Jul 7, 2020
This is the sixth in a series of reflections on Matthew 28:16-20. This week, we're exploring what it means to live in relationship with God and one another.
Consider the people around you. There are those you know well and those you pass in a grocery aisle or on the street. Some people you know their story, other people you may just be getting to know.
The same is true in our relationship with God. How will your obedience be a part of a nurturing relationship with God and other people? Listen to this devotion and explore it for yourself.
Let's turn to Matthew's Gospel using the pattern read, reflect, respond, and return to explore the scripture.
Read: Matthew 28:16-20
Reflect on the phrase "teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you.”
Those early Christians were sent to teach others what they had been taught by Jesus. What had they been taught? How to be holy or righteous in their living. For Matthew, at the heart of holy or righteous living was a relationship.
The words “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” is what Matthew wants us to know about living in relationship with all the people around us. It is what we learn as Jesus' followers. Being in a relationship with God and with one another is what the movement of God is all about.
Holy living is about right relationships with family, friends, strangers, and enemies. It includes being proactive in how you treat others. You act on behalf of others not because they have acted on your behalf but because loving others is who we are as a Jesus follower.
Holy living is about having respect for yourself in such a way that you are a person of your word. It means that you are integrated in your living, that what you are living on the outside in your relationships grows from the convictions of your inner life.
Holy living is about seeking first the kingdom of God. Being self-aware and keeping all aspects of life in a healthy perspective.
Holy living is about caring for others in such a way that you are caring for Jesus himself. You are growing to the point that caring for others becomes so natural that you don’t even know that you are caring for Jesus. You care, not to become holy, but because you are holy.
Holy living is about being proactive in forgiveness. Relationships are so important, holy living is about forgiving as many times as it takes to restore the relationships that are being broken.
The words “to obey,” “observe,” or to “pay attention to” is about doing the things you have been taught to do. It is easy to talk about holy living, but it is not easy to be holy in your daily living.
You might think of it this way, you live out your purpose as you practice who God created you to be. What would happen if you began to develop relationships through the practice of spiritual disciplines? What would happen if you began to live your life in such a way that people could see Jesus in you?
Today, how will you put your faith into practice?
Consider making an intentional shift from trying to be a good Christian to living a life shaped by God’s love. What one action will you take that requires practicing your faith? Be intentional about putting your words into actions. Begin to relate to all people the way God in Jesus has related to you. What difference does your interaction make in your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors?
Reflect upon the scripture and your interactions of the day.
What one action do you take that required practicing your faith?
O God, thank you for all the people you put into my life today. And thank you for giving me opportunities to practice my faith by putting into action the things you have taught me. I am especially grateful that you are helping me become more who you created me to be in and through the people you are bringing into my life. Help me focus my eyes more upon Jesus, so I may recognize you more often in the people I meet along the way. Amen.
Previous Episodes in this Series