Daily Devotions

The Key to a Lasting Relationship

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Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. (1 John 4:20)

I read quite a few periodicals each week. Kris Gage is one of those writers I gravitate toward. Her recent article, “How to Make a Relationship Last,” was particularly enlightening. Gage insists communication is not the way to a lasting relationship. She gives examples of communication that actually hurts relationships. For example, “There are moments I regret marrying you,” or “I truly and deeply loathe you sometimes.” I’m not a therapist, but this kind of communication seems counter-productive to a lasting relationship.

Gage insists, that communication is too often based on feelings. Feelings are too time sensitive. Feelings are about the moment; a marriage is about a lifetime. Rather than feelings, Gage states that a relationship is about a “choice.” Choice is the key to a lasting relationship. Any relationship, including a marriage, will have moments when a couple will have negative feelings. In those moments, one hopes the relationship isn’t only based on feelings. God willing, the relationship is based on choice, and commitment.

Today, pray for the relationships in your life. Then, continue your prayer by praying for your relationship with God. Throughout my ministry I have watched too many people lose their faith because they based their relationship with God on feelings. When tragedy strikes, and their feelings are tormented, they curse God. Even our relationship with God requires more than feelings, but a choice, a commitment not dependent on feelings. Finally, make a point of letting those people in your life know you continue to commit to them. It may not sound romantic, but it is the most loving thing you could ever say! Oh yes, and don’t forget to let God know of your Divine commitment as well!


Satisfied ?!

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Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. (Rev. 21:1)

I read an article today entitled Why We Are Never Truly Satisfied, by Zat Rama. While I am not sure I agree with his life philosophy that includes, “a man lives eternally if he lives in the present,” I can affirm that the resurrection isn’t something that happens in the future. We are already living in our resurrection future. Jesus has already died for us. God has already opened heaven’s gate for us, and the Holy Spirit is presently living in and through us. We are never truly satisfied because we live with the doubt that either God isn’t really there, or God is too distant to know or care about us. Otherwise, we would be satisfied that we are in a Divine process leading to “the new heaven and the new earth” (Rev. 21).

What creates an environment of dissatisfaction is waiting for God to make the change. Satisfaction becomes a reality when we are working with the Holy Spirit to bring about “the new heaven and the new earth.” Last night I spent part of an evening with church friends, at a local elementary school giving away free books to children. Many of these children were from immigrant families and where English is a second language. This is an example of bringing help and opportunity to those who are in need. Caring for those in need brings people together, and provides the Spirit room to move and bring heaven and earth a little closer together.

Today, rather than ponder the unknowable, like how close or distant is our omnipotent God? Instead, think about ways you can do something tangible in God’s name. Your event may seem small and even insignificant, but when the Holy Spirit is involved, God will multiply your small offering. Pray for God to continue to bring about the new heaven and the new earth. Then, come up with a tangible way to bring satisfaction back to your life by planning and implementing an activity that helps others in God’s name. Your action will make a difference, and bring your life greater satisfaction. It is a no brainer! Besides, you might just find satisfaction doing it!

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