Relationships Establish Connections
What kind of connections have you made with others this week? There are many opportunities to make connections and form relationships even in our day-to-day life. With today’s technology, there are no viable excuses for not making connections with others, yet it often remains a struggle. In Robert Frost’s poem, The Death of the Hired Man, one line reads, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” But most will agree that home is not always “where the heart is” or a guarantee of golden relationships. So, where do good relationships and connections come from?
Most people want a country and place that feels like a secure home where connections are authentic. This means that not only do we need people, but we are designed to need people. And it takes all types of people working together in true relationships to direct us to the real path of home. A home where all of God’s children will live and that begins with making relationships that form connections.
A recent devotion by Pastor Rick Warren pointed out that there are many things we wish would last forever but the only thing that is promised to last forever is the church. And who exactly is the church? It is all the people that belong to God’s family. But God doesn’t allow us to pick and choose who is and isn’t going to belong. We are to include everyone we meet, and this means that if we are all going to live together forever, we better learn to make good relationships and connections so we can get along with one another.
Connections are Made Together
Too often, we think, that introducing others to Christ is about soul winning. But coming to know Christ isn’t about collecting a soul but making a relationship. The work of Jesus is done only in the presence of a relationship. Helping others make connections with Christ is simply introducing them to the relationship. He doesn’t put them to the side if they refuse the connection, it simply means that He cannot help them until they do.
Christ knows that connections come from relationships. This is why He always establishes a relationship first. It is also why He sent the disciples out in pairs. When there are two people they can strengthen and encourage each other. They can also provide comfort and help with discernment so fewer mistakes will be made. Strength comes from God, but He often meets our needs through the teamwork of others. Serving Christ isn’t a job for an individual but a group effort that begins with the forming of a relationship.
So, the disciples went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God.Mark 6:12 (NLT)
Life is about relationships, and this is the gold. The connections come as Christ calls us to the Kingdom of God, His vision of home. This takes a commitment to love one another with the same kind of love that He pours out on us making this the roadmap to home. Choosing to trust our life in God’s care rather than our individual resources helps us form the relationships we need that make the connections that often use others as our provision. When we share this knowledge with others, we are reciprocating both the relationships and connections granted to us.
Presenting Connections from Relationships
All we are asked is to share our knowledge of Christ by caring for others through relationships. This is how we share in the responsibility of the Kingdom as we faithfully and carefully present it. It might, however, be rejected but that is not our responsibility as long as we have shared the Good News clearly and faithfully. Evangelism is more about inviting others to experience the joy of life with God and a community of believers. But it begins only through first forming a relationship.
If we are going to be effective in reaching people for Christ, we first must show people that we care. Evangelism and missions must work together. Christ always showed He cared for people first then He revealed who He was. If we want to make godly connections, then we must show others the gold that relationships offer. It is then we can form communities of people who allow God to live through the individuals that create the community.
How can you challenge yourself to form relationships with those around you? Perhaps it is helping in the ministry of a soup kitchen, a clothing center, or just showing kindness to other people with a smile or courtesy. Allow your conviction to be rooted in the love that Christ showed others in the relationships He formed as this opens the opportunities for connections. Find your motivation to make connections through relationships because it is your responsibility as a member of the Kingdom of God. Surround yourself in the comfort of knowing that it is not your responsibility to convince others of the love of Christ just to present it clearly and faithfully.
Determine what steps you can take today to help form relationships and establish connections in your day-to-day life.
Love in Christ,
God is more interested in your future and your relationships than you are.Billy Graham
What are Your Thoughts?
Have you made any connections lately? Do you recognize that relationships must be formed before connections are made? Share your thoughts on the need to establish relationships before offering others the connections of all that Christ offers to everyone.