One of the defining features of the early church was godly relationships. Godly relationships are intentional, face-to-face relationships, where we talk about, learn about, and become like Jesus together. Without godly relationships, we aren’t fully alive or fully experiencing the life that God has for us.
We are in a series and in a season where we’re talking about getting rooted in Jesus so we can flourish in life. We’re talking about going back to the basics, simply building a relationship with God and moving from identifying with Jesus to actually connecting with Jesus. And we’ve been talking about these five roots. We said these are five pathways of connection, that if we get rooted in Jesus, we will flourish in life. And they’re simply engage the scriptures, talk with God, build godly relationships, meet the needs you see, and invest your time. And what we want to talk about today is building godly relationships. I think this is one of the most overlooked and yet underutilized roots that lead to a fruitful life. I mean, I remember years ago, and Colleen and I, we were in California for something, and we’ve got to drive through the Redwood forest. And I don’t know if you’ve ever been there, but it’s an amazing thing. I mean, you see these trees, they’re 350 feet tall, giant circumference. They’re old, they’re mature, they’re healthy, they’re strong, and they are incredibly impressive. And as you drive through you go mile after mile of seeing these trees. These are giant groves of these giant trees. And as we were driving through it, we saw a ranger station, and we pulled over and we talked to the guy, and he started telling us about these trees. And he said, “You would think that based on how tall they are, that their roots would go incredibly deep. He said, “But that’s not true with redwood trees.”
He said, “Redwood trees roots don’t go deep, they go wide. They go out and interconnect and interlock with one another, and that’s where their strength comes from.” He says, “In fact it’s almost impossible for a single redwood tree to fall over because it’s so interconnected, intertwined, interwoven with the trees around it, that the strength isn’t found in the tree itself, the strength is found in the trees being interlocked with one another.” He said, “That’s why you’ll never see one healthy big mature redwood tree by itself because it needs all the other trees to survive the wind, and the storm, and the droughts.” He says, “It’s impossible for a single redwood tree to flourish on its own.” And I think that is a great picture of godly relationships. It is impossible for you and I to reach the fullness of our potential to be healthy, to be mature, to be strong without one another. We need each other to get rooted in Jesus so we can flourish in life. In fact, if you go look at the first century church, one of the primary characteristics of the first church what was godly relationships. That godly relationship weren’t just a part of their life, they were their life. Like look at this, Acts chapter 2, that familiar passage that we talked about, this the first century church. It says, they devoted themselves to the Apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with many wonders and miraculous signs, were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common, their roots were interwoven with one another. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts, they broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people and the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. They understood that a life of following Jesus meant that they would be interconnected and interwoven with other followers of Jesus.
And it was because they were so interconnected with one another that they were not only able to survive but actually thrive in the midst of persecutions, and storms, and difficulties, and challenges. And when you look through the Bible, you discover, it’s not just the first century church, godly relationships have always been a part of the people of God. Like Moses had Joshua; and Jonathan had David; Elijah had Elijah; Jesus had Peter, James, and John; Paul had Silas, and Timothy if you will look through it you’ll find that every healthy person in the scriptures had some kind of godly relationships in their life. Because to walk with Jesus is to be deeply connected with other followers of Jesus. And yet in our hyper-connected world it feels like it’s harder than ever to build godly relationships, doesn’t it? We are globally connected and locally disconnected. We have access to the world and yet we’ve never met our neighbors. We have hundreds of friends on social media and yet we don’t know anyone else in church. We’ll spend hours on Facebook but we won’t come 5 minutes earlier, stay 5 minutes late in church. I mean, we are globally connected and locally disconnected. I mean, just think about it like this, you can tweet the President of the United States and he might tweet you back, that’s what’s crazy about how globally connected we are. You can DM someone on the other side of the globe, you can contact your favorite celebrity, you can find out everything you want to find out about someone else. We are hyper connected and yet we are more lonely than we have ever been. We are hyper connected and we are hyper lonely because we’re not interwoven with one another. And so we’re easily uprooted, blown down, or knocked over. And so what we need is we need some godly relationships. And when I say godly relationships, I’m not talking about just being friends with a Christian, I’m not just talking about getting in a small group, I’m not talking about liking someone’s Bible verse that they posted online, I’m talking about having two or three intentional relationships where you meet face to face to talk about, learn about, and become like Jesus together.
And without those we will never get rooted in Jesus nor flourish in life. So I want to give you a couple of thoughts on what godly relationships look like. Are you with me so far on that? Okay, first thing is just this, we were made for godly relationships. If you go all the way back to creation and the story of the creation in the garden, when God made Adam, Genesis 1:26, he said, let us make man in our image and our likeness. Like a mold being pressed into wet clay, the likeness of God was pressed into the soul of humanity. And I want you to think about that, I want you to think about all of the likeness of God being pressed into us. Like the ability to create, the capacity to love, the calling to lead, the desire to serve, the heart to build, all of that was pressed into Adam and it was pressed into you. And we know that our God is the Trinity, he’s God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. He exists in a three-in-one state which means God is not just interested in community, God exists in community. He doesn’t just like godly relationships, his very existence is godly relationships. And so when he made Adam in his likeness, pressed into the soul of Adam was not only the need but the desire to be in godly relationships. And that same desire was pressed into you. In fact if you read through the creation story, you’ll find it’s a really unique pattern. As God creates something, he declares that it’s good. He creates the plants and the animals, and says it was good. He creates the sun and the moon, and says it was good. He creates the land and the sea and says it was good. Says is good over and over again. And then you get to Genesis 2:18, and he says, “It is not good for man to be alone, so I will create a suitable helper for him.”
It almost jumps off the page at you because you’re sitting there thinking what on earth could be — now, this is the perfection of creation. And what God is talking about is he’s not talking about marriage in that verse, he’s talking about godly relationships. He’s saying it is not good for man to live without godly relationships because I have created them to need it and to desire it. And if it was not good for Adam to not have godly relationships and the perfection of creation, it’s literally intolerable for you and I to live that way in the brokenness of the world. And yet we know Adam messed everything up, right? Adam and Eve they sinned, in the moment they sinned everything messed up. We went from godly relationships to individualism, we went from acceptance to judgment, and all of a sudden the first thing it says is they were full of shame, fear, and control. They ran and hid from one another, Adam wanted to blame Eve, she gave me the wrong directions. Eve wanted to control Adam, those are decorator pillows, you can’t actually sleep on them. You know what I’m talking about? And everything changed. Okay, but what Adam messed up, Jesus came to restore. Romans 5:17 tells us, “If this is what we had in Adam, this is what we now have in Jesus.” If this is what we had in Adam before the fall, when Adam fell, we lost everything. But then Jesus came and he gave us back so much more than what we had in Adam. In fact in John 17, at the end of Jesus’s life, he praise, “And I asked not only for these disciples but also for all of those who will one day believe in me through their message.” He’s praying for you. “I pray for them that all to be joined together as one even as you and I father are joined together as one. I pray for them to become one with us so that the world will recognize that you sent me for the very glory you have given to me, I have given to them, so that they will be joined together as one and experience the same unity that we enjoy.
You live fully in me and now I live fully in them, so that they will experience perfect unity and the world will be convinced that you sent me for they will see that you love each one of them with the same passionate love you have for me. At the end of Jesus’s life, he prays that you and I would build godly relationships with one another. He says that as we get rooted in him we would become intertwined with one another. Like the Jesus in you is calling out to the Jesus in me. We’re the body of Christ and he wants his body to be united. And the Jesus in us is greater than any differences that may divide us. And the reality is that it’s like a supernatural pull, it’s like magnets pulling together. You are always being drawn to godly relationships because you are supernaturally designed to have them. That is why you will never be satisfied at a great church until you have great godly relationships. Because you are made for them. And so if all of a sudden you wake up one day and you’re like, nah, church is kind of nah. My question would be, do you have great godly relationships? Because church will never be awesome until you have them. I mean, a few weeks ago we said that the Bible is the owner manual on what it looks like to be fully human and fully alive. And the Bible tells us that if you want to be fully human and fully alive, you are made to have godly relationships. And without them you will never be fully alive. And so like Adam God has made the perfect godly relationships already for you. Are you with me on that? So you are made for it. Second thing is this is godly relationships show us Jesus, if you have spent any time here at Valley Creek Church, you know that we’re constantly talking about our identity in Christ. That we’re constantly talking about who we are in Jesus because identity determines behavior. And so we say that you’re not who you say you are, you’re not who the world says you are, you’re who God says you are. And because of Jesus he says you’re the righteousness of God in Christ that you are loved sons and daughters that you have the keys to the kingdom of heaven that the Holy Spirit lives in you, that the kingdom of God is in you, that you are an ambassador of Christ. You carry the aroma of Christ, you have supernatural spiritual gifts, you are amazing. But have you ever stopped to realize that the other people in this room, they’re amazing too.
We spend so much time trying to believe that we are who God says we are that we almost forget to start to believe that they are who God says they are. And you know who God says they are? That they’re the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, that they’re beloved sons and daughters, that they have the keys to the kingdom that the Holy Spirit lives in them, that the Kingdom of Heaven is in them, that they are the aroma of Christ, that they’re the ambassadors of Christ, that they have spiritual gifts, that their prayers are powerful and effective. They are amazing. In fact Galatians 2:20 says, “They have been crucified with Christ.” It’s not even them who lives, it’s Christ who lives within them. So when you get in godly relationships, they are literally showing you the resurrected life of Jesus. They are representing Jesus to you. And we spend so much time talking about representing Jesus to the world that we forget we’re supposed to first represent him to one another. Like think about this for a second. Think about the one and other verses in the Bible. In the New Testament there’s all these one another verses, be devoted to one another, accept one another, love one another, be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one other, confess your sins to one another, and you could look at that as a whole bunch of commands that are a burden on your life or you can look at it as a privilege to fulfill. That Jesus is inviting us to do to one another what he has done for us. And so when you’re in godly relationships and you’re accepting one another, you’re showing each other the acceptance of Christ. When your devoted to one another you’re showing other people that Jesus is devoted to them and to you. When you confess your sins to one another and forgive each other, you’re showing people that Jesus does not keep a record of our wrongs but fully forgives us. You’re literally revealing the life of Christ with one another in godly relationships. Or how about this, 1 Corinthians 12. “Just as the human body is one, though it has many parts that together form one body, so too is Christ.
In fact the human body is not one single part but rather many parts mingled into one. So if the foot were to say, “Since I am not a hand, I am not part of the body, it is forgetting that it is still a vital part of the body.” And if the ear were to say, “Since I am not an eye, I’m not really a part of the body, it’s forgetting that it is still an important part of the body.” Think of it this way, if the whole body were just an eyeball, how could it hear sounds. And if the whole body were just an ear, how could it smell different fragrances. But God has carefully designed each member and placed it in the body to function as he desires. “A diversity is required for if the body consisted of one single part, there wouldn’t be a body at all.” So now we see that there are many differing parts and functions but one body, you are the body of the Anointed One, Jesus, and each one of you is a unique and vital part of it. Here’s what he’s saying, “You can’t be the whole body of Christ by yourself.” If you’re the finger, you need the hand; if you’re the hand, you need the arm; if you’re the arm, you need the shoulder; if you’re the shoulder, you need the chest. You can’t be the whole body of Jesus by yourself. And so when you get connected in godly relationships, they are showing you unique aspects and facets of who Jesus is that you will never see on your own. They have assignments and giftings that you don’t have, to show you parts of Jesus that you will never see without them, you need them and they need you. Or how about this, 1 John 4 that says, dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God but if we love each other God lives in us and his love is brought to full expression in us.”
In other words he says it’s in godly relationships where the love of God or the life of Jesus is made tangible, it’s revealed, and it’s put on display for all to see. It’s in godly relationships where you receive the practical grace of Jesus. It’s where the intangible becomes tangible, it’s where the invisible becomes visible, it’s where faith becomes sight, you were made for this. In fact in fact what Jesus tells the disciples in John 14, he says, “Hey guys.” He says, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the father. He says, “I’m here to represent the father to you. So if you want to know what the father is like, just look at me.” And then in John 20:21 when the resurrected Jesus is leaving, he says, “Hey guys, as the father has sent me, so I now send you.” He says, “Remember, I came to represent the father to the world, but now I’m sending you in that same way to go and represent me to the people that you see.” In other words followers of Jesus should be able to say, hey, if you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the heart of Jesus. And we spend so much time talking about representing Jesus to the world that we forget we’re supposed to first represent him to one another. Like think about it like this, are you still with me on this? Think about it like this, let’s say you have a friend who is royalty, you got this friend and they are royalty. They’ve got tens of millions of dollars, they have access to the most important and influential people on earth, they have the ability to connect you with unique opportunities, and they have a unique insight into the future. Would you want to hang out with that guy? Oh, come on, would you want to hang out with that guy? He’s royalty and he’s got money coming out of his pockets, so much he doesn’t even know what to do with it. And he has unique access to every important person in the world, he could connect you to some opportunities that you’ve been waiting for, and he has some insight on the future, you would want to hang out with that guy all the time.
Okay, do you understand, that is the people in this room. Their dad is the king, they’ve been blessed in the spiritual — in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. They are friends with the savior of the world, they have the keys to the kingdom of heaven and connect things and open up things for you, and they can prophesy which means they can speak the life of God over your future. And some of you are like, oh come on bro, really? Okay. What’s more true, what you see or what God says? Do you define people in this room by faith or by sight? You see when you get together with other Christians, the whole point of godly relationships is not just getting together with Christians, the point is in godly relationships, you’re getting together with people that carry the authority of heaven, have the favor of the king, and can speak the words of heaven. So, don’t get in godly relationships so you can get connected, getting godly relationships so you can experience the life of the resurrected Christ. This is what we say in church, get connected, get connected, you go to be connected. Okay, scratch all of that, don’t get in godly relationships so you can get connected. Get in godly relationships because you want to experience the life of the resurrected Christ. The problem is we have a low view — that’s okay, that’s okay. Listen the problem is, is we have a low view of each other so we have a low interest in getting connected. We have a very low view of each other so we have really no interest in taking the effort to build godly relationships with one another. Well, why do we have a low view in each other because we have a low view of ourselves. We don’t believe they are who God says they are because we don’t believe we are who God says we are.
Everything you need God has given you through the lives of the people around you, you just have to have the humility to receive it. And I know some of you are like bro, have you seen the people around here? Okay, fair enough, fair enough. 2 Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” God has put his treasure in their clay, and yeah, their clay is chipped, their clay is cracked, their clay is dirty, but stop looking at the clay and start looking for the treasure. God pours out springs of living water — God pours Springs of living water through broken vessels, he feeds the bread of life with dirty hands, and he speaks the words of life with stuttering mouths. He wants you to see his strength through their weakness, he wants to reveal himself through them. So hear me, stop looking for a unicorn, stop, stop looking for this perfect person that doesn’t exist. Some of you are like, I’ll be in a godly relationship but I’m looking for someone that’s mature but not religious. I’m looking for someone that’s funny but not obnoxious, someone that’s wise but doesn’t talk too much. I’m looking for someone that has my interests, my hobbies, my desires, lives in my neighborhood, his life is perfect and great circumstances, not one of those messy people with stuff going on. And oh yeah they’re available when I’m available. You’re looking for a unicorn, it does not exist. Stop looking at the clay and start looking at the treasure within. It is pride, it is pride to say I don’t want the treasure if it comes in that clay jar. But that’s what we say, and that’s why we don’t get rooted in Jesus, and that’s why we don’t flourish in life.
There are no unicorns in this church, I hate to break that to you. And some of you you’ve been on this journey of church looking for church after church after church because you’re looking for a unicorn, you’re not going to find one in any church because unicorns don’t exist. You know what exists? Broken people who have the treasure of Jesus inside of them, who God wants to reveal to you through their broken life. Matthew 18:20, Jesus says we’re too three are gathered in my name, there I am also. He says, hey, if just two or three people get together, with me as the center, guess what, I’ll show up. Doesn’t have to be special, small group, rooted experience, a serve team, a cup of coffee, it doesn’t matter what it is, he promises he shows up. And I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve been in godly relationships talking about Jesus and all of a sudden it feels like you’re in an open heaven moment. It just feels like there’s this movement of grace, it feels like there’s this supernatural reality, wisdom is being shared back and forth. You like feel alive. Have you ever had that feeling? It’s like an open heaven. And I used to think, wow, that’s really cool. And then one day I realized no actually it is an open heaven. Because Jesus is the gateway of heaven, he tells us, you will see heaven open and angels ascending and descending on the son of man. So when we get together in godly relationships and he says he shows up, you are actually positioning yourself in that moment under an open heaven. We say all the time we want to see heaven come to earth, I think we’re big talk on that. Where’s the signs, where’s the wonders, where’s the miracles, where’s the healing. Okay, where’s the godly relationships? Because that’s where Jesus says the open heaven is positioned. Come on, are you with me on this? Look if you want to fight get rooted in Jesus, go where Jesus is, where is Jesus? He’s in godly relationships.
Like in John 20, I love this, this tells us what our life looks like with and without godly relationships. Jesus has just been crucified, buried, and resurrected. Verse 24, it says, “Now, Thomas one of the twelve was not with the disciples when the resurrected Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it just.’” Just before this moment what happened was the disciples were together but Thomas wasn’t there. For whatever reason he bailed on his godly relationships because there’s always a reason to bail on your godly relationships. And the resurrected Jesus showed up to the group because the open heaven doesn’t come to the individual, the open heaven comes to the group. And it shows up to the other ten and he says, “Jesus shows up shows him his hands and his side, breathes on them, gives them the holy spirit, gives them the gift of peace, and empowers them with their destiny in their assignment and Thomas missed it.” And so he’s full of doubt and skepticism because it’s in godly relationships where your faith is built. So now he’s with them, in verse 26, a week later, his disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them this time. Though the doors were locked Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” And he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, see my hands, reach out your hand and put it into my side, stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God, it’s in godly relationships where we literally see and experience the life of the resurrected Christ.” And so if you’re not in godly relationships you don’t have to feel bad or guilty, but you probably feel like something is missing because it is, because that’s what we were created for, it’s where we see Jesus. Are you with me on that? And then the last thing is just simply this, godly relationships help us grow and stay grounded. Proverbs 13:20 says, if you want to grow in wisdom, spend time with the wise, walk with the wicked, and you’ll eventually become like them.
He says, whoever you hang out with, whoever you spend time with, you become like those people. Like your roots get so intertwined with other people that you’re getting rooted either in the things of the world or the things of Jesus but there is no in-between. So the question that I would ask you is, is the people you spend your time with are they getting you rooted deeper in the world, or are they getting you rooted deeper in Jesus. In fact in 1 Samuel, I love this, it’s great picture of godly relationships, King Saul. It says, “ As Saul turned to leave, Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day. When he arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came upon him in power, and he joined in their prophecy. When all those who had formerly known him saw him prophesying with the prophets, they asked each other, ‘What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?’” It’s a great picture of godly relationships. He walks into this group of prophets. And the moment he gets there, there is such an atmosphere of grace and open heaven that Saul gets completely swept up into it and he becomes such a different person that people can’t even recognize him anymore. They’re like, wait a second, that’s not Saul. No, that guy, that Saul, the spirits on him, and power, he’s prophesying, he’s going in a different direction. Yeah, because in godly relationships there are such an atmosphere of grace that your life literally gets swept up, you become a different person, and you start going in a different direction. Listen when you find your people you discover your destiny, it changes everything. It’s like a river of grace that you get swept up to coming out of their lives, and all of a sudden it’s their kindness that leads you to repentance and changes the way you think. It’s their encouragement that keeps you from giving up and makes you strong, it’s their words that shape your future and your destiny, they are the ones who are helping you get free.
Every person in this room needs people to challenge them and inspire them and prune them and encourage them and push them on. And in fact do you remember the story in Exodus 17, it’s the story of the Israelites fighting the Amalekites. And as this battle begins, Moses goes up on the hill, and as long as Moses’ hands were raised, the Israelites were winning the battle. But when he put his hands down, the Amalekites, the enemy, they began to win the battle. And so Moses is standing on this mountain and he’s over this valley where this battle is happening, he’s holding up his hands. And he’s holding up his hands, the victory is happening, the Israelites are winning, but he gets tired. And his arms start coming down and he starts losing it, and so the enemy starts advancing and winning. And then it says Aaron and her, two of Moses’s godly relationships, get a rock and put it under Moses, have him sit on it, and then one grabs one arm and the other grabs the other arm. And they hold up Moses’ arm until the enemy is completely defeated. That’s godly relationships. They take a rock and put it under you, who is the rock? Jesus is the rock of our salvation. And godly relationships will help you rest on, receive from, and trust in him. Sit on the rock and they will hold up your hands until you win that battle, til you defeat that temptation, til you walk in victory, until the enemy is completely destroyed. So the question is who’s holding up your hands? Who’s helping you rest on, receive from, and trust in Jesus. And whose hands are you holding up? Matthew 28. “Jesus tells us to go make disciples of all nations.” Like whose discipling you and who are you discipling. Who are you helping get rooted in Jesus and who’s helping you get rooted in Jesus.
And I know some of you you’re sitting here, you’re like, bro it’s a big church, and I’m busy and there’s a lot going on. I know, but listen, you only need two or three godly relationships. You don’t have to know a little bit about a lot of people, you have to know a lot about a few people. Like if you go back to the redwoods, and you see these groves of thousands of trees, an individual tree is not interconnected with every single other tree. A tree that’s growing there, it’s got its roots out, and it’s connected to the two or three trees around it. And then the tree it’s connected to is connecting to the two or three trees around it. And then that one’s connected to the two or three trees around it, they are not connected a little bit to a lot of trees, they’re connected a lot to a few trees. And all the sudden they become one big grow of a no tree can fall over. So what would it look like if he was in godly relationships with him, and she was in godly relationships with her, and they were in godly relationships with them, and they were in godly relationships with them? All of a sudden this inner woven root system between all of us would make us so strong that even the weakest among us would never be able to be uprooted or blown over in life. That’s getting rooted in Jesus. And so you say, well, how do you actually do that, to clothes, this is really quick, just ask God to give you the desire for godly relationships. Just ask him to awaken within you the desire and the need that he’s already put there. And ask him to awaken it in the people that he’s already hand-picked for you to be in godly relationships with. Second thing I would tell you is if you actually want to put this into practice, is you got to create some space in your life for godly relationships. You can’t fit godly relationships into an already full life. If you think about your heart, your heart is like a bunch of electrical outlets, it’s like a bunch of plugs, and once all of the ports are full there’s, no room left. Which means you probably have to unplug some things to create some space for something new to be plugged in there.
And it’s usually right around now where some of us sit here and we’re like, bro, I’m good, I got all the relationships. I got my sister she lives in another state, I got my friend from college and we text each other sometimes, sometimes some Bible verses, you know, like some of that kind of stuff. Hey, I’ve got these people from my last church, we’re still friends. I follow this person online, man they post the greatest encouragement. My utmost for his highest daily devotion kind of stuff is great man, I got godly relationships. Okay, no, it’s not what we’re talking about you can’t be rooted in your past if you expect to flourish in your future. You can’t be rooted in your past and say my friend from college, my sister, this person from last church, you know, if you want to refresh in your future you got to be rooted in the present. When we’re talking about godly relationships, we’re talking about two or three people that you intentionally meet with face to face looking in each other’s eyes where you talk about, learn about, and become like Jesus together with. And it’s almost always the people you’re on mission with. If you read the Bible the godly relationships that you’ll see were people on mission. The Corinthians didn’t expect that godly relationships with the Ephesians. And the Ephesians didn’t expect to have it with the Galatians. And the Galatians didn’t expect to have it with the people in Jerusalem. Jerusalem didn’t expect that with the people in Judea. They were all followers of Jesus, they all loved each other, they’re all in this macro mission, but they understood the godly relationships came with the people they were daily involved with doing mission in that time, that place, in that city. I mean, listen, in my life, I have tons of godly friends that don’t go to this church or live in this state. I love them, they’re amazing, I wouldn’t trade them away, but they’re not my godly relationships. My godly relationships are people that are in this church that know the details of my life, that I’m on mission with, that I see regularly because they are the ones who know my story, who can point me when I’m going in the wrong direction, who can challenge me, who can encourage me, who are there to see the reality of my life.
Those are the people you got to create some space for. I mean, think about it, Jesus didn’t Skype you from heaven, he didn’t like your posts from afar, and he doesn’t only see your perfect filtered selfies. If that’s the truth of your godly relationships, they’re not godly relationships. Why? Because Jesus moved into our neighborhood to bring us grace and truth. He came to look us in the eyes face to face to bring grace and truth. And then the last thing is this, try, try again, and try again. Listen, did you notice, it says build. It doesn’t say find, it doesn’t say they magically happen, you got to build them. And I will be the first one to tell you, it’s really hard, and it takes a lot of work. But man it is so worth it. If you’ve never tried, try small, try a small group, go to the rooted experience, join a serve team. If you’ve tried and it hasn’t worked, keep trying, like listen to me, I get that all small groups are not awesome. I’ll be the first one to just say, some small groups are just flat-out bad. But don’t let one bad experience at a small group make you declare that all small groups are bad. All the bad people they usually end up in that group together anyway, so then just say, you know what, I’m looking for the unicorn group, is this it? Nope, I’m going to try again. Keep trying. And if you tried and you got hurt, I’m so sorry. I bet you, the disciples were really hurt when Judas betrayed them too. But they didn’t quit on godly relationships because of some pain.
Don’t let yesterday’s pain keep you from the life that Jesus has for you today. And the truth is as the godly relationships, they’ll change from time to time. Paul started with Barnabas, and then it became Mark, and then it became Timothy and Silas. It changed from time to time based on who they were on mission with. And that was okay. Like can you imagine Paul in Ephesus hanging out there, and someone’s like, hey, you got a godly relationship? He’s like, yeah, it’s Barnabas, I haven’t seen him in five years and we exchanged a letter once every other year. But he’s keeping me grounded. No Paul’s like I was in godly relationship with Barnabas, it was an amazing season, the season has changed I’m now in godly relationship with this guy named Timothy, and I’m loving it and God is changing who we are. You are never too new to start looking for them, and you are never too mature to not need them. There are no mature redwoods hanging out by themselves. Just so you know, there are no mature Christians hanging out by themselves. I’m not saying there aren’t Christians with a lot of Bible knowledge that have been in church for years, that can tell you all the churchy stuff, there’s a lot of those by themselves, there’s not mature according to Jesus’s definition. Because we need each other. Maybe we just need to go back to the basics, face-to-face interaction where we talk about, learn about, and become like Jesus together. Hear me, I am not trying to convince you to get in a godly relationship. I’m not even trying to speak to your mind today, I’m trying to talk to your spirit and call to life something that God has already put inside of you that will never go way.
I’m trying to awaken the divine destiny and the divine design that he has imprinted in your clay from his image and his likeness so that you can be fully alive, so that you can fully flourish. So you close your eyes with me. And let me just ask you, what do you feel like God wants to say to you today? What’s he whispering in your heart or in your mind? I think he’s trying to awaken something in you, something that maybe has gone dormant or gotten covered up or life has gotten so busy that we’ve lost out on this. Or for some of us, we had it at one point in time, something happened, and we don’t now, and we’ve just kind of cashed the whole thing in. Your spirit is always drawing you to the Spirit of Jesus and other people. So maybe like we’ve been doing with each route, can we just like repent? Can we change our thinking and say, lord I’ve thought about this so wrong, I want to change my thinking about who I am, about who they are, about what godly relationships really are all about. Then I want to position myself in an open heaven and not see this as an obligation or I don’t have time to get connected. I don’t even want to get connected, I want to get intertwined in the soil of the life of Jesus with other people so I can flourish in life and be fully free. Jesus we ask that we would be a church full of godly relationships intertwined so deeply with one another that even the weakest among us will thrive, and be mature, and be healthy; because no one topples over, no one gets uprooted, no one falls down when the people of God build godly relationships with one another. Holy Spirit, would you lead us and guide us that that would become true of us as individuals and of us as a people. In your name we pray, amen.