Sunday, October 27, 2013

Can you Relate?

Recently, someone asked, "How do you know you can trust God?"  It is a fair question, one that has many layers, and one that should not be answered casually.  This earnest question comes from the heart that wants to trust, yet doesn't know how, or doesn't know if God is trustworthy. 

When human relationships have taught us to expect disappointment and wrongdoing, to be suspicious or cautious at best, how can we trust this God we cannot see?  This is a fair question!  

If I don't know the Lord, how can I possibly trust HIM?

Relationship is key!

Trust is at the core of all meaningful relationships. Without trust there can be no giving, no bonding, no risk-taking.  Ultimately, God invites us to trust HIM with the precious parts that make up our whole being - body, mind, strength and soul, but how can we trust another if we don't really know them?

Relationships are built one interaction at a time. The first step is to notice the kingdom of God is near. 

God is the ultimate extrovert!  

His heart's desire is to be in relationship with each and every person throughout history.  He is personal and can be known, not distant and stand-offish.  He is constantly inviting people to get to know him.  

Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me.  REVELATION 3:20

This famous painting by Warner Sallman says so much!  Jesus is outside the door of our hearts...knocking...hoping to come in.  There is no knob on the outside of the door...He cannot force his way in...the door must be opened from the inside.

Will you, at least, open the door and meet the person knocking?

This one verse says so much.  Sharing a meal with someone is an opportunity to get to know each other.  Sharing a meal together assumes conversation, not just the act of eating.  Sharing a meal is a relational event!  Ancient Greek culture understood hospitality as "welcoming the stranger."  The Lord is always knocking, waiting for us to open the door and welcome him in.  

Imagine a meal where you enjoy delicious food and have interesting and engaging conversation.  The kind of meal where you began to enjoy someone's company and felt no rush for it to end.  

God's Word is not merely for information; it is His means of relating to us, establishing a means of conversation.  In the Bible, we have the Word of God, where His part of the conversation is provided, providing a means of grace where a relationship of understanding an trust can grow.  

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind...The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. JOHN 1:1-4, 14 

Jesus is the Word that became flesh.  The Word is the place to get to know Jesus.  He's standing at the door and knocking...notice. Open the door and invite Him to chat a while.  

Relate - just like you would around a dinner table with friends...
Ask questions???
Shed tears...
Share laughter!!!
and most importantly, listen.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.  
                                                                       JEREMIAH 31:3

You will seek me and find me when you when you seek me with all your heart.  JEREMIAH 29:12

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