spirit lives in you, let Him do what He needs to do in you and His love will begin to flow out of you.
The Bible goes on to say in 1 John 4:20-21, “Anyone can say, “I love God,” yet have hatred toward another believer. This makes him a phony, because if you don’t love a brother or sister, whom you can see, how can you truly love God, whom you can’t see? For he has given us this command: whoever loves God must also demonstrate love to others.”
Yep, the Bible is clear, we can’t say we love God whom we cannot see and then hate the ones who are right in front of us. Brother or sister in our verse can mean either a blood relation, a fellow Christian or any person near or remote. Our love and kindness should not be limited to the people who look like us or think like us but it should extend beyond any socio-economic, racial, political, educational differences, whatever our differences may be. We serve a God of love and not hate. Let us learn to love God first so we can learn how to love each other well.
Love and blessings,