Wednesday, September 2, 2015


     Life is relational, beginning with the God who is one, but who also eternally exists as three persons in the unity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4; John 20:17; Hebrews 1:8; Job 26:13).  Loving fellowship eternally exists in the Trinity, even as the Lord Jesus Christ declared in His prayer recorded in John 17: "And now, o Father, glorify Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was… Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world" (John 17:5; 24).

     Created in His image, the necessity of relationship regarding the well being, peace, and joy of our hearts comprises the very essence of our existence.  First and foremost, we must intimately know God in order to be truly alive.  "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3).  We were made for this bond of Heart to heart, and we can be sure in this moment and forevermore that our Heavenly Father works to enhance our expectation and experience of His loving presence.  Indeed, wherever we may be in our relationship with God, the Holy Spirit beckons us to come further, climb higher, and dive deeper into the knowledge of the Father and the Son.  Moreover, He works in our hearts and lives to motivate and empower our freely determined response of devotion: "I will love Thee, o Lord my strength!" (Psalm 118:1).

    Upon this basis and from this wellspring of genuine life, our Lord then moves within us to enable loving relationship with other human beings.  "And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love toward one another, and toward all men" (I Thessalonians 3:12).  No genuinely loving relationship with God can fail to foster genuinely loving relationship with people.  "He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can He love God whom He hath not seen?" (I John 4:20).  This aspect of relational living involves complications in comparison to our bond with God.  He is perfect and worthy of our complete devotion, affection, and commitment.  People are not (including ourselves). Thus, we must love in grace, even as we are loved in grace.  This provides a sublime, albeit challenging feature of loving relationship that could not exist in the context of perfection.  The beauty of forgiveness shines forth, along with bestowals of goodness to one another that originate not in merit, but in mercy.  "Freely ye have received, freely give" commanded the Lord Jesus, offering to us the possibility of relating to people as God relates to us (Matthew 10:8).  To love people as the fruit of His love for us and our love for Him reveals that we are truly alive (in Him), causing "life eternal" to be known in our particular sphere of space and time.

    Many realities of life will demand our attention and time today.  Relationship - with God and with people - offers to us the experience of life in its essence.  The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit live in such a glory of love.  The presence of Spirit of Christ in our hearts makes possible in us the same devotion to that which matters most, even as we fulfill our practical responsibilities.  Life is relational and relationship is life, both in God and in ourselves.

"In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore."
(Psalm 16:11)
"Love one another, as I have loved you."
(John 13:3)

No comments: