Relationships – The Essence of the Kingdom of God.

Relationship, relationship, relationship – it is the essence of the Kingdom of God. In every way, it is in relationship that we walk as children of God.

The scripture declares that “God so loved the world that he sent His only begotten son“. This does not mean canyons and mountains, lakes or rivers or any other parts of the natural creation. I am sure that he does love all that he created but the essence of this scripture is you and me. God so loved me that He sent his Son so that by his death and resurrection, I can enter into loving and intimate relationship with Him. The “joy set before him” was you and me once again walking in intimate relationship with him. Jesus brought us back to intimacy with both himself and his Father. It was like that in the Garden of Eden and eternity will once again capture this most wonderful reality forever.

Saturday we had our weekly meeting. The worship was anointed and the teaching challenged us to pray and intercede with compassion and love one for another. This can only happen as we receive God’s great love in a personal way and we walk in intimacy with him. In response, the congregation was asked to pray for several couples who had serious needs. For well over half an hour the love of God was passionately poured out and it was our intimacy with him that allowed his power to come forth.

Relationships, relationships, relationships. They are the essence of the Body of Messiah.

I have been a pastor for nearly 35 years. I have come to understand that the most important element in the local Body is establishing loving relationships with one other. It takes time and sacrifice but ultimately it is what makes an institution into a living organism.

It is our personal relationship with God that allows his love to flow into us and it is our relationship with brothers and sisters that enables his love to flow between us.

In the natural, relationships are shallow and weak. In God and by His grace, our relationships are deep and personal. As He cares for us so we care for each other. The glory and life that flows from this ensures that God’s Body on earth will flourish.

Last Friday night we had 28 “seniors” from our congregation over for dinner. Everyone brought food to share. We welcomed the Sabbath together, broke bread together, worshiped and prayed together and above all else, we spent hours loving one another. The evening continued late into the night and people left having experienced deeper personal relationships. We scheduled the next meeting and we are already looking forward to it. The two great commandments are to love God and to love one another. May we see these manifest in our day.

And finally the third part of relationship, relationship and relationship is our relationship with the lost.

We have been given His love and life to go into the world and touch those who do not know Yeshua. We must step out of the believer’s circle and spend time with the lost. As they are touched with His love that pours from within us, their hearts are opened and so is the possibility of sharing the Gospel with them. Some will respond and be saved, others will reject us and him.

But the opportunity to share His love can only flow out of relationships with others.

Several weeks ago we were at the local hospital undergoing some tests. I recognized a gentleman there who lives in our neighborhood. For ten years I have seen him, said hello to him but his response has always been indifferent. He is now battling cancer and we spoke with him and his wife for a long time. Before leaving, I took his number and told him that we would be in touch. A few days later we called him and they accepted our request to come to their home and visit with them. We went and lovingly spoke for several hours. Yesterday I called him again and they will be coming to our home this week. For ten years Rafi has ignored me but now this unsaved man is being touched by God’s love. We thank God for this opportunity.

This article originally appeared in Zion’s Glory Prayer Update, June 30, 2016, and reposted with permission.