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Created for relationships

by Mike Vandermause on September 11, 2022

We are created by God for relationships.

The idea that we can do life on our own, or be independent is counter to the gospel message. We have been designed to be inter-connected with one another.

That was the message delivered by Pastor Troy Murphy on Sunday, Sept. 11 in the start of a new sermon series entitled "Not Seen On TV."

Here are talking points from Troy's message:

*Adam in the Garden of Eden at first lived in perfect paradise, but God determined that even he was in need of a relationship and couldn't live on his own. (Genesis 2.18).

* The idea of fellowship is embedded in the very nature of being a Christian. Acts 2.42 says Jesus' followers devoted themselves to fellowship.

* Are you a consumer in your spiritual journey or a contributor? You are much more fulfilled when you give rather than take.

*Relationships are made by sharing feelings, things, faith, decisions, time and trust.

-Feelings: We must be willing to share what we are feeling, even if it's anger toward God. In the Psalms David often shared exactly how he was feeling, an indication God gives us the freedom to do that.

-Things: Instead of maintaining a scarcity mindset in which we want to keep what we have, we need to let go of things and have a mindset of sacrificial giving and sharing.

-Faith: The very core why we are unified is because of Jesus. It's not about churches, denominations, logos, branding, styles of worship, etc. What unifies us as believers is Jesus. We should be willing to talk about our faith with others, asking them what they are learning about God, where you are struggling in your spiritual journey. We don't need to create unity because we already have it in Christ (Ephesians 4.3).

-Decisions: You need to enlist the counsel and advice of others when making decisions. Allow others to share their insight. You need to have people in your life that don't tell you what you want to hear but tell you the truth. That can sometimes be hard to hear but it's an opportunity for growth. Who do you have in your life that is speaking truth to you?

-Time: You must be willing to set aside your agenda and share with people a valuable resource: your time.

-Trust: Relationships that possess trust will help you to grow. James 5.16 says we must be willing to admit our faults with others, which takes trust. Who can you admit your faults to? If we're not vulnerable to others we can become isolated.

*Investing in others brings fulfillment. When you contribute to others you can be profoundly changed.

*Relationships are necessary for your spiritual growth. You can't become spiritually mature without deep relationships. You can't disconnect yourself from the framework in which God has designed you.

*Proverbs 27.17 talks about iron sharpening iron. We need others to sharpen us. That means sometimes having hard conversations. You shouldn't cancel people you don't agree with -- that is the very place you might be stretched and grow.

*Giant Redwood trees grow over 300 feet, the tallest trees in world. But their root structure is only about 12 to 16 feet deep. However, that root structure interlocks with other trees to connect, share nutrients, hold on to one another. In the same way we need to interlock with others to encourage, sharpen and hold each other up.

*Takeaway questions: What relationships do you have in which you are interlocked at a deeper level? How can you develop that type of relationship? What's stopping you from entering into deeper relationships?