Pathway to Relationship
October 24, 2019
Prayer: Father help us to follow your commandment that we love one another as you have loved us.
Scripture: Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you; and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints. 1 Thess. 3: 12 -13 NAS
God is the author of relationships. He created us to know Him and make Him known. He is LOVE. He saw that it was not good for man to be alone and created woman. His greatest desire is for every person to have a personal relationship with Him. Secondly, He desires for us to love one another. Real love is found through relationships.
Relationships are built through time, common interests, common places such as work, schools, church, sports, clubs or neighborhoods and sometimes relationships are forged through tragedy. Fellowship strengthens a relationship that opens the door to friendship. How do you see your students form friendships? What tends to bind them together? What types of things tear them apart? How are their friendships different from adults?
I often wonder about all of the circumstances that surrounded Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians. He prays that God would cause them to increase and abound in love for one another so that He may establish their hearts in holiness. Paul in pointing out that love for others pours through us from God and our willingness to love others establishes us as His. It is not the source of our salvation, but the evidence of it. As we all know, there is so much more to a relationship than just being willing to love them, so Paul continues through the next chapters to give specific examples of how we are to love one another. We are to: Comfort one another (1 Thess. 4:18,) encourage and build up one another (1 Thess.5:11,) esteem and live in peace with one another (1 Thess. 5:13,) watch out for and only seek that which is good for one another (1Thess. 5:15,) etc.…
What are some things that stand in the way of fellowship and friendship? Was busyness one of the first answers? I believe that deep down every one of us wishes we had more time to comfort, encourage, and watch out for one another. Sadly, the days fly by and friendships just seem like ships that pass in the night. Research shows, at the end of life, not spending more time with friends and family is one of the biggest regrets people express. You probably already knew that, so how do we change it? How do we make relationship a priority? Love is a journey that people travel together.
I challenge you to take out your calendars and start scheduling time to get together with friends and family. Busyness is best overcome by getting ahead of it. We have all learned that we do not have any “free” or “spare” time; ask God to direct your path and establish His priorities so that you can abound in the love for one another and all people.
Copyright Kathy Branzell. Email firstname.lastname@example.org