Man’s greatest tragedy is a broken relationship with God. Sin is the root cause of this break in fellowship between God and man. In order to have a meaningful relationship with God you must know who He is and how He works. This knowledge can only be gotten from His Word.
Who is God?
If we do not know and understand God correctly, we cannot commune in depth with Him, nor can we expect to receive His blessing.
(1) He is the God of Abraham; the God who cares. He cares for us, because He is a caring Father who will not allow His children to suffer.
(2) He is the God of Isaac; the God who provides. He provided Abraham with a ram in the place of Isaac. He is still the same today if we fully believe and obey Him; we shall receive uncountable blessings from Him like Isaac Gen26:1-14.
(3) He is the God of Jacob; the God who destroys. Just as God had to shatter and destroy all of Jacob’s ego and self will through agony and hardship, He still does the same with us today. He shatters our ego and selfishness through hardship and suffering. The purpose is to mold us closer to the image of Christ and be ready to be used as His servants to carry out His plans.
We can say from the lives of these three patriarchs that God the Father has a caring nature for all things, He offers blessings to those who believe and obey; and through hardships, and He molds us in the shape of Jesus Christ. Because of God’s molding of His children through hardship, most people do not believe that God is good. They see Him as a judgmental God, who should be avoided by all means. They believe He is a God that likes to see people suffer, and He resides far away in Heaven and does not care what happens to the people on earth. This mind set is from the pit of hell and it serves only one purpose, and that is to prevent us from enjoying a deep, glowing personal relationship with God. In order to have an intimate relationship with Him, we must first renew our minds with the Word of God. Reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, we will find that God the Father is a good God, who desires the best for His children (LK11:11-13; Matt7:9-11).
There is need for us to correct this misunderstanding for our own good. I must say here that the Father needs our cooperation in order to do good; Rom8:28 says”…..all things work together for good to those who love God…” When we love God, He fulfills His goodness and mercy through our cooperation. God is a righteous God; the fact that God is good does not mean He will close His eyes and accept us when we live according to our own will and commit sin. Because of His righteousness when we commit sin, we cannot escape His judgment. This is seen clearly in the drama that unfolded on the Cross. When Jesus in obedience to the will of the Father bore the sins of the world upon Himself, the Father judged Him mercilessly; the agony of the judgment was so much that Jesus cried out “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me? Matt27:46.
God will always forsake the sinner anytime any day. The good news is that, when we repent and turn away from our sinful ways, by allowing the atoning blood of Jesus Christ to wash us clean of all unrighteousness. We will be able to have a wonderful relationship with our Father. God is the only one who can provide answer to our deep rooted problem. Sin is that deep rooted problem that all mankind has to face Rom3:23.
We all have a spiritual lacking, a thirst that only Him can quench. This thirst cannot be quenched by anything the world has to offer, He alone has the solution for the quenching of our spiritual thirst and the redemption of our spirits. As we accept Jesus works on the Cross of Calvary for us by faith , we enter into an unbreakable relationship with God, for He has forgiven us our sins and has made us His children. He did not stop there, but went a step further to transform the environment we live in; for His Blood also healed our land, the curse on the earth was removed for our sakes so that we can have a blessed destiny. He is faithful and dependable; trustworthy and merciful
“You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord. You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him” Lev 19:16-17.
Tale-bearing emits a threefold poison; for it injures the teller, the hearer, and the person about whom the tale is told. Whether the report is true or false, we are by this precept of God’s Word forbidden to spread it. The reputations of the Lord’s people should be very precious in our sight, and we should count it shameful to help the devil to dishonor the Church and the Name of the Lord. Some tongues need a bridle rather than a spur. Many glory in pulling down their brethren, as if thereby they raised themselves. Noah’s wise sons cast a mantle over their father, and he who exposed him earned a fearful curse Gen9:21-27. We may ourselves one of these dark days need forbearance and silence from our brethren, let us render it cheerfully to those who require it now. Let this be our family rule and our personal bond SPEAK EVIL OF NO MAN.
The Holy Spirit, however, permits us to censure sin, and prescribes the way in which we are to do it. It must be done by rebuking our brother to his face, not by railing behind his back. This course is manly, brotherly, Christ like, and carries God’s blessings. Does the flesh hate to do it? Yes. Then we must lay the greater stress upon our conscience, and keep ourselves to the work, lest by suffering sin upon our friend we become ourselves partakers of it. Hundreds have been saved from gross sins by the timely, wise, affectionate warnings of faithful ministers and brethren. Our Lord Jesus has set us a gracious example of how to deal with erring friends in his warning given to Peter, the prayer with which he preceded it, and the gentle way in which he bore with Peter’s boastful denial that he needed such a caution.
Lord Jesus, Your words are the kind of words I want to speak; words permeated with the grace of God. Please forgive me for the many words I have expressed that were corrupted by my own fleshly wisdom or selfish interests. I humbly ask You to season my speech with heavenly righteousness and godly insight. I long to impart edifying grace to all who hear me speak. In Your holy name, I pray. Amen.
Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. By the finished works on the Cross of Calvary through the Blood of Jesus Christ a new covenant was enacted by God which is the covenant of Grace which brought us Gentiles into the Commonwealth of Israel and been made to partake of the promises of God through the Blood of the Lamb. This covenant is a covenant of relationship. The phrase “in Christ” indicates the extent of the intimacy that is available by Grace. It is where we live spiritually and it is also how we live. As a fish is in the Sea and lives on the resources of the Sea, we are in Christ and live on the resources of Christ. As sure as an unborn child is in the mother’s womb and lives on the life of the mother, we also are in Christ and live on the life of Christ. We are not only brought near by the blood of Jesus, we are joined to Him in a “united closeness” like a head to the its body. He is the Head of the Body, the Church Col1:18. We can relate to the Lord more closely than the members of our physical body relate to our physical head. We can look to Jesus for direction and coordination. We can depend on Him for planning, guiding and timing in our entire lives. We can anticipate that He will monitor, maintain and adjust our situations. The intimacy is also like a vine and its branches. “I am the Vine, you are the branches” Jn15:5. We can look to Jesus for our very life source for we can produce no life on our own. We can concentrate on abiding in Him. He makes our lives fruitful and effective. The intimate relationship the Lord wants to develop with us is likened to the joining of a husband and a wife Rom7:4.We can count on Jesus to love us faithfully and sacrificially. We can rest on His constant companionship, never leaving us for any reason throughout our journey here on earth.
What blessings are ours for time and eternity in Christ. Joined intimately to Christ, nothing can separate us from the love and kindness that He has for us: “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor heights nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” Rom8:38-39, and “that in ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” Eph 2:7.
Say this prayer with me:
Lord Jesus, I am overwhelmed by the intimacy that is available to me, now that I am united to You. Lord, I want to depend upon You as my Vine, follow You as my Head, and love You as my Bridegroom. Lord, please continue to reveal to me the implications of being joined to You for all time and eternity, in Your Holy Name I pray, Amen
- Treasuring God! (psalmsofpraisewomensministries.wordpress.com)
Eccl4:9-12 “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, for he hath not another to help him up. And if one prevails against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken”.
Let us concern the threefold cord that binds people together in relationships. Though the above verse is often quoted during wedding ceremonies, but it applies to all relationships. In marriage especially, the threefold cord is the husband, wife and the Holy Spirit.
The Scripture says in Mal2:15 “And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore, take heed to your spirit and let none deal treacherously in your relationship“. It is interesting to note that for every godly relationship, God expect godly seed. Therefore, make your friendship a healthy one based on godly principles and nothing else.
When two people enters into a relationship whether in marriage or in normal friendship, they automatically enters a covenant whether they recognize it or not.
We all know that apart from holy matrimony, there are other relationships we keep in church, office, school, family and business. In every godly relationship, there is one invisible partner (Holy Spirit) which is the cord that ties the relationship together.
When the people involved in this relationship are bound together by God’s principles and allowed the relationship to be based on God’s Word, then, the Holy Spirit which is the cord brings to bear faithfulness, forbearance, honesty, consideration, harmony, peace and joy which will culminate in open door of blessing from above.
In our society today, it is sad to note that not all relationships are bound together by God’s Spirit. It is amazing what ties or bind some people together.
Let’s take a closer look on some relationships we keep, you will discover the underlying cord. For example, two women who are against their mothers in law, their binding cord might be hate or bitterness; two employees who are against their employer might as well be joined together by a cord of unforgiveness.
Other cords that bind people together includes: womanizing, partying, prostitution, gossiping rebellion, etc… Any relationship that is not promoting the kingdom of God is certainly promoting the kingdom of darkness.
TYPES OF RELATIONSHIPS
The common relationship serves to benefit oneself. These benefits may be in the form of money, glory, self—worth, rewards, etc. The relationship flourished as long as these benefits are flowing.
There is another form of friendship, which is not common. This is a relationship with no hidden agenda, it is the God’s type of relationship that flows with agape love, and it serves for the benefit of another.
We all desire this type of relationship, but very few people are willing to pay the price for this type of relationship.
Let’s consider some examples of relationships in the Scriptures.
1. Ruth and Naomi
(Ruth 1:16): Ruth and her mother in law; the cord that bound together was the cord of love, despite their cultural difference and religious background, they had undying love for each other. Pro17:17.
2. David and Jonathan (1Sam20:3-4, 16-17): King Saul knew the bond between his son Jonathan and David was a bond of love, so he kept his wicked plot against David’s life hidden from his son. Jonathan was ready to sacrifice everything for the relationship he had with David Pro18:24.
3. Daniel and his Friends (Dan2:17-19): Danger was looming over the land but Daniel and his companions decided to seek heaven’s intervention. Note they did not gather to murmur nor complain; neither did they gossip the king nor curse him. Pro15:4.
1Kgs13:18. A prophet lying to a fellow prophet.
1Kgs3:19-20. Two friends switching each other’s blessing.
Lk22:47-48. Jesus betrayed by a friend’s kiss (Judas Iscariot).
1Kgs21:10. Jezebel ordered the murder of Naboth by his kinsmen.
Acts6:10-14. Stephen murdered by the men of the synagogue
Acts23:12-14. Jews bound with an oath to destroy Paul the Apostle.
Every relationship worth having should be bound by the Spirit of God. Instead of that relationship being a weight that will lead to destruction, it should help the people involved withstand evil and a threefold cord is not easily broken.
In a nutshell, real friendships don’t just happen and they are not maintenance free.
For us to have valuable relationships we should ask ourselves some questions like: How would you describe your friendships? What is God doing in both of you, individually and together as friends? How can you help each other become all God wants you to be?
A relationship based on godly principles and sealed by the binding force of the Holy Spirit will be refreshing, peaceful and never burdensome.
Finally, Matt18:19-20 emphasizes the dynamic power available in prayer of agreement. So, let us utilize this mystery for our advantages and for the enhancement of God’s kingdom.
Let the Holy Spirit help us choose our friends and partners.
- The Priorities of a Godly Husband. (covenantfamilyaffairs.wordpress.com)
- The Christian Marriage (covenantfamilyaffairs.wordpress.com)
Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah pleased God by Faith
And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah. (Heb11:32)
So much has been noted in these chronicles of faith (Hebrew 11) concerning the extensive consequences that appear as faith gain access to grace. As our present verse implies, days and pages seem too short to also relate the testimonies of Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah; who many might view as “unlikely examples” of living by faith.
In Gideon, God was calling an unlikely leader as His instrument for delivering His people. His humble reply was, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? . . . I am the least in my father’s house” (Jdg.6:15). The Lord’s promise was, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites (Jdg.6:16). When 32,000 Israelites rallied for battle (see Jdg.7:3), God diminished Gideon’s army to an unimpressive, outnumbered 300. “Then the LORD said to Gideon, ‘By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you” (Jdg_7:7). Gideon went forth by faith, and the Lord was faithful to His word. “When the three hundred blew the trumpets, the LORD set every man’s sword against his companion . . . and the army fled” (Jdg.7:22).
Again, in Barak, another unlikely leader was selected by the Lord. First, he would not go forth to battle unless the prophetess Deborah accompanied him “And Barak said to her, If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go’ ” (Jdg_4:8). Also, his godless opponent was actually defeated by another woman. “Sisera had fled away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber . . . Then Jael . . . took a tent peg and took a hammer in her hand . . . and drove the peg into his temple . . . for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died” (Jdg.4:17, Jdg.4:21).
In Samson, we have another unexpected example of faith. Although he did many mighty exploits, he often proved to be a vain and foolish man (especially, concerning women). Yet, in his death, he won his greatest victory of all. “O Lord God, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God . . . So the dead that he killed at his death were more than he had killed in his life” (Jdg.16:28, Jdg.16:30).
In Jephthah, we have one more unlikely example of faith. He was the “son of a harlot” (Jdg_11:1). He made what appeared to be an unwise vow (Jdg_11:1). Still, on occasion, his trust in the Lord was evident. “Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah . . . and the LORD delivered them into his hands” (Jdg.11:29, Jdg.11:32).
If these people can find their way to the Hall of Faith, then you and I have a greater opportunity of getting there if only we will dare to trust God enough.
Pray this prayer with me.
Lord God of the “unlikely servant,” I thank You for these testimonies of those “likely to be overlooked by many.” Yet, at various times and in many situations, their faith in You was demonstrated. Lord, I am encouraged that you are not looking for the spectacular performer or the capable achiever. You are looking for people who will trust in You, as You deal with their shortcomings. I praise You, Lord, for such loving-kindness!