Summary: Relationships are one of the most important aspects of the kingdom of God. We need to learn keys from God’s Word to have healthy relationships with one another.
SUPERNATURAL #14: KEYS TO HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS
INTRO: Last week, we took a look at Paul’s first missionary journey from Antioch.
• This was the first time I preached ‘from the maps’ – it was fun!
• We looked at the journey Paul took with Barnabas and John Mark. But when they came to Perga in Pamphylia, John departed from them, and returned to Jerusalem (Acts 13:13).
• This week, I want to look at what happened after this missionary journey had ended.
“Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing." Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.” (Acts 15:36-41).
• Contention = paroxysm – violent, hostile, angry. “Tempers flared.” (The Message).
• Paul was one of the greatest preachers in the early church, and yet he wasn’t perfect.
• Paul gave up on Mark who had deserted them and wouldn’t give him a second chance!
• But thank God for Barnabas, the son of the encouragement, who believed in John Mark.
THE BIG IDEA: Relationships are one of the most important aspects of the kingdom of God. Therefore, we need to learn these key principles from God’s Word to have healthy and loving relationships with one another.
“Jesus said to him, "’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:37-39).
• The two most important things we can learn to do are love God and love people.
• MEN’S MINISTRY BREAKFAST YESTERDAY: Discuss sharing – teary time!
• Because love is so important, the enemy will do whatever he can to get us in strife.
• So – we will have disagreements with one another. But how do we respond to them?
ILLUSTRATION: WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?
"Here’s the scenario," the truck driving instructor announced to his class. "You’re in an 18-wheeler with a heavy load, barreling down a mountainous two-lane highway. Your co-driver, Ed, is asleep. There are six trucks behind you, and as you come over the top of a hill, they pull out beside you to pass. Suddenly, you see several trucks coming in the opposite direction, pulling into your lane to pass. What do you do?"
"That’s simple," a student called out. "I’d wake up Ed." "Why would you do that?" asked the instructor. "Because," replied the student, "Ed ain’t never seen a truck wreck like this before!"
PAUL’S KEYS TO HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS:
1. BE PATIENT:
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.” (1 Cor. 13:4-5).
• If someone does something wrong to you, FORGET ABOUT IT!
• “Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” (Eph. 4:2).
• People will make mistakes and hurt and offend you – be patient – love is patient.
2. DON’T BE ANGRY:
“And "don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you." Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil.” (Eph. 4:26-27).
• Anger is dangerous! When you are hurt or offended by someone, and hang onto your anger, it can turn to bitterness.
• “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.” (Hebrews 12:14-15).
• Sometimes (see Paul and Barnabas), separation is preferable to continued disagreement.
3. WATCH YOUR WORDS:
“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” (Eph. 4:29).
• The Bible has a lot to say about our words! We DO NOT have the right to say something negative about another person – either to them, or about them!