Relationships – Putting God First

 Later this afternoon, and this being somewhat of an intro, we are gathering to bestow blessings on two of our beloved members of Sunrise Chapel.

As I was preparing for this morning, I began the think about the relationships I had been in… ones from very long ago and some from today. I thought about the failures and successes. What made them right and what made them wrong.

Knowing me the way you all know me, I turned to my Bible for some guidance. I had never really thought about what had happened in the past as I always try to concentrate on the future. Isn’t that the way it should be? Perhaps not.

Maybe our pasts play an important role in how our future is molded and we should learn, understand and remember that it was all simply a lesson from God.

What type of role have your past relationships played on your life? More importantly, how are your current relationships molding your future?

I’d like to speak on these things today but not only in the “boyfriend-girlfriend” kind of relationships, but our relationships in general.

From the Beginning

I know I just said I wasn’t referring to the “male-female” relationships but I’d like to start there just the same. After all, these types of relationships were spoken about from the very beginning of time in our Bible.

In the very beginning, after God had finished His work creating the Heavens and the Earth, He decided He needed someone here to take care of all He had created. Thus, the creation of Adam…

Genesis 2:7 – “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

Now God had created a lot of things and, most significantly, a garden in the east He called Eden. This garden, has you may imagine, was quite a task for this man to undertake.

There was much to do, and God knew the man would be very busy and exhausted from all his cares. Our God, being the Loving Father that He is, gave this man a companion for comfort.

Genesis 2:18 – “The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’”

Adam understood all of this very well. He knew of the Father’s intentions and followed them earnestly. So when God brought the woman to him, he acknowledged His gift…

Genesis 2:23-24 – “This is now the bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman for she was taken out of man.

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

This was the story of Adam and Eve. Both a part of God’s great creation playing a critical role in the growth of our world as we know it today.

These very facts from the Bible, tell us assuredly that this is the way it is supposed to be. Man and woman, working side-by-side with one another tending to all that was given to them by their Loving Father in Heaven.

Making it Work

We’ve seen so many relationships fail these days. I, myself, I’ve gone through too many to mention as it’s a bit of an embarrassment to me but, nonetheless, this seems to be the way of our world today.

We meet someone we feel in our minds that “this is the one for me” but somehow, lose faith; become disillusioned or distracted and what we thought would be forever turns into nothing but a few years together.

The Bible most certainly gives us some pointers how what we should concentrate on and how to keep our Love alive.

Remember the Value

When you’ve met “that person,” what was it that attracted them to you? Was it looks alone or did their heart actually speak to yours? I’d say, if it’s the latter of the two, you really should remember this and treasure it for all the days of your life not forgetting what Proverbs told us if you are, in fact, a noble character.

Proverbs 31:10-11 – “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.”

Yes, “far more than rubies!” What a treasure you’ve found in someone who Loves you with all their heart and tolerates your indiscretions.

Some Personal Time

How many of you have your “personal time?” Time away from one another but still on one another’s mind? We should all know, if we spend all our time together and forget about God, things may certainly go awry.

1 Corinthians 7:5 – “Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

Take your time away and give that time to God. Give thanks to Him for all that you have and all that is yet to come. Ask Him for guidance. Ask Him for strength. Putting God before all else and remembering what your role here is on Earth.

Relations with Friends

Now we all know how much of a role the friends we choose play in our lives. More often than not, our friends are our most trusted confidants. We sometime entrust more about our lives with them than we do our own family.

The Bible warns us to choose our friends wisely. Most of these warnings come from Solomon, one of the wisest men in the Bible also known as one of the 48 prophets. I’ll only read a few here today but I encourage you to read Proverbs in greater detail as there are so many lessons to be learned from this great man.

Proverbs 13:20 – “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”

Pretty obvious advice here, wouldn’t you say? How many times in our lives have we associated with people we probably shouldn’t have, and it caused great turmoil in our lives?

Proverbs 18:24 – “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

We’ve all got some of these don’t we. We have our casual friends and we have our casual relationships. Clearly, what Solomon is telling us here is to beware of the unreliable friends and cherish the friends that “sticks closer than a brother!”

Proverbs 17:17 – “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”

That one is kind of funny to me, but I do understand what it may be saying. Sometimes our friends may ignore some of the things we do as they wouldn’t be as concerned as our own brother may.

…and one of our Elder Joe’s personal favorites.

Proverbs 27:17 – “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

All of these verses warn us about how we choose our friends and form good relationships and, once again, all came from our Bible reminding us how much we should be focusing on the words contained in the Bible as Solomon’s wisdom was a gift from God.

Holding on to Friends

All of the advice given to us above is great but, what about holding on to the friends we should? Especially the ones that “sharpen us.” How can we keep those relationships going?

Well, once again, if your intentions are good and you stick by God’s lessons, you’ll find it pretty easy to hold on to those you treasure.

Hebrews 10:24-25 – “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

How many times do we let our meeting with friends die down? We get so caught up in this society, we forget about getting together. Hebrews, above, tells us not to give up on these times but continue to encourage one another.

Ephesians 4:2-3 – “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

More good advice, don’t you agree? We talk so much about humbleness and kindness. Here is one of the reasons why we do so… to keep our close relationships near to us for all times.

How much of a “true friend” are you? John told us in his writings on Christ just how great a friend can be…

John 15:13 – “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

All too often, I hear people say, “Love ya!” as they leave or comment on Facebook in a response to friend’s post.

I am a firm believer of using those words ever-so carefully for the meaning of that word, “Love” to me, is only epitomized by our Lord’s sacrifice to us. If this is what you say to someone, be sure you understand the true meaning behind that word and the sacrifice you may be called upon to make if you truly mean it.

The Non-Believers

This is the last one I will talk about this morning before we move on with our planned activities, but I think it’s important not to forget.

2 Corinthians 6:14 – “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”

This verse, as written by Paul, makes perfectly good sense to me. “What fellowship can light have with darkness?” How true! Why would we, being true believers in God’s words, want to risk our own salvation by “yoking” ourselves together with those that don’t believe?

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One last thought… Moving Thoughts

In Conclusion

Relationships are difficult and can be very trying on one’s soul. Remember the reasons you first came together and concentrate on the positive aspects that, what once was, can be again. Remember the lessons from God. Keep Him in your heart at all times and make Him the bigger part of every relationship you may have. He has put you together for a reason you may not even realize.

Trust in Him. Believe in Him to get you through all things and He will show you the way.

Go with God; be good to one another; always stay humble; always be kind… God Bless!