Toward Relationship

Feb 21, 2019Spring 2019 Small Groups

Scripture – Isaiah 40: 3-5

Toward Relationship

By Bryan VanOsdale & Matt Bisel

God desires for us to have a relationship with him. He sought out Adam and Eve in the garden, he found Moses wondering in the desert and sent his only son Jesus to walk among us. But a relationship with God, as with any relationship, is not a one-way ordeal and requires a sincere effort on our part. We must be willing to talk with God, read God’s word and to listen to God. Now all this takes time and in order to make time we must straighten out our priorities. It seems simple enough – priority one: time with God. But if you are like me, distraction comes easily. We get so caught up in our everyday lives. Relationships with family, friends and at work demand much of our attention. As it turns out, neglecting our relationship with God is easier than we’d like to admit.

John Wesley, the founder of Methodism had this idea, that with God’s grace and with a faith rooted in practice, our hearts may be so “habitually filled with the love of God and neighbor” that we “have the mind of Christ and walk as he walked.” What Wesley is saying is that he believed that our relationship with God is rooted in the practice of love. Loving God and loving our neighbor should be placed above all else, it should be our first priority. In turn, living out this love will be like having one of those relationships where you know each other so well that you complete each other’s sentences. Wesley describes it as having the “mind of Christ.” The prayer below is called the Wesley Covenant Prayer. It is a prayer that Wesley would pray and is, I think, indicative of the kind of relationship we should all strive to have with Christ.

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, 
thou art mine, and I am thine. 
So be it. 
And the covenant which I have made on earth, 
let it be ratified in heaven. 
Amen.

Questions to consider…

How do we go about preparing a way for a relationship with God in the distractions of everyday life?
How do we straighten out our priorities to keep Christ before us?
How do we straighten out our priorities to keep Christ before us?
What does it look like to love God and our neighbor?
How is loving your neighbor being in relationship with Christ?

Wesley’s Challenge Questions for the Week:

  1. How do I spend my spare time?
  2. Am I proud?

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