Relationships

God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit +

From the opening pages of the Bible and throughout its text the triunity of God is taught. Although a search through Scripture to find the word "triune," or any derivative of it, will be futile because it is not a biblical word, but yet, its principle is evident. God's Hebrew name Elohim, is a masculine, plural name. This does not mean that Scripture teaches polytheism (the belief in many gods), but that God is revealed in three distinct persons, but yet, is one God. The Jewish prayer known as the Shema which is taken from Deuteronomy 6:4 saying, "The Lord our God is one Lord" demonstrates that He is a unified person and unique in His character.

Through His revealed character, a singular objective emerges: that He is to be the object of our affection, worship, and devotion. That God intended to have an intimate relationship with mankind is seen in the Creation account, and more specifically, in the forming of man. Genesis 2:7 explains, "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." This is remarkable that man was formed by God. He was specifically designed and constructed in a way that no other created thing was made. In all of Creation God spoke into existence every aspect of life, and all other objects, but man was handmade by Him. God also breathed life into man showing His tenderness and closeness to him. The cows, horses, and elephants were spoken into existence, but man was personally fashioned and received the divine breath of life. This shows God had established a relationship with His creation, and He further said in Genesis 1:31, "God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." Mankind was designed to have a special and personal relationship with God, his Creator.

The Bible's message from the very beginning shows people can have a personal relationship with God, and find fulfillment in Him. We are the ones who damage and break our relationship with Him when we pursue other things. Often we do not intend to distance ourselves from Him, but find the business of family, work, and hobbies, quietly squeeze Him out of our lives. This has been man's problem from the beginning of time. We turn to something or someone else and set our affections, time, and money, on it rather than on God. God had warned the Israelites through Moses to choose Him over other gods. He explicitly warned them in Deuteronomy 30:19 saying, "I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life that both thou and thy seed may live." God wants us to live under His blessing and enjoy a fulfilling life, but sadly, we are the ones who turn away from Him.

God knows when we turn to other things to satisfy us, or to meet our needs. He knows when we are stashing a collection of idols in our closets. He knows when there are things that we have grown to treasure more than we treasure Him. He knows when we have broken our bond with Him. Yet, He demonstrated concern for man's welfare even in the Garden of Eden when He called out to Adam (Genesis 3:9). He searched out Adam because He wanted the relationship to be restored. He does the same for us today as Romans 5:8 confirms saying, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

So far we have seen that God formed us and loves us, and the Savior died for us so we could remain in a relationship with Him, and now we also have the Holy Spirit to guide us. He is the third person of the trinity. He was actively involved in the creation of the earth (Genesis 1:2). The prophet Isaiah proclaimed various aspects of God's knowledge and creative power which included the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 40:12-14). He is the One who convicts us of sin, and seals us securely into the family of God; thereby, making us God's own possession (Ephesians 1:13).


God's relationship with you +

So much more could be said about God's triune nature and how each person is distinct, and yet, has a common desire to fellowship with you and me. It is the same desire for fellowship that began in the Garden of Eden. Even though that perfect relationship was marred, God still seeks for us to draw close to Him. Scripture uses very tender terms in speaking of His loving nature toward us. It says He has compassion on us: He leads us, guides us, calls us, comforts us, and gathers us as lambs in His arms. The Bible also shows His protective stance toward hostile threats against us in that He is our shield, defense, bulwark, strong tower, and mighty fortress.

He lovingly takes notice of all our daily activities; our times of joy and our times of sorrow; even the very hairs of our head are numbered. He is attentive to every detail because we matter to Him. Mankind was the crown of His creation. He desires an intimate relationship such as is experienced between a husband and wife, a mother and a newborn baby; although, even these pale in comparison to the relationship God intended to have with us. He intended for us to be united to Him as a family.

It is the work of the triune God who establishes us within God's eternal family. He is the One who calls us to Himself long before we ever thought of Him as Romans 8:29-30 explains "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son...them he also called." Jesus Christ is the One who "bore our sin in His own body on the cross," (1 Peter 2:24). He broke the barrier between God and man. His blood washed away our sin that had corrupted our hearts and minds. He cleansed us from our unrighteousness so we could have access to our holy God and Father. The Spirit was at work to convict us of sin. It is He who exposes our guilt and rebellion against God. The Spirit enlightens our minds to the truth of our desperate need for salvation. The prophet Isaiah states rather bluntly that "we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6).

We can, and should, be thankful that God loves us so much that He made every effort to establish a love relationship with us. The apostle John said, "he first loved us" (1 John 4:19). Our salvation is so one-sided because; He loved us, sought us, paid redemption's price for us, made us joint heirs of His kingdom, and has guaranteed our eternal security. As we ponder the imbalance of God's infinite love to our wandering hearts, may we recognize our need to devote ourselves to Him as an expression of our gratitude to Him.

Since God loves us so much, it is only reasonable that we should seek to understand who He is and His relationship to us. We must examine His dealings with mankind throughout the pages of the Bible and ask ourselves how it relates to us? How are we to respond to others within our world today? Certainly as our relationship with Him develops and matures we should want to reach out to others. When we love God, we will naturally love others and want to help them come to know God through Jesus Christ.

As we read biblical principles for love, we see that love forgives. We need to demonstrate to others the same forgiveness that we have experienced from God (Ephesians 4:32). We see His love gives, and so, we are to be generous to those in need (Psalms 145:14-20). God's love also protects the helpless. When we develop a love for God, we should want to demonstrate His loving kindness by helping those who are unable to help themselves. We will see neglect, hunger, sickness, cruelty, and more when we look through the compassionate eyes of our God and Lord. We should be angered over injustice, and sickened by the oppression of the greedy and godless. God empowers us to act on His behalf and moves us to protect the interests of the poor, the fatherless, the widows, the elderly, the foreigners, the unborn infants, and anyone else who is crushed by the wicked.

We need God to meet the challenges we experience in our everyday lives, and to enable us to impact the world around us for Him. One person may seem insignificant compared to the vast global needs we see and hear about on the news each day. One person can do so very little, but together we are members of one body "and all the members do not have the same function" (Romans 12:4). Each of us are uniquely gifted through the Spirit in that where one is weak, the other is strong. No gift is irrelevant to Him. All are invaluable to accomplishing His will. His will is that no one should perish and be separated from Him for an eternity of torment, "but for all to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).

Jesus has said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 10:27). We cannot claim we love God and turn our eyes away from the needs of people in our own homes and communities. We cannot say we love God when we lavish ourselves with good things and neglect the basic needs of others. We can no longer look with apathy upon the depraved spiritual and physical condition of the millions whom God loves. His heart aches for them! Yet, He has entrusted us to fulfill their needs. Jesus commissioned us saying, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:19-20).

God is calling us to be His eyes, ears, hands, and feet to help the spiritually, emotionally, socially, and physically lost. The task seems overwhelming, but we do not face it alone because we are the family of God, we are one body, and one divinely empowered force. May we rise up to face these challenges set before us knowing that the battle is the Lord's (1 Samuel 17:47).

As we ponder these thoughts, may we always keep the vision of Matthew 25:34-40 before us:

Then the King will say to those on His right, "Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me."

Then the righteous will answer Him, "Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?"

The King will answer and say to them, "Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me."

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