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Relationship or Rights

Mike Connell

Page 9 of 10
Some people think: if I just have another experience, I'll have more of God. I'm sorry, I've seen too many people have experiences, and they don't have more of God. It doesn't show in their life. The way you have more of God is when you walk in love. Jesus said: if you keep my commandments, which is to love one another, then My Father will love you, we will come and abide with you. Walking in love is the key to reflect the kingdom of God. It means we're compassionate on people, and we show mercy to people when they don't deserve it. We release them.

There's other aspects of it, but this story primarily today is just about one aspect: the issue of unforgiveness. How do I get out of the prison? I need to want to be near God, and walk with God more. Then I've got to realise that walking with God is connected to my relationships with others, so I need to humble myself. When God shows me wrong attitudes of heart, I may be completely right, but wrong in my heart attitude. God doesn't care if you're right. He's interested in your heart, and whether your heart desires relationship. You may be completely right, you may be completely justified, but if you'll stand on it, you'll stay in misery. If you just say: God, I just want a connection. I want this thing to come right, then you can repent of judging and all those things, receive forgiveness; and then start to show kindness into the person that created the hurt and offence. Very simple, very practical.

The key is this: these things are going to happen. You choose whether you'll find yourself in prison; or whether you'll find yourself growing into grace. Jesus - interesting about Jesus. Jesus was able to wash the feet of Judas, knowing he'd already sold Him out. That's called grace. Did he deserve it? No. What did he deserve? Someone to take out a sword and stick him - but he never got that. He didn't get what he deserved. He got grace. What about Joseph, betrayed. He said: it wasn't you guys. God sent me, because He had a plan for my life, and I've had to grow through these difficulties. Now I'm in the grace of God so strongly, I'm the mentor to the leader of Egypt. I'm actually running the country now. People want to be great, and they think an experience will do it. No, it's walking with God, and it's reflected in our relationships.

Let's close our eyes right now. Father, we thank You. We know You want us to walk in love. We know You want us to walk in grace. Father, I just ask right now, for each person in here, that Lord, where we've grieved Your Holy Spirit by judgemental attitudes, by attitudes of criticism - and we were right probably - but they were more concerned with being right than with having a relationship and a heart for that person. Father, forgive us for the pride and the rigidity that would cause that. Help us to walk in humility and strength, humility that can actually just own our stuff and put our stuff right, that we can actually have no problem in saying: I was wrong, I'm so sorry. Lord, rid our hearts of this need to be right, such a need to be right, that we'd rather give up a relationship so we could say that we were right; than to pursue the relationship. Father, help us as a church, and as individuals, to grow in the grace of God.

Just I wonder while our eyes are closed and heads are bowed, perhaps there's someone here today and you don't know Jesus Christ personally. To know Him means to receive Him as your saviour, to trust what He did. It's not about going to church, or what you've done in church, or anything good. It's actually about trusting that when Jesus died on the cross, what He did was totally sufficient for you to be forgiven and saved. Jesus said: to everyone who received Him and believed in Him, He gave power to become a child of God. I wonder today, if that's you? Do you want to just realise I'm right at that point, I need to give my life to Christ.