Over the next few weeks we’re going to look at relationships:  the good ones, the bad ones, and the ugly ones. I think it’s fair to say that all off our interactions, our lives, and everything we are come about as the results of our relationships.  Relationships (romantic or friendly) shape who we are, who we become, and more often than not, where we spend eternity.  I think that God designed it that way.  It’s all about having relationships with people!

Think about it.  You marry the man or woman you best relate to.  Your family knows you better than anyone else.  Your friends know all your warts and secrets.  Why?  Because you have a real relationship with them!  Relationships are synonymous with the Christian life. Without them, we’d be in a losing battle.  With them, we can transcend all the barriers together.

Read what the writer of the letter of Hebrews says:

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:23-25).

We have spur “one another” not spurn ourselves.

The church is a relationship based community.  It thrives on relationships and grows because of them.  This passage is often taken as a proof that you have to be in church every single time the doors are open.  I think it goes way beyond that.  It says,

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (10”25).

The word “give up” or “forsaken” in other translations literally means to “totally abandon.”  Now to me, that means that we need to be at worship, and not abandon going?  Why?  Is it because our salvation is based on church attendance?  Is it because our faith is by works?  NO!  It’s because we need the relationships we form in the body of Christ!  Without them we will “give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing.”

Now I know there are times when we hit a rough patch at work, with homework, or crisis and tragedy hit that we won’t be able to go to worship.  That’s ok, BUT, make sure you don’t get out of the habit of coming, because each week that goes by and you don’t come, makes it that much harder to come back.  You need to be here because we come here to worship the Living God Almighty first and foremost, but also because as the Hebrew writer says, to “encourage one another.”  You can’t get the encouragement you need from your brothers and sisters if you aren’t here and don’t have the relationships.

Through the Bible, starting with Adam and Even, than to Abraham and Sarah, then Moses and Aaron, Elijah and Elisha, and Paul and Timothy;  all these relationships helped these people get places they couldn’t have gotten to alone.  Why?  Because we need each other! God didn’t design the church to be full of lone-ranger Christians.  It is designed to be a body, or a combined group of those saved by Jesus Christ who work together to spread His word and build His Kingdom!  We need each other to get to heaven.  We need each other in the good times, in the bad times, and all the in-between times. So how are your relationships?  Which ones do you need to mend?  Which ones do you need to revive?  Just something to think about.

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