How Are Those Relationships Working For You?
Categories: Pastor's Blog
“Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18
This Sunday we will begin a new series that will deal with the relationships in our life. Even in the best of relationships, we struggle with selfishness. As a result it is very important to look to God as your example when you encounter problems.
The foundation of our relationships should be love, based on the power we can receive from God, and not our own power. Ephesians 4:32 teaches us, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” God gives us the power we need in order to forgive someone. God’s strength in me gives me the power to forgive somebody that has hurt me.
Let me ask this question: How do you forgive? How do you let go of bitterness? The answer is that only God can give you the power that is needed to accomplish that difficult task.
Philippians 2 teaches us, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves… Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.” (Philippians 3 &5-6).
I enjoy the Message translation of Philippians 3:6 “Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what.” If anyone has the right to cling to his “advantages”, it’s Jesus Christ. But instead, he went to a cross and died for us. He gave up his rights so that you and I could have forgiveness and life.
Our church mission statement states that “We are Christ-followers…” We want to be like Jesus. Jesus modeled for us the unselfish life. In our relationships we need to be the unselfish one. We will still struggle with selfishness, but if we look to God, and ask Jesus for the power, then we can make the right decision. And instead of finding ourselves in a downward spiral of relationship, we’ll find an upward growing relationship.
When you look at how much God has forgiven you, and how patient he has been with you, you will find the same strength to forgive and be patient with others.
This Sunday we will examine this in more depth. I am looking forward to seeing you Sunday.