JESUS AND OUR RELATIONSHIPS
Scripture: John 15:1-8
Our God is a Living God who can only be known through a relationship with Him. That relationship leads us to focus on three words found in John Chapter 15, verses 1-8. Those three words are: “Abide with Me.”
In John 15, Jesus talks about three vital RELATIONSHIPS. Those relationships are 1) our relationship to Christ.]; 2) our relationship to other believers; and 3) our relationship to the world.
Suppose someone asked you, “What is your relationship to your mother.” What would your answer be? You might describe that relationship with words like - love, trust, respect, appreciation. There are all good and necessary qualities for a relationship. Whatever your relationship is or was, it is surely one that is deeply felt and very personal.
If those words describe our relationship with our mother, these also ought to be the nature of our relationship with God. God wants to have a deeply felt and very personal relationship with us... If we don’t feel that way about our relationship with God and we only feel okay or so-so, there may be a problem. John, as he writes in Revelation, calls such relationships “lukewarm”. Most things when found to be lukewarm, are not so much desired.
The key for each of these relationships can be found in the words of Jesus quoted in John 15:4 when he said: “Abide in me.” There are three facets of abiding in Christ.
First, there is making time. The second is getting to know Christ. And the third is following Him.
In our world of 2021, we live fast, always on the go. If we are not busy actually doing something constructive, we are looking for something to keep us busy. The word “abide” wears against the grain of our busy way of life. The idea of abiding emits a feeling of tranquility with a desire to spend quality time with someone we care about – unhurried, peaceful, with time to reflect on our relationship with that special person.
As we read through the Gospels we often see Jesus being busy. But he did take time to step aside away from the crowds to pray – speaking with His Father even in the midst of His busy life. We see this behavior in Mark 1:35: “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, Jesus went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” Jesus set time apart without distractions.
Today, with our dependence on devices such as cell phones, iPads, computers, and Facebook we too often spend wasted time and we have accomplished nothing of any value. Oh, yes, we are taking time to chat with our friends and developing those relationships. But, at the same time, we are most likely missing out on developing and strengthening our relationship with the One who can make the most rewarding contribution to our lives.
We end up nourishing shallow relationships substituting them for the more valuable relationships.
Charles Swindoll once wrote, “Busi-ness feeds the ego but starves the inner man. It fills a calendar but fractures a family.”
Jesus wants to spend time with us, but He does not want our time together with Him to be about entertainment. He wants it to be about talking and especially listening. So consider this, where God is concerned, you’re seeking a relationship – not just for this life on earth, but for eternity. Consider this - how much time is that worth?
If you take time to abide with Christ, you will undoubtedly find that you have much more time than you ever realized. You will also discover that God is an amazing conversationalist and He even speaks your language! Listen, as your speak with Him, and you will hear that “still small voice.”
In the next article, we will look at that second facet of “abiding in Christ” – Getting to Know Him.
Gary’s Wednesday Word Princeton Christian Church
25 July 2021