Monday, December 14, 2009

Your second week continued again...

Part 3

Relationship building.

So, if it’s all about relationship, what are things that build relationships and increase love for one another? Well… what are things in your personal life that can build a relationship or increase your love for others?

Communication is the key! Many marriage counselors have said that most marriages that end in divorce do so, not because of infidelity, not because of money, and not because of sex. They actually end because of communication breakdowns. Maybe one party has stopped listening to the other. Maybe one has given up on trying to communicate their needs or desires. Very often, one or both parties have not experienced healthy ways of communicating. Their family of origin may have had very unhealthy lines of communication.

It is no different with God. There are many ways that God can communicate with us. There are also many ways that we can communicate with God. The two primary ways, though, are through prayer and reading the Bible.

We most often communicate with God through prayer. The Bible says that we have direct access to God through Jesus. That means that at any time and any place that we want to talk to God for any reason, he is available and listening! If we want to thank God for something, if we want to ask God for something, or if we just want to talk to God about our day, he is always available and listening because great relationships are marked by our availability and willingness to listen.

God most directly and clearly communicates to us through the Bible. When we read scripture, God’s will is made known to us. What does God want from us in response to His love? How can we please Him? So much is so clearly communicated through the Bible. Our problems are not so much about understanding God’s Word (though that can be an issue at times.) Our problem is more often listening to what God clearly says and obeying it. God has much to say to us, if we will only read His Word and listen to it.

How can you be sure to keep the lines of communication open and flowing with God?
When would be the best time for you to regularly pray and/or read your Bible?

Giving is another key. We often look at relationships for what we can get out of them. We think or say things like “I love this person because they do this or that for me.” “I want to marry this person because they make me feel this way.” In fact, coming to know Jesus personally may have been more because of what He was offering in new and eternal life than about anything else. However, good, healthy relationships are about giving and receiving.

If we constantly look at God as our cosmic gift giver, it will impact our relationship with Him. If we think that it's all about what we can do to give back to him, that will greatly impact our relationship, as well.

Read Matthew 6:5-15, Psalm 119

What are some things you want God to do for you?
What does God want you to do for Him in response to his love?

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