Lesson 17: The God of Relationship
Lesson 17, Devotion 1
“What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” - Psalm 8:4
What are the things that most of your thoughts center around? Usually, the most consuming thoughts we have are about the things that are the most important to us. They can be of immediate importance like a test, or they can be of material significance like looking forward to a particular birthday present. Some of our most important things are relationships. Want an example? Think of the way you daydream about a crush you have.
In Psalm 8 we catch a glimpse into the things that God values. And what we see is that He values us! (How awesome is that?)
Spend a minute or two and read all of Psalm 8. There are three main themes we can learn in this psalm. 1) God actually thinks about us. 2) When we grasp this, it should lead us to in turn think about God! (Which takes the shape of worship.) 3) God wants us to think about the role we play in the world.
We are of utmost value to God.
If we can get our head around this, then we can more fully worship God and be about His plan and purpose for the world.
Think about this:
Are you spending your time and energy going after things of value? Or are you wasting your energy on stuff that doesn’t have any value?
Spend some time just thinking about God. What do you know about His character? Why do you love Him?
Ask God to bring someone to your mind who needs your influence in his or her life. Who in your world needs to see God in and through you?
Lesson 17, Devotion 2
Read this quote and think about it today:
“We should be astonished at the goodness of God, stunned that He should bother to call us by name, our mouths wide open at His love, bewildered that at this very moment we are standing on holy ground.”
-- Brennan Manning
As you think about this quote, ask yourself:
When was the last time you were astonished at God’s love for you?
How about the last time you were stunned that God calls us His children?
What can you do to engage in this level of deep thinking about God’s love for you?
Lesson 17, Devotion 3
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” - 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
We know that our parents or guardians love us. After all, they tell us they love us. And they show us they love us by taking care of us. But there are those special times where they invite us into their worlds, and we know for sure, they really, really love us.
Maybe they let us help them with cooking something. Or they let us help them build something. Or run an important errand with them. Whatever the case, there are moments when, because they share life with us in a special way, we know that they love us.
To say, "I love you," is nice. To be treated with dignity, respect, and purpose is amazing. And that is what we see in the way that God loves us. He invites us to be partners with Him. He wants to harness our love for Him and use it to draw others to Him, others who may need to know God in a big way.
Read 2 Corinthians 5:16-6:2. Do you see that we’re called to see people differently because we’re Christ-followers? We live our lives and soak up all that God has for us personally. But we’re invited to look up and see that God’s love is not just for us, but for the entire world.
We have a most important job to do. We’re called to be ambassadors of Jesus Christ. This means being God’s representative of love and grace to your friends, your teachers, and your family. God can do all of this by Himself. But, re-read 6:1. Do you see that we are God’s co-workers? We should be fine being a servant or even a slave to God. That would be awesome. But He’s gone a step further and given us the high honor of calling as co-workers. What an awesome way of showing His love for us!
Think about this:
What does it look like for you to be God’s ambassador of reconciliation? How would you describe that in your own words?
Who might God be putting in your life to no longer regard in a worldly perspective, but needs to know that God loves them and wants a relationship with them, just like He does you?