The knowledge of Christ and a relationship with Him are two separate things. In Ephesians 4:21 Paul reminds the Ephesians of this, Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. As believers who have a relationship with Christ, and who study His word, we are taught the truth of who Christ is and how we are to be a reflection of Him. We have no excuses when we believe in these truths. If we fail, it is because of a conscious decision to rebel against what we know is true.
The unity we experience as believers should be prevalent and obvious to those around us. Ephesians 4:4-6 Paul says, 4 There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. In reality, many times we experience anything but unity. We focus on majoring in the minors and fail to look at the big picture. If we cannot see the “big picture” message of Christ, which is to love God and love others, then we fail our mission from Him. We need to focus on the things that bind us and not on the things that divide.
The freedom we received through Christ is immense. Without Christ our approachability to God would be limited, just as it was for the Jewish people in the Old Testament. In Ephesians 3:12 Paul says, In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. We have confidence because of the freedom we have through Christ and it is because of Him that we can have true relationship with God.
Before Christ, the chasm between God and us was great. Rules had to be established through the Law. But through Christ the chasm has been bridged. In Ephesian 2:13 Paul says, But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far have been brought near through the blood of Christ. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross gave us everything we need to have authentic relationship with God. There are no barriers and there are no hurdles to be jumped. We are free.
When we talk about the “church”, we are not talking about a building, we are talking about the body of Christ made up of all believers. Paul talks about the make up of the body of Christ in Ephesians 1:22-23, 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way. The intended makeup of our relationship with God was fulfilled when Christ died and God raised Him from the dead. It is because of this miracle and God’s plan which allows each of us to be saved and become members as believers in the body of Christ fulfilled.
As believers and followers of Christ, we have every benefit of knowing God through our relationship with Him. Ephesians 1:3 says, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Because of salvation and our intimate relationship with Christ, we can enjoy the benefits of a relationship directly with God. Christ gives us that ability and it is because God loved us so much he gave us this way.
In today’s Psalm, David’s pray to God is for protection from those who threaten and slander him. In Psalm 140:4 David says, Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; protect me from men of violence who plan to trip my feet. When we are able to focus on our relationship with God, we turn our focus away from the things that threaten to harm us. Keeping our eyes firmly on God allows us to be led more effectively by God.
There is no greater brother or sister in Christ than the one who chooses to worship and grow in their relationship with God along side you. In Psalm 122:1, the author David says, I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” When we worship God, it can be a chore or it can be fulfilling and even fun. When we worship in community with others and grow closer to God in the process, we are more likely to find delight in worshipping Him. Ultimately, our attitude towards God will determine our attitude in worshipping Him and how we build community with other believers.
Psalm 106 give a summary of God’s faithfulness, which in turn shows us the degree of man’s sinfulness. The good news is God’s faithfulness is greater than the gap created by our sinful nature. Psalm 106:1 says, Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Without God’s unfailing and eternal love for us, sin would keep us from enjoying a relationship with Him. God never stops wanting a genuine relationship with us. Praise God for His love and His never ending pursue of relationship with us.
People who have influence over our lives matter. On rare occasion there are minor acquaintances who have minimal influence, but anyone who has access to us can be influential in how we live our lives and whether we live for God or for our selfish desires. In Psalm 101:6 David says, My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister with me. Friends and associates who have influence in our lives should be faithful to God and should help us grow closer to Him.