WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 22, 2022
TOPIC: DON’T LET YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH PEOPLE HINDER YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-25 New King James Version).
God created human beings in His own image. That tells you that human beings are important to God. God takes note of what you do for or to a human being. But some people don’t understand this. They may be concerned about loving God, but they don’t know that God is also interested in their relationship with fellow human beings.
Jesus said in Mark 12:29-31, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these’” (New King James Version). This scripture is also recorded in Matthew 22:37-40. These words of Jesus mean that your obligations to man are as important as your obligations to God. The two must go together.
Your first duty is to love God and your next duty is to love man. Some people don’t have a problem with Jesus’ commandment to love God, but their problem is with the commandment to love their neighbours as themselves!
1 John 4:20-21 says, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also” (New King James Version).
In Romans 13:8-10, the Bible says, “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law'”(New King James Version).
Beloved, don’t think God is pleased with you if you focus on Him alone and neglect fellow human beings. Your relationship with fellow human beings affects your relationship with God. Your relationship with others can hinder your relationship with God. You don’t love God if you hate a fellow human being.
Jesus pointed out this interconnection when He said, “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24 New King James Version).
Please read that scripture again. Did you see that Jesus didn’t say if you have something against your brother? He said if your brother had something against you. Read it again. As far as God is concerned, a peaceful relationship with fellow human beings is more important than the gift you want to give Him! He says you should go and settle issues with your brother with whom you’re living on earth before you come and give gifts to Him who sits on His throne in heaven and is everywhere.
Romans 12:18 says you should do all you can to live in peace with everyone. GOD’S WORD Translation puts it like this: “As much as it is possible, live in peace with everyone.”
As you’ve seen earlier, you cannot love God whom you have not seen with your eyes when you hate fellow human beings you can see. God is saying, “Show your love for me by showing your love to human beings whom I’ve created in my image.”
Jesus corrected the popular saying in His day that they should love their neighbour and hate their enemy. He said you should love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you (Matthew 5:43-44). This way, you will be a son or daughter of your Father in heaven who makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust (verse 45). If you don’t maintain a good relationship with humans, it will affect your relationship with God. Love your neighbour as yourself (Leviticus 19:18; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Romans 13:9).
Love is the fulfilment of the law. Your relationship with others can hinder your relationship with God. Do you forgive those who wrong you? The Bible says if you do not forgive people their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matthew 6:15; 18:35; Mark 11:26).
Your relationship with your spouse affects your relationship with God. Be careful. Ensure a peaceful and loving relationship. 1 Peter 3:7 says, “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered” (New King James Version). Treat your wife well so that nothing will hinder or stop your prayers. Don’t abuse your position. Wives should also not mistreat their husbands.
Be careful how you relate with fellow human beings so that it doesn’t hinder your relationship with God. Matthew 25:44-46 says, “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’ And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life” (New Living Translation).
When we love fellow humans, we show that we love God. When we serve them, we serve God. God is interested in how we relate with others. It can affect our relationship with Him.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, help me; let not my relationship with fellow human beings hinder my relationship with You. Holy Spirit, enable me to relate with others in love.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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