The Most Important Relationship

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I don’t particularly care for dramas. Give me a good action film any day! They have lots of explosions, fight scenes, and not a tremendous amount of dialogue. They can be really fun and exciting to watch. But that is not the kind of drama we have been discussing this week.

This week, we have been talking about relationship drama. We have talked about what happens when you have been offended by someone’s actions or remarks and when you are the one who offends someone else. These offenses interfere in our relationships because they create distance between us. As a result of actions and attitudes that offend others or offend us, there is separation between individuals that must be addressed. This week, we have learned not to minimize someone else’s concerns and to deal with them from a biblical perspective. In the same way, we have learned how to deal with situations where we have been offended and how to handle them biblically.

Just as offenses can cause separation and interference in our earthly relationships, offenses can hurt our relationship with God. Sin in the life of a Christ follower causes interference in our relationship with God. That is why Jesus came and took our penalty for sin on the cross, so that we can be in relationship with our Creator.

Romans 5:8
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

This act allows us to have our sins forgiven when we trust him as the forgiver of our sins and the leader of our lives. But, we still have a tendency to act in a way that is contrary to the new nature that we have through Jesus’s sacrifice. We misrepresent the truth, take something that does not belong to us, damage someone else’s character, or any number of things that fall into the category of sinful behavior. Paul writes about this struggle in Romans.

Romans 7:18
And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t.

This behavior interferes with our communication with God. It derails our spirit and makes us feel isolated from God. It keeps us from receiving the best that God has for us in life. We miss out on the love, joy, and peace that comes from having the right relationship with God.

But God does not want us to stay there. He invites us to confess our sins, and he will forgive us and restore our relationship.

1 John 1:8-9
8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

Paul concludes his thought regarding his struggle with sin by giving the proclamation that only Jesus can help him.

Romans 7:25a
Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.

The answer to our offenses against God is Jesus. He is always there, inviting us to restore our relationship with him. He cleans away the refuse that keeps us from seeing him, communicating with him, and receiving all he has for us in this life. His forgiveness brings an ability for us to walk with him in our daily life.


Questions:
Have you established a relationship with God by receiving Jesus as the forgiver of your sins and the leader of your life? If not, God invites you to do that right now!

If you already have received Jesus, then what offense are you holding onto that interferes with your relationship with God?

What can you do today to address this offense and restore your walk with Jesus?

Next Steps:
Identify the areas in your life where your actions and attitudes cause you to be separated from the God who loves you. Confess those actions and attitudes to God and ask for forgiveness.

Meet with a few individuals in your small group and share with them the areas you are dealing with in your relationship with God. Ask them to hold you accountable for the commitments you are making to God to deal with these sins in your life.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for the great gift of salvation that you provide. I understand that you have forgiven all my sin. But I still let sin come into my life and interfere with my relationship with you. I ask you to show me where I fall short and help me to confess those areas to you. I do not want there to be any separation between you and me. I want to address the areas in my life that cause that separation. Help me to see and act on those attitudes and actions. I know you have a life for me here that is full and complete. I pray that I might come to understand all that you have for me.  In Jesus’ name, amen.


This post was written by Terry McGraner. Terry is an engineer at Dana Corporation. He facilitates GrowthTrack and leads a Group at the South Toledo campus. He is married and the father of four adult sons. He loves spending time with his family and communicating the truth of God’s Word to make an impact in the lives of others.


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