KEY VERSE: No floods can ever quench this love, no rivers drown it.  If a man offered all he has for love, he would be laughed aside. —Song of Solomon 8:7 (Moffatt)

Key #32: Behold, how rare it is, how lovely, the fellowship of those who meet together.  For in the fellowship has the Eternal fixed the blessing of an endless life. Psalm 133:1, 3b—(Moffatt Translation)

Relationships with the Brethren

God’s Word calls us to be different and reflect the presence of Jesus Christ in our lives.  Jesus prayed for His disciples in John 17:21 that they might all be one so that the world might know and believe that the Father has sent them.  Unity is the ingredient for breakthrough and is a quality that reflects the fruits of the Spirit in our lives.  A true charismatic quality is love and hospitality.  These are sowing and reaping qualities that will build unity among the brethren and in our witnessing to the lost!  In Acts 2, unity brought house-shaking results that changed a people and eventually changed the world.  What wonderful power is released in unity!

Rainer Maria Rilke wrote: “Once the realization is accepted that in between the closest human beings infinite distance must continue to exist, a wonderful being side by side CAN GROW UP!”  Unity among the brethren is a love relationship that will truly open growth both individually and corporately.  What we need is to be shaken and poured out.

Exercise: Schedule a specific place, date and time within the next month with another individual or couple from church that you know, but have not become personal with.

Prayer: Father, touch the hearts of Your people by Your Spirit and increase the love we have for one another through the unity of Your church.  May we be one in both word and in action so that the world may be jealous for You!

Memory Verse: Become useful and helpful to one another..—Ephesians 4:32 (The Amplified Bible)

Resources: Book: Jesus Wants All of Me: Sharing God’s Love, Phil Smouse

Key #33: A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”  Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”  Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured. —Mark 1:40-42 (NIV)

Relationships with the Unsaved


The ministry of Jesus was marked by touching what ultimately brought breakthrough to a man that had lost all hope of a cure.  Jesus’ first command to us was to “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to all men” (Mark 16:15).  Isn’t that exactly what He demonstrated in His earthly ministry?  He came to seek and save those ordinary people.  Some of them you might not want to touch!  But His purpose and plan was to set the captives free, rescue and deliver them.  That’s getting personal—out of our comfort zone.   That’s breakthrough.

There’s something different about Jesus.  His life was a demonstration of His relationship with the Father.  Ours should be the same—being imitators of Christ!  Many of the miracles we saw our Lord perform were done out of compassion.  We must exemplify that same compassion if we are going to be witnesses to the unsaved.  We want the unsaved to be jealous of what we have been given!  The apostle Paul declared in I Corinthians 9:22 “…I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some!”

The message of Christ can and should be related to our world in a way that they can relate to in today’s life.  Breakthrough comes when we allow the Holy Spirit to use our lives to produce the simplicity of the Gospel to our friends, family, etc.  Are you prepared to give to the lost that which you have found?  Are you looking for opportunities to be a witness?  Begin with prayer, and then be prepared to be used by God’s Spirit.  Here am I, Lord—send me, use me!

Exercise: 1) Begin with prayer for an individual who is an unbeliever and look for a way to share Christ with them this week.

2) Always be on the lookout for ways to help your neighbor in practical ways and be ready to share the gospel with them.

Journal: Set goals on how you can become more aware of being a soul winner for Christ at work, home or school.

Memory Verse: Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation (Mark 16:15).

Resources: Books: Jesus Wants All of Me: Sharing God’s Love, Phil Smouse; How to Pray for Lost Loved Ones, Dutch Sheets

Key #34: This is My commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his soul for his friends.—John 15:12-13 (Worrell Translation)

Relationships That Last

Jesus declares that there is no greater example of the love of God than that of a man laying down his life for his friend.  Two elements of laying down our lives for others are being a servant and counting the cost.

Galatians 5:13 says, “through love we are to serve one another.”  Christians serving one another is Christ-like character that brings breakthrough to any relationship, no matter how difficult.  The saying “going the extra mile” is pertinent in any relationship.

Jesus took twelve disciples of different backgrounds, temperaments, job skills, etc. and taught them by example how to serve one another with a loving heart.  Upon reading God’s Word, it seems that the twelve got along quite well with each other.  But there was a price to be paid—time.  Quality time must be invested to cause a relationship to last.  It has no room for selfishness.  We have heard from our pulpit that we are to invest our time, talents and treasures into God’s kingdom work.  Giving of our time is a stretching exercise.  It builds Christ-like character while exemplifying the fruit of the Spirit!

Romans 12:9-10 says, “Let love be without hypocrisy…Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.”  Verse 13 talks about “contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.”  Verse 16 states, “Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.”

Lasting relationships find their solutions built upon the principles of God’s Word.  Henry Ford said, “Don’t find fault, find a remedy!”  We should become people-builders and in doing so, we build relationships, and through relationships, we help to shape the world.

Exercise: Read I John, Chapter 4

Prayer:  Father, help us to be good examples of who You are.  Forgive us and help us to conduct ourselves in the world and especially with our relationships to others in holiness and sincerity that can only come from You!

Resources: Book: Jesus Wants All of Me: Forgiveness, Phil Smouse

Key #35: Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.—Galatians 6:10 (NKJV)

Relationships in Christ

In the above Scripture we see the importance of doing good in showing the love of Christ to all men.  We endeavor to do good to those we have relationships with, and thus we should make the most of such opportunities.  However, we see the Body of Christ is in a special category here in the above verse.  Especially to the household of faith Paul tells us, that is, our brothers and sisters in Christ.

We have a special duty to the brethren.  They are of like faith, and we share with them the same hope of glory.  So as we treat the brethren, so then in turn do we treat Christ.  We can’t separate Jesus from His Body.  We can’t have relationship with Jesus and think we don’t need to maintain relationship with His Church—His people.  The Scriptures show us that if we’re related to Christ, we are also related to His Church!  It is the relationships in Christ that are the eternal relationships!

We are called to love everyone (agape in Greek, meaning unconditional love).  We are not called to “like” everyone.  (The liking part is a conditional love – phileo in Greek).  We can love the brethren in a higher agape love, without the need for a friendship conditional phileo love. We need to be concerned about how we treat the brethren.  I have come to realize because they are of like faith, they are my true “spiritual” family in Christ.  It is a breakthrough to realize that the relationships we have in Christ are connected to the relationship we have with Jesus, and He is watching how we treat His family.  We must hold them in high esteem, with respect and agape love.  

Exercise: Take 30 minutes today—5 in worship (in English), 5 in prayer (in tongues), and 20 minutes—to meditate on the Scriptures of today’s study.

Confession: My heart is filled with the love of God for His Church.

Resources: Book: Six Keys to Lasting Friendships, Kent/Thorpe