Relationships That Matter – Yes Be Yes

Relationships That Matter – Yes Be Yes

RELATIONSHIPS THAT MATTER 1

YES BE YES

Togetherness brings strength

Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10

Two people are better than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But Someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

We live in a world where relationships are affected by sin’s collateral damage.

Friendships, marriages, families, colleagues, and even our relationship with our communities have all been warped by trauma, vices, immaturity and shame.

Our cities, communities, homes, and even our places of worship remain hurt by denial, unresolved tensions, hate, anger, generational bitterness, and compounding unforgiveness.

Instead of moving toward one another, we tend to run away from God and hide from others.

To relieve ourselves from the tension of the very relationships that should be life-giving, it has become a normal tendency for us to separate ourselves, to isolate or to draw away from the very people we are designed to do life with.

We are not designed for isolation, we’re wired for connection.

RELATIONAL POVERTY – THE NEED FOR COVENANT

Selfishness denies us life-giving relationships.

Proverbs 18:1-2

A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment. A fool has no delight in understanding, but only in his own heart.

Living life and relating to God and others by how we feel is the greatest act of selfishness and the reason why the world finds itself in relational poverty.

Selfishness is the corrosion of community.

Selfishness is the end of relationship.

Living life based only on our feelings isolates us and cripples us. 

Our very purpose is fulfilled when we focus our purpose on the needs of others. Treating our relationships in the wrong way only leads to relational poverty.

We have lost the brevity of covenants.

What is a covenant?

It is a chosen relationship or partnership in which two parties make binding promises to each other and work together to reach a common goal.

Covenants contain conditions, obligations, and commitments but unlike contracts and general agreements, they are completely dependent on relationships and personalities.

A covenant is keeping to our commitment, even if it hurts. 

Our commitments fluctuate according to our feelings.

Matthew 5:37

A simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ will suffice. Anything beyond this springs from a deceiver.

This selfish, isolated world makes decisions based on the moment, promises on the circumstance, and relates only for personal gain.

It becomes easy to divorce, easy to leave, easy to deny consequence, easy to accuse, easy to judge easy to lie, easy to gossip, easy to slander, easy to sleep around, easy to be racist, and just as easy to accuse someone of being racist, easy to hate, easy to judge, easy to misuse relationships to appease however you feel and whatever you need at the moment.

But in Christ, we have been formed by a Word, a bond, a promise, a covenant that cannot be broken. And this changes everything.

We have been created to relate to others as God relates to us.

God has chosen poignant moments in history to remind the human race of our real source, our proper state, and our assured purpose. (Eg. Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, Jesus)

Our source, our state, and our purpose form our identity.

Our identity creates our character and our character impacts our relationships.

By walking out our God-given identity, we ensure that the relational fiber of human society is God-based and not self-based.

Made in His Image (Source)

Genesis 1:27

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them;

Selfishness has blurred our source.

Seeking His Image (State)

Colossians 3:9-10

Lay aside your old Adam-self with its masquerade and disguise. For you have acquired new creation life which is continually being renewed into the likeness of the One who created you; giving you the full revelation of God.

Display of His Image (Purpose)

2 Corinthians 3:18

We can all draw close to him with the veil removed from our faces. And with no veil we all become like mirrors who brightly reflect the glory of the Lord Jesus.

Our relationship with God and His covenants with us directly shape our relationships with others.

Who we are matters in the relationships that matter.

Because of God’s covenant with us, we relate differently.

Relating to others as the world does is an indictment of our relationship with God.

We relate differently because we have been created in the image of a God who has shaped the universe on relationship at the highest possible level.

The covenant between God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the very reason everything in this world could be created, maintained, and find purpose.

Relationship with God will ensure that we relate to others in a divine way and not like the world.

We don’t talk a lot about covenants today. But we should.

God sets up covenants/relationships that truly matter, right through history in order to rescue the world. These divine-human and human-to-human relationships push that narrative forward until it reaches its crescendo in Jesus.

To tell the story of your salvation is in fact to tell the story of God’s covenants with the men and women who made that happen. (Numbers and Matthew 1) and the covenants he now has with you and me today.

God covenants with us because He desires to be in the deepest state of relationship with us.

Covenant is an unwavering commitment, a relational entanglement.

Covenant is not about what we agree to do to earn God’s favor.

Covenant is relational, not transactional.

COVENENTAL STRUCTURES

God, in His divine wisdom, not only established a covenant with us all individually, but he also outlined which relationships in our lives (relationships that matter) ought to be governed by covenant and not just agreements. 

God instituted the manner in which the relationships that matter in our lives ought to be conducted

Eg: Marriage

Ephesians 5:25

And to the husbands, you are to demonstrate love for your wives with the same tender devotion that Christ demonstrated to us, his bride. For he died for us, sacrificing himself to make us holy and pure, cleansing us through the showering of the pure water of the Word of God.

Relationships that matter have been modeled and structured by God to be a blessing in our lives!

He has provided covenant templates for the relationships that will impact our lives the most! (Ten Commands/Psalms) 

He has provided the ultimate example of covenant so we have the best possible opportunity for those relationships that matter to last. (Deuteronomy/Proverbs)

Ephesians 6:4  – Fathers raise children that highlights God’s covenant with them.

Ephesians 6:5 – Employees display respect and honor to their employers as if they were working for God.

Romans 13:1 – We respect governmental authority as it is a structure under God’s authority.

Ephesians 4:32 – We find the power to forgive others based on the covenant of forgiveness that Christ has with us!

COVENANTAL PRIORITIES

“I don’t have a covenant with everybody”

We are operating under the NEW COVENANT which at its core is based on the covenant God asks of you “Love God” that directly translates to the relationship you have with others: “Love your neighbor”

We are either in a covenant-based relationship OR WE are in a relationship governed by a covenant.

There are relationships that are structured based on God’s covenant AND then there are covenants in our lives that have been structured by God and simply require our obedience to that structure.

We don’t worship relationships, we worship God by making relationship’s matter.

We love our spouses because that’s the structure of a God-ordained marital covenant.

We forgive our enemies because of God’s covenant of forgiveness.

There is an order in which we manage our covenants.

A friendship that brings out your spiritual strength (1 Samuel 23:16) is a covenantal friendship and should be prioritized over basic acquaintances and friends that ruin your good characteristics. (1 Corinthians 15:33)

We honor the government BUT NEVER at the expense of our relationship with God. (Mark 12:17)

We honor our marriages before we honor our golfing friends.

The higher the covenant; the greater the sacrifice.

The greater the sacrifice; the more humility is required.

The World:  The higher the relationship; the greater the gain. The greater the gain, the greater the selfishness

Covenants are not transactional. They are sacrificial.

Who do I have to become to be the best possible contribution to those I am in covenant and relationship with?

Over the next few weeks…

The covenantal impact:

Community

Work

Family

Marriage

Questions we will answer…

What relationships are there in my life that really matter?

Am I the kind of person I want to be in a relationship with?

Who of my friends have I purposefully asked to be in covenant with so that we can grow spiritually?

What impact has God’s covenant with me had on my relationship with local leaders and my community?

Have I ever accepted that my church attendance is an expression of a covenantal structure that God expects?

What’s the difference between what the world says marriage is and what a covenantal marriage should be?

Before I commit, am I behaving like I respect the covenants that God has placed in my life?

As I date, am I simply practicing for divorce, or am I getting covenant ready?

What can I tell about my future by looking at my friends?

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