I can’t say it loudly enough—“It’s about relationships!” We as Christians must remind ourselves again and again that the core of our lives as disciples of Jesus is not religious activity; the indispensable aspect is our relational connection with God and with others.

Consider Jesus’ teaching in John 15, during which he repeatedly refers to the importance of “remaining”; for example, here is John 15:4: “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

The word “remain” here is critical. It is a word that suggests continuing to live in association and union with Jesus. It is much more a relational word than a performance word. The idea is staying in touch, staying connected, and staying in communication with Jesus.

Our Christian existence depends on being relationally connected with our Savior, not just “working for him” or “checking in now and then.” Sunday morning once a week plus a few minutes studying a devotional passage doesn’t fulfill Jesus’ intent here—our connection is to be more like moment by moment breathing than once a day or once a week appointments.

Jesus’ words from Revelation 3:19-20 also reflect that relationship priority. “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” This is a stunning invitation from the risen Lord of the universe: his desire is to sit down at your table and share life. It is an offer of family interaction rather than a summons to a business meeting. Jesus wants relational connection, not an “employee-employer” arrangement.

At the same time, we as Christians are called to live in relationship with other brothers and sisters. From the moment the church is established in Acts 2, a characteristic of Jesus followers is relational life sharing: “All the believers were together and had everything in common…Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts” (Acts 2:44-46).

The idea of a private, solitary Christian existence is far more a function of American individuality than a Scriptural teaching. We are not to live out our Christian lives in isolation. As Hebrews 10:24-25 challenges, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” This is far more than an admonition to not skip Sunday services; it refers to our need to be in regular relational connection with other believers for the sake of our continuing spiritual health.

So, how are your relationships? Are you in continuing communication with God and in regular connection with brothers and sisters in Christ? Are there relational spaces in which you share your life joys and struggles with God, who loves you and the fellow believers who share this discipleship journey together with you? Let’s make a fresh commitment to “stay in touch” with God and with others.

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