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Summary: We cannot call ourself a Christian and leave relationships! Life is all about relationships. Relationships require constant attention; they are never maintenance free. Every good and lasting relationship is based on love.

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No More Bridge Burning I Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Listen to the Amplified Bible I Corinthians 4: 7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

Relationships require constant attention; they are never maintenance free. Every good and lasting relationship is based on love. In-fact, if love isn’t the number one ecclesial factor ‘that’ relationship will fail. Our relationship with God is a good indication to our relationship with mankind! God isn’t on again and off again. No, His love for all mankind is ever lasting!

May I add, the best place to make and keep relationships is in church? (If you can’t make relationships inside church something’s wrong!)

Illustration: If you forget to feed your dog for 2 days he’s going to be really hungry, but if you fail to remember him for 2 weeks he’s going to die of starvation.

Relationships require feeding without the proper diet the relationship will dry up! (Studies prove that individuals who lack relationships are unhealthy and die earlier.)

John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. [Doesn’t it stand to reason, if you are such a vital part of Christ shouldn’t you know Him and how He speaks, His habits and His ways!

Hear this word the next time you are going to meet your next potential client, boss, company, or date. “ Know everything about them, what they like, their birth-date, where they were raised, their hobbies and favorite foods, you will get the job, the date, or the sale!

This Christmas season I want every family to consider this notion, have Christmas without celebrating Jesus! Exchange gifts and have food and Santa, but don’t invite Jesus. Wake up! The whole reason and purpose behind Christmas is Jesus Christ!

So let’s take this into our everyday lives. Growing involves leaving our circle of friends and family and making a larger circle of influence! It involves pain and rejection from other parties without any apparent reason!

I Corinthians 13:7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Sarah had a God thought and shared it with me, I told her to write it out and share it with me in detail. She shared her idea about having a buddy system and then a welcoming committee. (Everyone cares and under-girds.)

As a pastor it amazes me how individuals walk away from relationships. (Many people don’t think anything about burning a relationship bridge!)

I John 4: 20-21 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? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

Most Christians are guilty of the sin of omission. Meaning, the failure to do something one can and ought to do!

Listen to some of these excuses: I don’t have the time. I don’t like them, I heard things about them, I think they should come over and talk to me, or I think the pastor should reach out to them!

Just this week I had someone tell me they were tired of being hurt by people. Proverbs 18:24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Here are some truths about relationships: 1.They are never flawless. 2. Even though two people are born-again relationships are strained at times. 3. Relationships require work. 4. Some times relationships are one-sided. 5. Relationships can’t be put on cruise control. 6. Relationships take time, a listening ear, phone calls, visits and money. 7. There has never been a perfect relationship!

Romans 12: 9-21 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10.Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11.Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12.Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13.Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15.Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16.Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17.Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18.If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19.Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20.On the contrary:” If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." 21.Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

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