Singleness and dating in one week, do you reckon? Well it is important to note that we believe both of these stages of life are linked and therefore should be addressed together. Singleness is the journey towards dating and dating is the result of making a step out of singleness. This week, Pastor Steve spoke on the ‘ The Lens of Relationship’ and how we should be acting within relationships. We want to make sure that we are building healthy, Godly, and vibrant relationships.
Relationships can be interesting to navigate through in the best of times but let alone the rough times. It is important that when we look at relationships, that we are seeing clearly and correctly through the right lens so that we can experience the healthy and vibrant relationships God has planned for us.
The Lens of Love, Grace & Truth
These three attributes are so important together- one without the other can be dangerous and damaging. We must see through the lens of love, grace, and truth. We must speak with the lens of love, grace, and truth. We must act in the lens of love, grace and truth.
Love must be our motive. Always. If love is not our motive, our motives will quickly and surely become self centered and self seeking. The Hebrew definition of love is AHAVAH which simply means “I give”.
“For God so loved he world, that he gav his only Son..” [John 3:16]
God showed us the purest form of love by sending His son to sacrifice his life for our lives. The motive behind what God and Jesus chose to do for us was pure, selfless, and sacrificial. When we look at what relationships are supposed to be when love is the motive propelling the relationship forward, Jesus is the perfect example.
God loves you, without a doubt. God only wants to give you life, purpose, and healthy relationships. God never wants to take away from you. God wants to only give you His best. We must remember that any correction or direction from God, is always given with the motivation of love and is leading you towards life. We must never stop loving, we must never stop giving. Love is so desperately needed, it is key to healthy and vibrant relationships.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly [John 10:10]
Remember, God will never stop loving you or giving you everything good He has desired for you.
Grace is simply unmerited or undeserved favour. Sin entered our world with Adam and Eve and sin remains. None of us are cleaner than the next nor could any of us stand on a higher moral ground next to someone else. Grace is a level playing ground - we are all sinners and we all missed the mark, but grace is an invitation to all of us, exactly where we are at right now. Where we were once separated from God, grace restored the separation and connected us back into relationship with God.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boas. [Ephesians 2:4-9 ]
Simply, by the grace of God, we have undeserved favour and relationship through Jesus. It is important to remember that we have been given grace, we can’t or will not be the judge, jury or executioner of anyone else, that is not our job. Our job is to be receivers of grace and then to dispense that grace to everyone else.
For the law was given through Moses; grace and trut came through Jesus Christ. [John 1:17]
The definition of truth is “actuality or the state of being the case’. In school, often the teacher would randomly pull out pop quizzes in class. The purpose of a pop quiz was to test our knowledge and how well we can retain information. The key to pop quizzes is that usually the only answers available were either true or false. You had a fifty/fifty chance of choosing the correct answer. It didn’t matter where you thought the answer should be this or that. All that mattered was the fact of the truth.
At the foundation of Christianity, there are two major belief. Firstly, we believe in the ‘deity of Jesus’ which simply means that Jesus is God. Secondly, we believe in the ‘inerrancy and authority of the scripture as God’s word’ which simply means that the scripture is without error or fault and it holds authority as God’s word in written form. As Christians, to somewhat believe these truths is to not believe them at all. These two major beliefs are non-negotiable, they are state of being the case.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the rut, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. [John 14:6]
We, C3 Church Wellington, believe that Jesus is who He says He is but also that scripture holds full authority as it was inspired by God. As we believe this, we also believe that Jesus desires not only to be our Saviour but also our Lord. We are saved by the grace of God, and as we seek Jesus and obey Him, He will be our Lord and authority over us and in our lives. We choose to submit to Jesus.
Who is Jesus to you? Is Jesus Saviour of your life? Is Jesus Lord of your life? Does Jesus hold the reins in your life?
We make it our aim to please him. [2 Corinthians 5:9]
For us to see people and relationships the way God intended, we must always focus the lens of love, grace, and truth.
The Lens of Covenant
“In a contract, two or more people come together, each pursuing their self-interest, to make a mutually advantageous exchange. In a covenant, two or more people, each respecting the dignity and integrity of the other, come together in a bond of loyalty and trust to do together what neither can achieve alone. It isn’t an exchange; it’s a moral commitment. It is more like a marriage than a commercial transaction. Contracts are about interests; covenants are about identity. Contracts benefit; covenants transform. Contracts are about “Me” and “You”; covenants are about “Us.” Covenant lifts our horizon from self-interest to the common good. There is nothing wrong with self-interest. It drives economics and politics, the market and the state. But there are certain things that cannot be achieved on the basis of self-interest alone, among them trust, friendship, loyalty and love. Covenant really is a life- and world-changing idea.” - Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
God is committed to you, no matter what. God is a covenant giving and covenant keeping God. God has chosen to attach Himself to you, give of Himself, and spend eternity with any one of us who chooses to do the same. God will always be 100% faithful and 100% loyal to you. Why? Because He loves you.
Now that we know all of the above, how do we navigate singleness and dating? It is vital to know that you are loved, saved by grace, lead by truth, and called to covenant.
We make it our aim to please him. [2 Corinthians 5:9]
As we do all of those in our own relationships, Jesus will lead us into life.