The C3 September theme is “Created to Connect,” which is the foundation of our walk as a Christian. When we examine the story of creation in Genesis, we see the Creator of the universe create man in His image to be in relationship with him. Then we see God create woman from man, and they are created to be in relationship with Him and to be one with each other as man and wife. Healthy relationships were God’s intention from the very beginning, first with Him, then with others.
We then see the impact on those relationships as man chose to eat of the fruit to have his eyes opened to good and evil. When Adam and Eve chose to eat of the fruit, they could then see the evil that was in the garden, and their first response was fear, shame, to cover themselves, and to hide from God. Our human response today can be the same when we are faced with all the evil that surrounds us. The difference today is we have been given of the two greatest gifts on earth, the gift of the finished work of the cross through Jesus, and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
These two gifts are what allow us to be in relationship with our Heavenly Father as He originally intended. The price to reunite us to Himself and be in relationship with Him has been paid and death has lost its sting. The Apostle Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 15:44-45, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In Acts 2:38-39 we find the Apostle Peter encourage others to, “repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” These gifts are what allow us to enjoy healthy relationships.
The Primary Relationship
From the very beginning, the primary relationship man was to establish was with our Heavenly Father, the Creator of the universe. This is the foundation of healthy relationships. When we enjoy a healthy relationship with our Heavenly Father, we gain a new and fresh perspective on life. The Apostle Paul states in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
The primary relationship allows us to come blamelessly before the Father and produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit. When we examine walking in and manifesting the fruit of the Spirit as found in Galatians 5:22-26, we find a solid foundation of characteristics that form the basis of a healthy relationship with others. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”
When our primary relationship with our Heavenly Father is properly aligned, our secondary relationships can be healthier. We cannot say I love God but hate others. Jesus told us through the Apostle John in 1 John 4:20, “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” We were created to be in relation with others, however, some relationships are easier than others.
Jesus always provides the greatest example of loving others as He told us in John 13:34-35, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” This is not always easy for us and it was not for Jesus as well. He was betrayed by His disciples, abused, and abandoned, yet He was a perfect example of loving others when least deserved.
Let’s commit this week to apply Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” and to allow the Holy Spirit to love others through us. When we love God and others the way He has created us to, we will positively impact the world for Christ.
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Jamie Jordan is the State Director for the South Carolina Christian Chamber of Commerce (SC-C3). His passion is to see unity and excellence exhibited within the Christian community. Jamie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.