I don’t know if you do this too or if it’s just me, but when I hear the word relationship, my mind turns to affairs of the heart. Who is romantically involved with whom? Who is he or she dating? How is that couple doing? Are they still getting along? Even on social media, when we look at the “Family and Relationships” section, most people write about their marriage partners or the person they are dating.
While who we may be romantically involved with is most certainly a relationship, it is definitely not the only one we have. Simply put, a relationship is the way in which two or more people or things are connected, behave, and deal with each other. If we think about our everyday lives and routines, we are surrounded by relationships. We have a relationships with our family, of course, but we also have relationships with friends, co-workers, people with whom we do business and countless others.
The most important relationship we can have is the one we have with God. In Genesis 1, before there was a relationship between the man and the woman, man had a relationship with God. In chapter 2, God placed the man and woman in the Garden of Eden where the relationship between mankind and the Creator was complete and perfect. It was the way God intended it to be when He created man. This complete relationship was upset when sin entered the world, and since God is righteous, He cannot and will not have anything to do with sin. Sin causes us, the sin-prone creatures that we are, to be separated from God.
Have you ever thought or heard someone else say, “I feel like there is something missing in my life”? Then you try to fill that void with various things – possessions, work, exercise, hobbies, alcohol, drugs – just to find that nothing fills that emptiness? Why is that?
Solomon answered that question for us in Ecclesiastes. He had everything he wanted. In chapter 2, vs. 10 he said, “Whatever my eyes desired, I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure…. And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.” It was nothing. What Solomon determined as the important “conclusion of the whole matter” for himself, and ultimately for us, was this: “Fear God and keep His commandments.” Why? “…for this is man’s all” (12:13).
Nothing can take the place of a right relationship with God. And being the loving God that He is, He is not willing to just end His relationship with man when we sin. Instead, He provides the way for us to be in a complete relationship with Him again. In Genesis 3:15, God told Satan that the seed of the woman, referring to Christ, would bruise his head, while Satan would bruise Christ’s heel.
God desires a relationship with you and me, and He has provided a way for it through His Son. Remember, Solomon said that man’s all is to “fear God and keep His commandments.” When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was in Matthew 22:33-40, what did He say? “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.”
Think about that for a moment – Jesus, who is God, is saying that the first thing He wants us to do is love Him. He wants us and He has shown it by His willingness to become the sacrifice for our sins. The only question that remains is whether or not we want Him. What are we willing to do? Are we willing to put on Christ and put off sin so that we can be close to God again? Let God fill the void in our lives because nothing else will successfully be able to.
Would you like to enter into a right relationship with God? Visit with us at the church of Christ at Gardendale. We teach Biblical truths; come see for yourself. Hold the Book on us and see if you see the Word of God or the words of man. You will not be disappointed.
— David Short