Summary: In Matthew 22, Jesus stated that the two most important things that we can do in life are to love God, and love people. Why are relationships so important?
RELATIONSHIPS #1 – THE VALUE OF RELATIONSHIPS
• This morning I want to talk to you about why it is absolutely essential that we learn how to build strong and healthy relationships with one another…
• This message is on perhaps the most important issue in the world. Why?
“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 neighbour as yourself.” (Matt. 22:37-39).
• The two most important things in life are: Love God and love people.
• If that’s true, then it is absolutely essential that we learn how we can build strong and healthy relationships with one another.
HUMOUR – CHILDREN’S PRAYERS:
Dear God: Maybe Cain and Abel would not have killed each other so much if they had their own rooms. That’s what my mom did for me and my brother.
Dear God: I bet it is very hard for You to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only four people in our family and I’m having a hard time loving all of them.
“1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, "I have acquired a man from the Lord." 2 Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.
6 So the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it." 8 Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?" 10 And He said, "What have you done?” Genesis 4:1-10a).
THOUGHTS ON THE STORY:
• Principle: God says, “Yes, you ARE your brother’s keeper!”
• Keeper = Hebrew word shamar = to guard, to protect, to attend
• It’s interesting two of God’s first questions to mankind: “Where are you?” (dealing with relationship with God) and then, “Where is your brother?” (dealing with relationships with others)
• Why was God’s punishment of Cain so harsh? Because of the value God places on relationships.
THE VALUE OF RELATIONSHIPS:
1. All people have value because we are created in God’s image.
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27).
• Ask for a $20 bill. This money has value because of where it came from & who made it. Crumple it up, and it still has the same value. People may be marred by sin, but all people still have value.
2. God created us to function best within the context of healthy relationships.
“And the Lord God said, "It is not good that man should be alone…” (Gen. 2:18).
• The only time God said, “It is NOT good.” In Genesis 1-2 – it is not good for man to be alone.
“Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up… Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
3. Jesus died on the Cross to restore our broken relationships with one another.
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation… and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.” (Ephesians 2:13-17).