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“It’s All About The Relationship!”

In the 15th chapter of the gospel of John, Jesus seeks to impress upon his disciples the importance of relationships.  In this instance, Jesus is referring to the importance of His relationship with them and with their relationship with one another.  It seems to me this is a reality of which we need to be reminded every now and then.

            Dr. George Boyd, a pastor and former theological professor mentions his favorite T-shirt in his book, The Myth of a Christian Religion:  Losing Your Religion for the Beauty of a Revolution.  He says that the slogan on the front of the T-shirt reads: “My relationship prevents me from having a religion”.  It is obvious to me that when he says  “my relationship”, he is referring to his relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

            I do wonder from time to time if we are not so busy being religious that we neglect to pay attention to our relationship with the God to whom our religion points.  After all without a relationship with God, whatever religion we may think we may have is null and void.  So I do wonder if we are so busy making certain that we do the right thing that we give little or no thought to the spirit in which we do it.  I wonder if we are so busy making certain that what we believe is correct that the One in whom believe becomes secondary.  I do wonder if we have become so determined to defeat and destroy those who may be our enemies that w lose sight of the alternative approach offered by Jesus that recommends that we love our enemies.

            It seems to me quite interesting that when Mark describes the calling or appointing of the disciples he says, “He (Jesus) appointed twelve…that they might be with him.” (Mark 3:12 NIV)  The way I understand it, being with is about being in relationship with another.  And it is in this being in relationship with God through Jesus Christ, that we not only discover eternal life but we also discover the way, that path that leads us and others to eternal life.  I would however be remiss if I did not add that I have discovered that it is easier to practice religion than it is to be in a close and intimate relationship with Christ Jesus.

            But, this does not have to be a question of having the religion or being in the relationship.  It seems to be that the relationship with Jesus will give shape and form and content to the religion; but it does not necessary follow that practicing religion will necessary lead to a close and intimate relationship with God through Christ Jesus.  There is no doubt that the religious authorities who lived in the time of Jesus were faithful to their religious practices, but their relationship with Jesus was anything but close and intimate.  To my way of thinking, it is all about the relationship.         

           

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7 comments to “It’s All About The Relationship!”

  • Racquel smith

    Pastor, this is so true. We spend so much time practicing our religion by doing the right things, making sure we show people we love God and doing ministry. But, if we would stop and realize that if we develop a relationship with God; ” Seek you first the Kingdom of God and all other things will be added unto you” everything else will fall in line. It is so important to develop the relationship first, but it is scary once you realize that committing yourself to a relationship with God will cost you. Sometimes, we are afraid because we don’t want to leave our comfort zone. So we end up being like the Sadduces and Pharises, doing the right things and end up knowing the scripture but not the Saviour

  • Although, there is something to be said about doing things properly AND taking care of your personal relationship with God. What’s wrong with doing both well? It’s not like we can’t multi-task. 🙂

  • Thanks so much for loging in on our website and commenting on my blog. I have found that the more I value any relationship, doing things properly seems to be intertwinded in that relationhsip. One of the relationships I value most is the relatiinship I have with my wife. Because of that I spend very little if any time wondering about what is the proper thing to do for her; it seems to me that is the natural result of how much I value our relationship and therefore, will do whatever is necessary to keep that relationship in tact. These are not two separate functions; they more the two sides of the same coin. Take away the value of the relationship and we are less likely to do the proper thing: likewise, fail to do the proper thing is likely to be understood as failure to value the relationship. In speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, God says to the children of Israel: “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor or a man his brother, saying ‘Know the Lord’, because they will all know me,…” (Jeremiah 31:33-34) I submit it is all about the relationship.

  • Pastor, frequently you talk about levels of understanding scripture. As I go through life’s stuff, it is ever more clear that relationships, especially with God, take commitment. Like with my children, like with a spouse, like with myself. I an learning how to acknowledge, comprehend and embrace all aspects of my relationship with God. I mean, I can’t say that I am always happy with God (hope that is not blasphemy), but what a joy and peace are mine just to know that nothing, but nothing can separate me from the love of Christ Jesus. So instead of practicing religion, I am learning, in your words, how to “practice the presence of God” so that whatever the circumstances, I can stay in relationship with God – the Father and the SonJthrough the Holy Spirit.

    thanks for your usual inspiring and instructive insights.

  • Thank you for your response to this blog. Hopefully we all will spend time practicing the presence of God so that our relationship with Him will deepen.

  • You must be some sort of Voodoo Witch Doctor. Every time My partner and i reload the site, your text changes a font styling somewhat. I don’t know how to explain it but it’s like it is blurry or something for any second after We load the web page. At first I thought it had been my eyeballs melting from their sockets! HA!

  • Thank you for checking out the blog. I am sorry that you had trouble with it. It is the first time we have had thaet kind of problem. I hope that you will check out some of the other blogs and see if you have the same problem.

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