Relational Faith

Imagine you are at a funeral—a celebration of someone’s life. Everyone’s thoughts circled with memories of the loved one who passed away. The space is filled with photographs and maybe even a slideshow of images from their life. You start looking around and identifying those in attendance. Maybe even introducing some people to others you know. The conversation leads to discussions about how you knew the person who passed away and how their life impacted yours. Memories are shared amongst the crowd as you realize how many mutual friends or family members you have. Your mind shifts to the question, “Who would come to my funeral?” As you roll through the list of people in your life, as well as those who may have faded away. You are reminded of how meaningful relationships are. How, in the end, relationships matter the most.

As we walk through our daily routines, we fill roles within our relationships. Each role represents a relationship with one or more people we encounter. At any given time, some of those relationships can be going well, or there may be tension. Regardless, our human nature draws us to want a connection with others. We desire community and to feel a part of something. Whether it’s participating in team sports, attending family gatherings or wanting to go to any other social event, our drive to show up comes from the innate desire to be together. We want to enjoy life together. And God created us this way. He created us to be in fellowship with others and pursue fellowship with Him. In 1 John 1:3 (NIV), John writes to believers, “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” We are called to have a relationship with God and build relationships with those around us to share the gospel. These two sides to our walk of faith must stay in balance. We must pursue the strength, love, and mercy of our God to be able to pour into the lives of others continually.

Our relationship with God.

For believers, scripture tells us over and over again that we are to pursue a relationship with our heavenly Father. It is in being connected to Him that we can be restored, given strength, peace and hope for every day of our lives (John 15:5). By being intentional about time spent seeking His plan and purpose for our lives, the Holy Spirit then fills us so that we can share the love we have received. The heart of the gospel and sharing of the gospel is centered around this idea that we remain connected to our heavenly Father so that we can turn around to share Jesus with others. We remain connected to the God of hope through consistently praying, reading scripture, and remembering God’s faithfulness (Romans 12:12). The Bible tells us that as we give the Spirit space to fill us with the fruit of the Spirit, we are then filled in abundance so we can pour into others what we have been given (John 15:8). Bearing fruit for His glory.

Our relationship with others.

As our relationship with our Savior grows, our lives should become a response of gratitude to the one who freed us from sin (2 Corinthians 6:1). The love, hope and restoration we find in Him should compel us to navigate the other relationships in our life as opportunities to share Jesus with others. Every relationship becomes a chance to be a light in this broken world. We want to share the grace and freedom we have received with those who still need to experience it. As vessels for God’s purposes, we must stay connected with Him so He can be glorified in the way we live. He becomes our source of strength, wisdom and guidance as we navigate each relationship in our life. As a follower of Christ, we are called to love, serve and share the hope we have in Christ (Matthew 28:19-20) so that others can encounter everlasting hope.

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