To start off 2010, we are in a message series called “Five Foundations for Life.” In this series, we’re looking at the five foundations for the Christian life that the Bible teaches. These foundations are essential for a growing and successful life as a follower of Jesus. I know that I need to be reminded from time to time about these five foundations or purposes of my life. Each of these foundations for life has many aspects and in this series, I’m trusting that God will help me highlight the aspects that will be most helpful for our church family right now.
Last Sunday, the message was entitled “Powerful Prayer.” We looked at the foundation of prayer, which is really the foundation of a growing relationship with God. When you become a believer, your relationship with God begins. However, our relationship with God must grow and be nurtured. Prayer is one of the most important aspects of growing in your relationship with God. This vertical relationship with God is the most important relationship in your life.
Today, I want to talk about the horizontal relationships with our lives. The second foundation for life we’re going to talk about today is the foundation of “Meaningful Relationships.” Specifically, we’ll be talking about the relationships that God wants us to have with other believers in a church family. Of course, we have relationships with other people who are not believers, but they will be the topic of another foundation later in this series.
Quite frankly, this is a somewhat controversial topic these days. Quite a few people claim to be Christians, but yet believe that they don’t need to be part of a church family. They feel that they can do quite well by simply maintaining their relationship with God. As with any other opinion, we must test it by looking at God’s Word. Opinions or beliefs that are not based on the Bible have no validity.
Hebrews 10:25 (NIV) Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Here we have clear instruction from the Bible, that believers need to meet together. Meeting together with other believers is not a new invention, it has been part of God’s plan since the beginning. The purpose for meeting together is to encourage one another. It’s interesting that this verse teaches that meeting together is more important as the time of Jesus’ second coming gets closer. So it’s actually more important now than it was 2000 years ago to build meaningful relationships in the church family. To love other believers in the family of God should come naturally.
1 John 4:21 (NIV) And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
If you love God, you must love your brother and sister in God’s family. If you love your brother and sister in the Lord, then you’ll want to meet together with them on a regular basis. Today, we’re going to look at the experience of the early church in the book of Acts to learn more about building meaningful relationships.
Listen to my January 10, 2010 message “Meaningful Relationships” (message-notes).