God Made Us for Relationships
It’s interesting that when Jesus was asked about God’s greatest commandment, he pointed to two divine commands: the first related to loving God, the second to loving our neighbors. Both examples were about loving relationships – vertically with the Father and horizontally with the people around us.
It’s also worth noting that God was the one who initiated a loving relationship with us. He did that first by creating us in his own image. Then he placed us in an ideal environment – the Garden of Eden – and walked and interacted with us on a personal level. Talk about genuine friendship!
Then, after it seemed we had destroyed that friendship by disobeying God, he lovingly made provision for us in the form of a physical covering of fig leaves and then, later, a spiritual covering through the sacrificial system. But ultimately, he made permanent provision by giving us “his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Did we deserve this – or even ask for it? No, but Romans 5:8 explains, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
· We tend to focus on what God demands from us and feel bad for our sins and shortcomings. Does it surprise you that Jesus puts an even greater emphasis on the importance of loving relationships?
· Jesus said, “I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:5). What is your reaction to knowing you’ve been invited by Jesus to be his follower and friend?
· Jesus said he “came to seek and to save” people who had lost their way (Luke 19:10) – and then later told his followers that we should go out and imitate his actions. How should it affect your priorities today?