September 3, 2017

Givers and Not Takers
Grace Reverses the Relationship Curse

Review: We have examined over the last four weeks some key relationship principles:

  1. Relational grace moves toward others in connection.
    To relate with someone else is to transparently narrate your life to them and to warmly and lovingly receive the narration of their life to you (thoughts, feelings, desires, etc.).
  2. Relational grace stops blaming others for problems within.
    Disconnection occurs when there is both inner pain and self-absorption, so to “reset” a relationship, you say, “You are neither the source or solution for the pain or trouble in me,” as well as “I am neither the source or solution for the pain or trouble in you.”
  3. Relational grace looks to Christ as the Source of real life.
    When there is contentment with Jesus as one’s Source of life, in-to-me-you-see (intimacy) becomes the characteristic of real, healthy relationships with appropriate boundaries.
  4. Relational grace communicates with care to others.
    When emotions take over, and the reset button is hit, you learn to communicate with care. In essence, “the other person” in your relationship becomes your focus, in that you always do what is right and best for “the other person” (I Corinthians 13).

Some might be saying, “But what about forgiveness?” I can’t move forward in relationship until I can forgive the other person for what they’ve done to me. Consider something: When God forgives you, is it because you’ve “hurt him?” No. You’ve crossed a boundary that He’s established for your good. God freely forgives when there’s repentance for crossing His boundary because He’s already satisfied within Himself!

We’ll conclude this morning by examining the fifth and final principle of relating well with one another. “We love Him because He first loved us” (I John 4:19). “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).

This principle is called “The Power of One.”

In a curse-filled relationship, two people fight for the fulfillment they are seeking.
In a grace-filled relationship, two people give freedom from the fulfillment they possess.

In a curse-filled relationship, two people determine to dominate for the sake of lust.
In a grace-filled relationship, two people strive to serve for the sake of love.

In a curse-filled relationship, two people with disappointment in each other leave a relationship.
In a grace-filled relationship, two people with enjoyment independent of each other stay in relationship.

How does a relationship become grace-filled? It takes the power of real, genuine love in just one person. “We love Him because He first loved us” (I John 4:19).

The Bible declares and we believe and teach that God's love in Christ is so captivating, so alluring, so charming, so dazzling, so enthralling, so mesmerizing, so spellbinding ("good spell"), so magnetizing, so enrapturing, so gripping, so compelling, so hypnotizing, and so fully and absolutely "sweep me off my feet" enamoring that I could not, would not and must not refuse relationship with God. That’s love. And if you and I ever grasp that Jesus calls us to love others like He loves us, we begin to experience the Power of One. By Gods’ grace let’s make the choice to trust Christ’s love, set relational boundaries, and really live!

You can view the video for this sermon HERE.