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Faithful Stewards

All posts tagged with relationship

God Will Provide

Welcome to this series of - Making God First - in our lives.

 

To begin with, the Word of God assures us that God will always provide for our needs.  There are so many promises in the Bible that teach us so.  However, have you reached a point of wondering whether what God's Word promises is exactly what it means?  Have you found yourself praying and asking God for blessings according to your perceived needs and you waited and waited for answers to your prayers and got nothing.  Have you gone to God to look for answers to your problems and you came back empty handed.  Do you find yourself with a lot of questions after reading in the Bible about how others in their time prayed to God and received answers, positive answers that is, like Hannah the mother of the prophet Samuel, and you wonder why it is not happening in the similar way to you?

Perhaps you have even heard in your lifetime how others around you are testifying on how God has answered their prayers and you keep on wondering when will your turn come to also testify in the same way? 

 

It could even have happened that when you heard about how others who crossed over to other denominations, or went and consulted with "mediums" obtained solutions to their problems.  And maybe, just maybe, it even crossed your mind that perhaps you should also help God by doing the same, as it is commonly said that God helps those who help themselves!  And maybe you are wondering as to what is wrong with you that you are not receiving expected answers from God?  Does this "ask and you shall receive" thing really work, for you?

 

God in the book of Malachi 3 challenges us to test him.  We would like to take Him on his Word and "test or prove" Him.  We want to see if indeed what He says He will do for us is true, He will indeed do so even for us. 

 

So, to start, we should understand the fact that we were created for a relationship.  It is crucial and very important to understand this.  If we misunderstand this, we will always go about this the wrong way.  While it is important to give to God, while it is important to return tithes and offerings to God, we should always bear in mind that this should come after and as a result of our love relationship with God.  That is why it is very important to understand that what starts or the beginning point in this case, is a relationship with God before we go to anything else.  If we miss this step, we will have difficulties in understanding our relationship with God in the first instance.  If I may use an illustration in this case, it is like someone who wants to climb a tree by using the branches of such a tree instead of using the tree trunk to do so.  We all know that climbing a tree from the trunk is logical and relatively much easier.  The same applies in this case.

 

However, we cannot build a relationship with someone we do not know.  That is why we need to take time in Bible Study and prayer and meditation in order to begin to know this God that we want to build a relationship with.  We need to know His likes and dislikes, what is acceptable and not acceptable to Him.  We need to know how to conduct ourselves in this relationship with Him for such a relationship to continue and last.  We also need to know that we are not the only ones having a relationship with Him, there are others as well, our brothers and sisters, that we need to know how to treat and conduct our relationships with due to the relationship we have with God.

 

We should understand the fact that God does not want us to appease or bribe Him with gifts in order to gain His favour.  We should never, ever, try to give God gifts as a way of buying His favours or just to fulfil a command or an obligation on our part.  Our giving should be as a result of our love relationship with Him.  Let me try to illustrate this point this way, when we give to our loved ones, we do so because we, in most cases, have this inner urge and desire just to give them because of our love for them.  Therefore most of the times we just give them what we would like to give them even before they ask as that shows that we love them and most of the times we are thinking about them.  This may not be a perfect illustration, but at least it shows in some little way how this love relationship with our God should be like.  It should be pulling us toward Him and as a result the giving should follow as a natural consequence thereof.

 

We will stop here for now, but have a productive and blessed day further.

Take Action!

In the previous message, we learned about the importance of building a relationship with God and how to do it.  This relationship is crucial if we are to trust God.  We can’t trust God in the absence of this relationship.

 

In today’s lesson, we will touch on practical things that we need to do to effectively start building this relationship with God.  Please take note of the word, “effectively” here.  To try and explain a little on my choice and usage of the word “effectively”, I would say something is effective if it is working and achieving its desired and intended purpose. 

 

To begin with, the purpose of our building a relationship with God is primarily to know Him better, to understand Him so that we can trust Him.  When we trust Him, it makes it easier for us to obey Him, to do His will and to let Him be God in our lives.  That way we will be willing and able to surrender control of our lives to Him.  Therefore it is important to have a target or a goal that we want to reach as we start relationship building exercise.  There are so many ways of doing that, for instance we may decide we want to be thematic and study everything about the love of God, or the power of God.  We may decide that we want to look at all the promises of God, etc.  Alternatively, we may decide that we want to study Bible book after another and read the Bible through in two years, just as an example. 

 

As we go through our studies, we should determine that by the end of each Bible study we are able to answer the following questions:

—  What does this verse of scripture mean?

—  What is God telling me?

—  Exactly how does this apply to my life?

—  What changes do I need to make in my life in order to do what God is telling me to do?

—  What am I going to do differently today, this week, this month, during the next year?

By doing this, we should be able to start knowing God more and moving closer to doing His will.  We know in worldly life that the more you have commonalities with someone, the more compatible you are with that person.  When you are compatible with someone, the easier it becomes to build a relationship with such a person.  Using the same logic then it means when we have reached this stage in our lives, it becomes easier to build a relationship with God for we are now ready to listen and obey Him.

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Testimony

As my wife and I started putting some of the lessons we learned through this series into practice, we noticed something unusual.  We used to fuel the vehicle that I am using for driving around town and it would only run for a week on that fuel and then we had to refuel again.  But after going through this series of lessons and deciding to seriously put them into practice, for example increasing our giving in our offerings, we noticed something unusual.  We noticed that I drove on the same amount of fuel for almost two weeks but with increased usage even.  Therefore, we accomplished more with the same amount of fuel we used before, resulting in a saving for us.

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It is also important to emphasise here that taking action on what we learn or have learned is key in successfully and effectively building a relationship with God.  As we take action, each step we take in this process will lead to growth in this relationship that we want to build with God.  We will have to start with small steps and continue incrementally until we begin to take bigger steps.  If we fail to take steps, it does not matter how small they may be, we will not grow and we run the risk of being just hearers of the word and not doers.  When we are just hearers of the Word, then we become what the Bible in 2 Timothy 3:4 refer to as “… having a form of godliness but denying its power…”  In other words, we will just be like some of us are at the moment, Christians by name with nothing to offer.  I certainly don’t want to be like that.  What about you?

 

We will stop here for now, but have a productive and blessed day further.