There are many types of relationships in our lives. We have relationships with the family in which we are raised, with friends, with spouses, with the family members we raise, with co-workers, etc. Sometimes, we choose the relationship; sometimes, a person chooses us; and, sweetest of times, the choice is mutual.
Looking back, there were prophetic signs of who my future spouse would be. For instance, my nickname in high school amongst my fellow athletes was “JPB”, short for “Jill P. Butt”. Why, you ask? Let’s just say I had an effective way to clear out the lane on the basketball court! Then, there was my favorite necklace which I wore throughout high school and college – a simple gold chain with a charm in the outline of a bird (a dove) on it. So, when I began dating my future husband on April 15, 1983 (tax day – and we were both Accounting Majors!), naturally his last name was Bird. I proudly claimed that name and the initials JPB a bit over a year later when we wed on campus the day after graduation, shortly after the CPA Exam. Thus began our journey into our marriage relationship and, in 1992, into parenting and new relationships.
Having developed relationships through working with people of all ages in business, church, community, and educational settings – and having looked in the mirror – it is obvious that nobody is perfect. Thankfully, we all have access (should we accept the free gift of grace offered to us) to a perfect heavenly Father, a sinless Savior, and the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide us! The Trinity – this is the key relationship in a person’s life.
John 3:16-17 (NLT) For this is how God loved the world. He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
Romans 3: 23-24 (NLT) For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.
Romans 6:23 (NLT) For the wages sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
John 3:3 (NLT) Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
John 14:6 (NLT) Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
Romans 10:9-10 (NLT) If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.
Acts 2:38-39 (The Passion Translation) Peter replied, “Repent and return to God, and each one of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus, the Anointed One, to have your sins removed. Then, you may take hold of the gift of the Holy Spirit. For God’s promise of the Holy Spirit is for you and your families, for those yet to be born, and for everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
2 Corinthians 7:10 (NLT) For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.
What have you got to lose? What might you gain? Choose His love! Your own pursuit of a daily, intentional and intimate relationship with the Lord will model the importance of that relationship for your family and friends in your life. Also, as they watch you “walk the talk” and see your fruit, they are able to grasp the validity of your relationship with the Lord, and, hopefully, desire one of their own. When you assist others in finding their identity in and through Christ, you have helped them lay a firm foundation upon which to live their lives… or upon which to return.