“So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.” (Romans 5:11)
When my cousin heard I was struggling with something, she introduced me to her mother-in-law, Cindy, who has had similar experiences. Cindy and I have a great relationship, discussing our common issues and supporting each other. However, we’ve never met in person; all our contact has been online.
In the same way, we have not yet met God face-to-face, although we see evidence of His existence and love.
Relationships with Friends
At first, I came to Cindy mainly for advice. The relationship started off one-sided, but healthy ones don’t stay that way. As our friendship grew, we we were able to help and serve one another. A New Testament writer said, “You must all be quick to listen [and] slow to speak” (James 1:19). In godly relationships, we should “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).
Relationship with God
We first turn to God because we need Him. But our relationship should not be built on us asking for things all the time, without listening. We must engage in “give and take” with God, too, hearing from Him when we read the Bible: “Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105). But we “don’t just listen to God’s Word; [we] do what It says” (James 1:22). We know God values us because of His grace and salvation; we show that we value God when we “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously” (Matthew 6:33).
Relating God to Friends
Another way we proclaim God’s worth is to share His love and His Message with others. We trust Him to lead us, including when our friends need to know Him: “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7). Our relationship with God is worth more than anything we can imagine. Jesus said, “a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God” (Luke 12:21). And starting in the Old Testament (Psalm 23), and through Jesus’ time, God describes Himself and His Son Jesus as our Good Shepherd: “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27).
PRAYER, CARE & SHARE
Use every opportunity to build friendships!
Scripture: “See to it that no one misses the grace of God.” (Hebrews 12:15).
Prayer, Care & Share Jesus teachings help us to obey, in a practical way, the second great commandment God gave us which is: loving others like ourselves. Many of the people we meet or see daily are not-yet-believers. I encourage you to identify those types of people that may be around you so that you can start an intentional friendship with at least one of them.
Here’s a good question: What about all the other unbelievers? What about people I see or have contact with daily, whose beliefs I don’t know anything about? In our scripture Jesus urges us to make sure that no one misses the grace of God!
The BLESS step in PCS Jesus, is always to pray that God will bless those types of people. The Relationship step is to build relationships (or friendships) with as many people as you can daily. Let’s look at a few examples of interactions you might have with people daily:
Always pray for them (mostly silently). Then use the meeting, even if it is just for a few seconds, to let them have a good experience with you and see Jesus in you. You don’t have to speak about Jesus. Be friendly and smile (unless it is totally against your culture). Use the micro time (under a minute to 5 minutes); short time (up to a day); medium time (a few days or weeks); and long term friendship opportunities (months to years) to build relationships.
Your aim is to use every opportunity with any person you meet (believer or not-yet-believer; friend or stranger). You have no idea how the Lord will use your obedience with that person to let them experience His grace!
Your PRAY NOW Challenge: “Lord, please help me to use every opportunity that you give me to meet other people to build friendships. Help me to remember to pray for them. Give me the right words to use. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”