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Our culture teaches that the purpose of having a relationship, whether friendly or romantic, is mostly about my happiness and fulfillment. And when a relationship no longer serves me and my needs? Well, then, they become disposable. I don’t have to work at making them better. I have every right to sever ties and move on to my next conquest. But you see, God calls us to have relationships with more meaning than that. Scripture teaches that our relationships are to be more than commonplace- they are to be radical in their nature and purpose.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I rather enjoy hanging out with friends, goofing off, figuring out some new ways to get in trouble…I mean to have fun. We need those types of relationships. They bring us joy and fulfillment; they remind us that life isn’t all bad. But when God talks about the kind of relationships we should cultivate with other believers, it’s more than just fun and games- these relationships are to have an eternal focus.

That’s what Hebrews 10:23-25 is talking about. We’re supposed to “hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm.” That hope is God! Our relationships are supposed to reflect that hope. The passage goes on to give us three commands regarding other people. Remember, the Bible gives us 59 of these “one another” commands. Having three in this passage means it’s probably pretty important. We are to actively and intentionally think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. We are to not neglect meeting together. And we are to encourage one another. Motivate, meet, and encourage. All with the goal of making each other stronger in faith; of helping them and us to persevere- to stay strong- in our hope and faith in God and His promises.

How many relationships do you have that look like this? I have lots of acquaintances and friends…but meeting, motivating, and encouraging…those are rarer. In fact, they take work. They require that our focus isn’t solely our own interests and desires for fun and goofing off. They require that we start focusing more on the things of God and less on the things of this earth. It means that we have such a strong and deep relationship with another person that we can look at their life and see the ways we can encourage them to be better followers of Christ, that we can motivate them to put others first and do the good and loving things God calls us to do.

You see, having the radical kind of relationship with another person that God calls us to have is tough. It takes time. It takes sacrifice. It takes a willingness to get down and dirty into the details of life. And it also means being willing to have someone speak into your life, to offer you guidance, and maybe even to critique and correct you when you stray from the right path and begin to lose focus and hope.

It takes a lot of courage to have one of these radical relationships. Why? Because it means becoming vulnerable to another person; it means becoming dependent upon another person; it means giving up our own prideful, arrogant desires, and truly seeking after the kinds of life-giving relationships that God created us for.

Truth is, you won’t see any of these types of relationships on T.V. or in the movies. They’re counter-cultural. They take work and sacrifice and commitment. On the surface, committing like that to another person just doesn’t sound fun. But you’ll see, if you’re willing to move past pride and cowardice, that these are exactly the kinds of relationships that we do need. God created us to have deep, meaningful, accountable, radical relationships with other people. God calls us to be accountable to others; to allow others to speak into our lives and bring us healing. So, let’s be radical. Let’s do the work needed to develop a radical relationship with another person. I promise you, you won’t regret it! And you’ll start to find your life more full and joyful, just like God promised!





Sermon Notes for “LWOA: Accountability- Let’s Be Radical” from May 11, 2014


Accountability

                Definition: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions

                                We are held accountable to God, and we are to hold ourselves accountable to one another

We are called to really intense, radical kinds of relationships

Let’s be radical

                What does being radical have to do with accountability?

                                Definition: relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something

                Discipleship is about being changed into Christ’s image

                                Being radical relates to a change in the fundamental nature of something

                When used regarding medical procedures, intended to be completely curative

                                That’s what God desires with our relationships- for them to be curative, to help fix and                                         realign all the things in us that are un-Christ-like, those less-than-holy things

                                                Confession and prayer are vital for this to happen

But there’s more to it than confession and prayer: Hebrews 10:23-25

                                The primary concern of author of Hebrews is to see their readers preserver in the faith

                In this passage, we see that God calls us to:

                                Display Christ-like tenderness and affection

                                Do good works to bless the world

                                Long for the day when Christ will come and make all things new

                Our relationships are crucial to us being able to do this

Through the author of Hebrews, God gives us three commands about our relationships:

                Meet together                  Motivate one another                   Encourage one another

Meeting together:

                We need each other, we need to help each other fight the fight of faith

                                V 24 is just as important for us today: “Let us not neglect meeting together as some people                                 do”

                You can’t go through life convinced that you don’t need anyone, or treating others as unimportant

                                To tell yourself that you can be alone, without meaningful relationships is just not how we                                 were made

                Going through life alone is cowardly!

Motivating one another:

                Motivate: ‘stir up’, ‘spur on’, ‘urge’, ‘provoke’

                We are called to not only be together, but motivate one another

                                This involves speaking into someone’s life

                                To motivate them means to know enough about them to help them along on the path they                                 should go

                We are to think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works

                                That involves intentionally thinking about how to motivate another person to godly things

                                                Building them up, not tearing them down; helping to grow their faith not further                                                 our agendas

Encouraging one another:

                Encouraging means that we are present with them in order to strengthen them with our words

                                Reminding each other of the fact that what we see and experience isn’t everything; that God                                 is working for our good in everything we experience

All these commands are grounded upon and held together by verse 23

                That hope we affirm is that this life isn’t the end; that Christ did everything necessary for us to be                     saved; that God wants for us to have a full life now; that we are not alone!

Challenge: live radically in your relationships

                Live in such a way that a person’s nature is fundamentally affected, that healing and wholeness can                     happen

                These are the kinds of relationships that we are called to develop as Christians, as disciples

                They are not easy to build, but they are totally worth it!

 


Comments

11/25/2014 12:30am

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In our society, radical people are sometimes stereotyped as nuisance because they try to advocate reforms. There is nothing wrong with having a radical thinking especially if we become radical for Jesus. The Gospel teaches us to be a radical christian. In our Bible study class, I have learned how to be a real radical for Christ through simple ways. A real radical for Jesus isn’t ashamed to say “no” to the ungodly things of this world when everybody else is saying yes.

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07/20/2016 3:20pm

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08/20/2016 12:45pm

Love has different meaning on different types of relation. The main thing is purity. Don't love for money, power or credit.

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02/05/2017 9:42am

At least this is a real relationship. You should proud.

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02/21/2017 7:33pm

Yeah thats the way to go about it. If it works it works why alter anything about it.

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