December 3, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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What would happen if Jesus was at the center of every relationship in your life? Kicking off a special four-part study exploring how the gospel changes our lives and relationships, this guide will examine the power of a relationship with Jesus in the areas of singleness, friendships, and dating.
In this section, we’ll give a brief overview of the topic and some key talking points to consider and reflect on before you dive into the discussion.
Memory Verse of the Week: Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
We all want to get the most out of our lives. There’s no denying that. We desire a life of meaning, significance, purpose, fulfillment, and joy. This also applies to our relationships, both the familial ones we’re born into and the ones we cultivate along the way.
So, how do we make the most of the time we’ve been given? How do we experience the greatest return on investment in this life? By focusing first and foremost, above all else, on the most important relationship we will ever have: our relationship with God! This is what Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:33. He challenges us to stop worrying about our lives, to stop seeking after fulfillment, enjoyment, purpose, and joy in creation and instead “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” How amazing is that? The gospel transforms all of life because it demands that we reorient our lives, worldview, mindset, heart, future, desires, and relationships to all sit under and operate from the overflow of our relationship with Him and our walking in His purposes and plans for us.
For most, though, seeking God is usually not at the top of the list. Oh, we may say our relationship with the Lord is the most important thing in the world to us, but our lives generally tell a different story. Consider what Jesus said a few verses earlier in Matthew 6:21 (NIV): “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
It’s been said that you can always tell what someone truly values by examining what they spend their time on. So often, we try to “fit” prayer, worship, time in the Word, church attendance, fasting, and other spiritual disciplines into our busy schedules . . . and then we wonder why we’re not hearing from God, why our relationship with Him sometimes seems stagnant, and why we’re not growing spiritually. There’s no way around it: We cannot expect to squeeze God into our crazy-busy schedules and prioritize everything and everyone above Him and still experience spiritual growth and personal transformation.
But even more than that, we’re talking about the creator of heaven and earth, the King of the universe . . . Why wouldn’t we want to spend as much time as possible with Him? What could we possibly have to do that is better and more important?
Literally, nothing else can bring about greater joy, fulfillment, purpose, peace, satisfaction, identity, belonging, value, or wholeness than a relationship with God. Knowing Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior more and more each day and enjoying Him, drawing deeper into the One who is supremely valuable and worthy of our affection and devotion is where wholeness and completion are found.
This is what Paul, who had it all and lost it all, discovered when he met Jesus. In Philippians 3:8 (NIV), he said, “I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” May this be the way we all as believers see life! When we do, every relationship, every season, every event, every trial . . . literally everything will change!
Below, you’ll find some key discussion questions to personally reflect on and/or discuss in your small group, with your family, or in your circle of friends.
Discussion Question 1: What does it look like to seek Christ and His kingdom first?
Discussion Question 2: How does seeking Christ and His kingdom first, prioritizing your relationship with Jesus over all else, impact every other relationship?
Discussion Question 3: What does holiness, purity, and integrity look like in your season? How are you pursuing these things?
Discussion Question 4: What makes a community healthy?
Discussion Question 5: How are you contributing to the health of the community you find yourself in?
Whether you’re single or married, the best way to get the most out of life and experience fullness of joy is to seek Him first and prioritize your relationship with Him. How do we do this? By engaging in spiritual disciplines! The following is a list of spiritual disciplines we encourage you to build your life, schedule, and relationships around:
Don’t wait to make your relationship with Jesus the most treasured thing in your life. Start today!
In part two of this study, we’ll examine how the gospel impacts the marriage relationship.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.