Our Relationship to God
Our Relationship to God
We have learned that our main responsibility as Christian believers is to love God. As we studied in Lesson 11, we keep His commandments because we love Him. So, our relationship with God is one of love.
First Corinthians 13 gives us a beautiful description of love. Verses 4-8 tell us that love is patient and kind, not jealous, conceited, proud, ill mannered, selfish, or irritable. It does not keep a record of wrongs nor is it happy with evil, but with truth. Love never gives up—it is eternal. This may sound like a very ideal picture of love. But it is this kind of love that every Christian believer should have for God and his fellow man. It is this unconditional kind of love that God gives to us.
It is no accident that the chapters before and after chapter 13 are about God’s gifts to believers. The chapter on love is tied in with the chapters on gifts because love also is a gift. Loving and giving go together because when we love others we want to give them what will please them most.
God’s Gifts to Us
The first gift that God gives us when we choose to believe on Him is the gift of salvation.
For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it (Ephesians 2:8-9).
If we are believers, God is our Heavenly Father and we are His children. Matthew 5:16 gives God this precious name. “Your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.” It is wonderful that we can talk to God as we would to a loving father. Jesus taught us to talk to Him that way when He said, “Our Father in heaven: May your holy name be honored” (Matthew 6:9).
Although God is the Creator, He is the Father of only those who have been born into His family.
To be part of the family of God we must accept His Son Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. Then new life begins. “Some. . . did receive him and believed in him; so he gave them the right to become God’s children” (John 1:12).
Every loving father enjoys supplying the needs of His children. Our Heavenly Father supplies all our needs. “And with all his abundant wealth through Christ Jesus, my God will supply all your needs” (Philippians 4:19).
God watches over us as His children. He watches day and night. “He will not let you fall; your protector is always awake” (Psalm 121:3). “The Lord watches over the righteous and listens to their cries” (Psalm 34:15). There are many verses like this in Psalms that tell us of God’s care for us.
When our Father tells us in His Word that He will do certain things for us, we call those verses promises. Promises indicate what God will do for us. We can receive blessing and the fulfillment of what God has promised, as we believe in His Word. “Whoever believes in me will do what I do…and I will do whatever you ask for in my name, so that the Father’s glory will be shown through the Son” (John 14:12-13).
Christians can also receive blessings from God by helping others. Psalm 41:1 states, “Happy are those who are concerned for the poor; the Lord will help them when they are in trouble.”
We can receive many gifts from God if we will believe and ask Him for them. This act of believing is called faith. Our faith pleases God and brings not only salvation and other gifts we have mentioned, but also healing and the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
“No one can please God without faith, for whoever comes to God must have faith that God exists and rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
That we receive healing through faith is found in James 5:15, “This prayer made in faith will heal the sick person; the Lord will restore him to health, and the sins he has committed will be forgiven.”
The baptism in the Holy Spirit is also received through faith.
Christ did this in order that the blessing which God promised to Abraham might be given to the Gentiles by means of Christ Jesus, so that through faith we might receive the Spirit promised by God (Galatians 3:14).
The greatest gift, however, is found in Romans 6:23, “God’s free gift is eternal life in union with Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“Every good gift and every perfect present comes from heaven; it comes down from God, the Creator” (James 1:17).
Our Gifts to God
Does it seem strange to give something to God who has everything? In His Word God Himself tells us what we can give Him.
We can give God our worship. Psalm 95:6 says, “Come, let us bow down and worship him; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker.” Worship can be given by praying, by thanking God for His blessings, by praising Him and giving to His work. Colossians 3:16 tells us to “sing to God with thanksgiving.”
We also worship when we give ourselves to God without any holding back.
Because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer
Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect (Romans 12:1-2).
Giving our money is another way to worship. And when we give, we also receive. God promised in Malachi 3:10:
Bring the full amount of your tithes to the Temple. Put me to the test and you will see that I will open the windows of heaven and pour out on you in abundance all kinds of good things.
A tithe is ten percent of your income.
As Christians, everything we do can be as to the Lord. Jesus gives an interesting account in Matthew 25 of people who received rewards for giving food and drink to Him and for visiting Him in prison. When they asked when they had ever done that, He replied “I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did it for me!” In other words, our giving becomes a way of life.
Continuous worship does not mean being on our knees continually in prayer. If we will live each day in a manner pleasing to the Lord—He will count it as unending worship. We won’t find it difficult at all to “always give thanks for everything to God the Father” (Ephesians 5:20), for He is worthy.