“As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.” (1 Thess. 4:1, NIV)
We left off with an acknowledgment worthy of its own blog post.
“With Christ as our foundation, everything changes… God will use these relationships and moments of truth-telling in these trusted relationships, to change our lives (and others) – for the better. We never have to go back to the before.”
God will use these relationships in which we have been placed, to speak His words of life.
Question to consider –
How many times have we gone to a brother or sister in Christ, and received a word from God?
If you have gone to them, especially while in a rough spot, you will hear words that will resound with what God teaches us through the pages of Scripture.
God wants to use those relationships.
But, we have to give God room to work!
Here’s the Thing…
In order to allow God access to these relationships, we need to remember a few things. Or perhaps, learn these things for the first time. We know God can work so mysteriously, and use relationships within the church to such a strong degree.
Before we can get there and experience those blessed transformative moments with our brethren, we have to know how God works, see people through His lens, and give them to God.
The Holy Spirit
… is what makes the difference between our relationships within the family of God and others. The Holy Spirit is how God will work and use His people to speak His truths when we need to hear it. The Holy Spirit is influential and the reason for the transformation taking place inside of us. He wants to use us, as He continues to work in others’ lives too (see Phil. 1:6).
Let me say that again:
The Holy Spirit is what makes the difference, and leads His Church into transformation – through heart-piercing-truths we need to hear! Without those relationships in place, how will we ever grow in Christ?
Through the Holy Spirit, we can see our relationships and friends (brethren in Christ) grow more fruitfully. It may mean rough conversations like these men would of had, with those they cared about. But, we are called to “spur one another one toward love and good deeds”.
Those who have trusted Christ as their Savior, are our brothers and sisters. We have a responsibility to share the truth with them. We harm them, by not speaking the truth when the Holy Spirit leads us to do so. But, we need to cultivate more of these kind of relationships where we are being sharped and transformed by God through His Holy Spirt, the Word, and the Church!
This means, we need to have our perspective of relationships… refined. How is God wanting to use your relationships for His glory? Do you realize how He wants to use those people in your life, and vice versa? We need to remember that once we come to Christ, we are forever changed. We don’t operate on an old perspective. Instead, we need to see others the way Christ sees them. The way Christ loves them. We have been given the opportunity to be used by God and gain His heavenly perspective on His creations.
“From this time on we don’t think of anyone as the world thinks of people. It is true that in the past we thought of Christ as the world thinks. But we don’t think that way now. When anyone is in Christ, it is a whole new world…” (see 2 Cor. 5:16-19)
Surrendering to God
We know the importance of giving everything we have to God. That is where the beauty is, in seeing what God will do with what we have lovingly entrusted back to Him. After all, they were His first! This is where the two greatest commandments step in. Loving God and others, through how we view these relationships and love our friends. What kind of love do we want to show those we care for – the deepest? The deepest-level of love, is to give them to Jesus. Not just for today, but for a lifetime!
We need to trust that God can and will do what His Word promises to do. We need to trust God to care infinitely more for our loved ones, and to use us to reach them, showing them who He is and how He loves.