This is Post #2 in a series beginning with God’s Word is Intended for Relationship
God’s Intentions for Relationship
My future husband’s notes were hidden throughout the house – pasted to cupboard doors, the sugar bowl, and my bathroom mirror. Each note was short, but well thought out to convey a message. “I love you and want you in my life.”
It became a game for me, wondering when and where I would find the next note. Had I tired searching for his notes, or once finding them had set them aside without reading them, I would have missed out on experiencing precious gifts hidden only for me to find. I would have come across as indifferent. I would have been blind to the ways in which he regarded me as precious and valuable in his sight.
Expressed in Word
God’s Word contains his love notes to us. He hopes we long to search his Word to discover every intention of his heart. He desires that we share the same longings toward him he has for us. His every word is:
- Intentional and meant to be savored as sweet honey to our souls.
- Intended to transform us from someone unloved to someone valued and precious.
For this is how much God loved the world—he gave his one and only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life.
God did not send his Son into the world to judge and condemn the world, but to be its Savior and rescue it!
John 3:16-17 (TPT)
Long ago the Lord said to Israel:
“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.
With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.
Jeremiah 31:3(NLT) (According to the Bible, those who follow Jesus are brought into the family of God and become part of his people, Israel. This verse pertains to any within God’s family.)
For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.
Demonstrated in Action
As with any relationship, the strength of the relationship comes from the commitment of both parties. God has drawn us to Himself and spent centuries demonstrating his:
He has done so first through the life and death of his only Son. Since, He has demonstrated his undying love through those who have experienced his love and freely give it at their own personal sacrifice.
God sent His Son at great personal sacrifice to make relationship between us possible. He now sends out emissaries to extend the invitation to any who would receive and come.
God’s Expectations In Relationship
As with any serious relationship, at some point there becomes the expectation that both parties will become exclusively for the other alone. God makes clear His desire for a bride totally committed to Him above all others.
God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to him.
2 Chronicles16:9 (MSG) portion of the text only
I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:2-3 (NIV)
God gave us His Word because he understands we are clueless as to how to go about developing a relationship with Him without it.
From the beginning of time, he’s gone to the greatest measures to express His love for us and plans for relationship with us. He’s given us his intentions through the words of the prophets of the Old Testament, the apostles of the New Testament, and through the life and death of his son, Jesus Christ. He’s called forth a people to express and extend his invitation through the sacrifice of their very lives.
Relationship thrives only when love an devotion are returned. How are we expressing our intentions toward Him?
Our Response to His Proposal
No one can remain neutral to God’s proposal, as God has expressed his heart to His entire creation. No one is exempt. We have all been invited to enter the blessings of exclusive relationship with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Maker of All Things.
God’s Proposal is for All Mankind
But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.
Romans 1:18-23 (NLT)
Every extravagant sunset is on display for all to see. The rain falls in season to refresh the entire earth so that it produces crops to feed all mankind. Every wag of a dog’s tail blesses and warms the heart of any who will receive it. We are given the capacity to love and be loved. All gifts from the Creator for all who walk this earth.
Is anyone thirsty?
Come and drink—
even if you have no money!
Come, take your choice of wine or milk—
it’s all free!
Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength?
Why pay for food that does you no good?
Listen to me, and you will eat what is good.
You will enjoy the finest food.
Isaiah 55:1-2 (NLT)
Therefore All Mankind Must Respond
God’s invitation is certainly for all. He won’t force anyone to accept, but exuberantly embraces any who listen and respond! A lack of response is a response.
But everyone my Father has given to me, they will come. And all who come to me, I will embrace and will never turn them away. And I have come out of heaven not for my own desires, but for the satisfaction of my Father who sent me. My Father who sent me has determined that I will not lose even one of those he has given to me, and I will raise them up in the last day. For the longing of my Father is that everyone who embraces the Son and believes in him will experience eternal life and I will raise them up in the last day!
John 6:37-40 (TPT)
There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.
John 13:8 (NLT)
OUR INTENTIONS Toward Him
No one would consider it odd that someone would be jealous for their spouse’s love and devotion. God’s Words make it clear our relationship with Christ is equal to the commitment of a marriage. He goes so far as to express his jealousy for us – as a man for his beloved. Therefore, our intentions toward him are of great importance to him. He expects we take both his intentions and sacrifice on our behalf very seriously.
Returning His Love
We often quote this passage regarding marriage. Let’s turn it around, and focus on what God is saying about our ‘marriage’ to Christ:
As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.
Ephesians 5:24-27 (NLT)
And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul and with all your might.
Deuteronomy 6:5 (NLT)
Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
Matthew 22:37 (NLT
Are We Being Honest with Ourselves?
God’s intentions toward us are clear. Considering his intentions, are we being honest about our intentions toward him? How would we answer were he to ask us the following questions?
- Do you treat our relationship seriously, or are you playing around with me?
- How does the use of your time and resources express how much you love me?
- Could a human relationship thrive with the amount of time we spend together?
- Are your current commitments enhancing our relationship, or are they detracting from a thriving relationship with one another?
These questions aren’t meant to produce guilt. They are meant to make us think, “Upon whom or what do I bestow my greatest passions? Does Christ receive them, or do I waste them on other lovers?”
If you answer “I do give my vigor to other lovers,” God’s love compels you to return to the love that gave you life.
If you’ve never considered God in this way, Jesus gives you the means to find such love and commitment:
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6 (NIV)
Dear God, I’ve loved many lovers. Please forgive me for treating you with such disdain. I wish to make you the only lover of my soul. I could never come to you in my own ability, so I now bow before Jesus and give my life to him alone. Fill me that my life may become the evidence of our binding love. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
As those being married exchange rings to signify their love for one another, God gives us a gift upon coming to Christ – the indwelling of His Spirit.
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 1:13-14 (NIV)
Here you will find the first article in the series, “God’s Word is Intended For Relationship”
You can find related articles:
Note: Our family has gone through some major life changes the last few months. We’ve sold one home and moved across country to another. My husband is in semi-retirement, and we are approaching major ministry changes. We could use your prayers. Now that life seems to be settling down even as we continue to unpack, I hope to pick up the pace and write more frequently. I pray your Thanksgiving (for those in the U.S.) was blessed. I pray your Christmas will be full of God moments.
The photos are some taken recently in my new environs.
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With great love – Robin <3