Friday, September 29, 2017

"That Relationship"

"That Relationship"  
      Life, in spiritual terms as defined by God, is relational.  This truth begins in the Lord Jesus Christ, who declared,  "I live by the Father" (John 6:57).  It then proceeds to those who God quickens by His grace, as received by faith: "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3).

     One of our dear Orange Moon friends, Fred Carlson of Michigan, shared this truth in a beautiful and succinct expression of truth: "Knowing God rightly and fully is equivalent to having and enjoying right relationship with Him. It is that relationship, that knowing God, that infuses man with life, the ability to live up to all of his original, God-created potential. This is what Jesus meant when He prayed, " And this is life eternal, that they might know You the only true God, and Him whom you have sent" (John 17:3). Paul meant the same thing when he penned his aspiration, "That I might know Him, the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering" (Philippians 3:10).

    Fred echoes the words of the Apostle Paul, who affirmed, "To live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21).  Thus, to be alive as God defines life means that He has spiritually birthed us into living and personal relationship with Him through the Lord Jesus.  We would expect this to be true in light of our original creation in the image of God.  Before anything else existed, our Lord Himself dwelt in the reality of the triune Father, Son, Holy Spirit relationship that constitutes the very essence of life.  There was only God.  But He was not alone.  He rather lived in the glory of an infinite, perfect, and eternal bond of loving devotion, even as the Lord Jesus referenced in His prayer recorded in John 17: "Father Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world" (John 17:24).  The God who constitutes the very essence of life was fully alive because He was fully relational.  The personal nature of His being led - and leads - to every aspect of His doing.  The same is true in us.  How we relate to the triune God determines the nature of our living in both the factual and functional sense.  The former is given to believers as a gift.  We are "alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:11).  The latter flows in direct proportion to how well we avail ourselves of the personal relationship God gives to us in Christ.  "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25).

   Knowing God in the relational sense infuses us with the essence of life, and then enables us to exercise the potential of expressing that life in how we think, speak, act, and relate to people.  Anything less cannot be viewed as life in accordance with God's definition thereof.  Thus, when we think of life, or what it means to be alive, we must consider the matter in terms of relating to God through the Lord Jesus and by the leading and enabling of the Holy Spirit.  Nothing else suffices.  Indeed, anything else that we view as life, be it circumstance, condition, situation, or any person other than God, must be acknowledged as an imposter who cannot suffice to make or keep us truly alive.  Again, Fred's words, based upon God's Word, ring clear, true, and beautifully: "It is that relationship, that knowing God, that leads to life."  Or, as Moses proclaimed...

"He is thy life."
(Deuteronomy 30:20)

Weekly Memory Verse 
    Call unto Me and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not."
(Jeremiah 33:3)

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