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Summary: Jesus life was centered around building relationships and bringing people to see how important they were and being able to bridge the gap between them and what was making them what they ought to be in this life. When you read the Ten Commandments you will

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“BRIDGING THE GAP IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS”

Intro: Jesus life was centered around building relationships and bringing people to see how important they were and being able to bridge the gap between them and what was making them what they ought to be in this life. When you read the Ten Commandments you will find that it is all about developing and making good relationships. If the world today could get back to the Ten Commandments, we would have better relationships between all races, nationalities and color.

Text: Romans 12:9-21

In Orlando, a 48-year-old man was shot to death by his wife after a fight over the satellite TV controls.

In California, a man was stabbed to death by his girlfriend because he brought home a McDonalds ham, egg, and cheese bagel instead of the two Egg Mcmuffins that she’d asked for. (Husbands, let that be a lesson to all of you -- get it right!)

In Dallas, a 37-year-old man was beaten to death by his roommate after a fight over the thermostat setting in their house.

In Maryland, a 15-year-old boy has been charged with in the shooting death of a man who was playing reggae music on his car stereo. Apparently, the boy really hates reggae music.

Although these are extreme cases and responses, it can be difficult maintaining positive relationships with others. As Christians we will have times of conflict; sometimes with a neighbor who seems unbearable, sometimes with an employer, customer, or government official who seems overly demanding or unfair, sometimes with a relative, fellow Christian or even another church.

Matthew 5:46 “for if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?”

So our need and goal should be to know how to build better relationships. Even within the Church, we have missed out on the importance of how to treat our neighbor as ourselves and to love others even as we have loved ourselves. I believe this passage of Scripture can help us in that goal.

I John 4:7 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”

The answer to handling these type problems is not revenge, hostility or avoidance of the problem, which is not a real possibility anyways. What does the Bible (our perfect instruction book) tell us about relationships? We must understand that our actions must be contrary to the world’s philosophy.

I. RETURN WITH LOVE

A. We must understand about relationships, as believers, we have a responsibility toward other believers. The believer is not an island to himself; each believer is a member of the body of Christ. So the first responsibility of the believer is love. Love is the basis of all other Christian conduct. Love overcomes hurt!!

I John 4:11 “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

B. When we have been hurt by someone, many times we want nothing to do with that person. This is a defensive reaction to keep us from further hurt or pain. Our human nature tells us that person does not deserve our love. But our new nature in Christ tells us that God is love and love must go beyond feeling.

John 15:12 “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”

C. The greatest demonstration of love came from Christ himself. He showed to us, that even in relationship with those He was close to, He showed love and those who were his enemies, he gave no word of remark to those who cursed, spat and beat him.

II. RENEW WITH FORGIVENESS

A. One of the best ways to renew relationship with those that have hurt us or we have had dispute with, is to get forgiveness. This is problem one of the hardest things for us to do, yet it is one of the most profitable things that we can do to renew relationships.

Colossians 3:13 “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’

B. The father saw his son coming down the lane and he ran to him. He wrapped the boy in his arms of forgiveness and he welcomed him home. The boy had rehearsed what he would say, he was going to lay it all out for his dad, and propose that he spend his time working like a hired hand, but his dad would have none of it. The boy was lost, but he was found. Let celebration begin!

Luke 15:24 “For this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found; And they began to be merry.”

C. The two ways of living life are set right next to one another. We can either walk in godly wisdom or we can live just as we are. We don’t have to learn how to harbor unforgiveness. We don’t need anyone to teach us how to hold a grudge. We don’t enroll in a class on digging up the past. We know how to do those things.

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