We are challenged in this week’s message to ask the question, “When did the relationship get real?” Contrary to what much of today’s world would profess, the answer is actually not when it becomes official on Facebook or any other social media channel. Realness in relationships is forged through experience, and oftentimes the tough ones. One could make a compelling argument that the realest relationship the apostle Paul maintained during his time on this earth was with Jesus. Could we say the same of ourselves? Let’s look at the marks of realness in Paul’s relationship with Jesus which will hopefully inspire us to cultivate these same characteristics in our own relationship with Christ.
In Acts 25:1-22 we see four distinct aspects to Paul’s relationship with Jesus as it plays out in his actions with those around him. First, Paul had a deep commitment to the words of Jesus. Let’s ask ourselves: do we know His word? How can we know Jesus if we never take the time to read – with intention and thought – his Word? Second, Paul’s relationship with Jesus gave him the courage to speak up about who Jesus is and what he’s doing. And for us: do we hesitate to share with others about Jesus because we don’t want to look too weird or because it feels too uncomfortable? Third, Paul was crystal clear on Jesus being the reason for his hope despite dire circumstances. Do we live our days with hope or foreboding – are we internally peaceful in all circumstances? Finally, Paul left other curious to ask about who Jesus is. Is our relationship with Jesus so telling and transformative that our lives spark curiosity to those around us about our faith? It’s time for our relationship with Jesus to get real.
Jesus help me to read your word, to speak to others about who you are, what you are doing in my life, and how you are my hope. Help me to live in a way that draws people to YOU.