Creating Relationships

by Tyler Cash, Outreach Minister

Relationships are funny sometimes. When I think about the circumstances that led Sasha (my wife) and I together, I can’t help but laugh. Never in a million years would any sane person have looked at the two of us when we first met and said, “Those two will be happily married someday, serving Jesus together.” We were from different worlds: I was a wild party animal, who had done everything under the sun, and she was a wholesome follower of Christ, who had spent time in Africa and Haiti sharing the love of God. We are also different culturally; she’s a Filipino from New Jersey while I’m a white guy from Central Virginia. During our first year of dating, I missed the mark of treating her like she deserved by miles; in fact, most of her friends frequently asked her, “Why are you still with him?”

Sasha and I often get asked, “How did you meet?” The question provides the perfect opportunity to share the amazing love and work of God. Through our story, we can point people to a merciful God who unites people from all backgrounds in order to bring glory to His name. The Apostle Paul writes in Colossians 1:22-23, (ESV) “And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, He has now reconciled in His body of flesh by His death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before Him.” We were once alienated from God, but He reconciles us to Him through Christ. We were alienated from God because of our sins, our love of evil, and hostility towards Him, but He presents us holy and blameless before Him. Sin tainted the relationship and then God restores it through a perfect sacrifice that we could not accomplish on our own. This unique relationship does not make sense apart from God’s grace. It cannot happen without Him. His extraordinary power reconciles relationships that many would consider uncommon or abstruse.

When we look at the opportunity we have to create relationships with those who may come from different backgrounds, let us always remember Paul’s words to the Colossian church. In the passage, he reminded them that they too are part of a divine relationship that makes no sense to the common eye; however, their relationship makes perfect sense to the creator of the universe.

As we engage, mingle, and attempt to befriend our neighbors in the Rivermont community, let’s strive to create relationships that can only be explained and sustained through the glorious works of Christ and the gospel that’s been given to us through Him.

Our block party is this Saturday, July 21. I would encourage you to stop by, even if only for a few minutes. This is a great chance to meet our neighbors and ask God to lead us into relationships that will bring glory to Him. As we approach this day, remember who we were separate from Christ, remember that God’s family is not easily explained in human terms. Remember that God’s plan of salvation does not make judgement based on social identifiers but rather on the good hand of the Lord. Remember that our heavenly home will be filled with our brothers and sisters from every tribe, tongue, and nation. Some of which might be in this neighborhood.

Revelation 7:9-10, “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’”

Soli Deo Gloria

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