The Basis of a Strong Relationship
Strong relationships are built upon knowledge, trust, and communication. It is deeply fulfilling to get to a point in a relationship where someone knows you well (both the good and the bad), and loves you unconditionally, and, at the same time, is committed to helping you grow. As you invest in getting to know someone better, you discover their character, can appreciate who they are, and value their presence in your life. You realize they are someone you can trust.
Read Psalms 139 and 56
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
What do you think made David’s relationship with God so strong?
God knows and loves you, and He invites you to discover who He is.
Read Psalm 34:8
What are some things you could do to begin to get to know God better?
Communication between you and God is vital to building a close personal relationship.
How is Moses’ relationship with God described in Exodus 33:11?
You can communicate with God in two ways: listening to His thoughts and sharing your own with Him.
As you share your heart with Him and get to know Him, you will begin to see who God is, how He is actively involved in your life, and learn that you can trust Him completely.
In addition to talking to God throughout the day, a great way to develop your relationship is to have a daily time you set aside for this purpose as Jesus did in Mark 1: 35. During this “Quiet time” you can read your Bible, talk to God in prayer, and gain God’s perspective on the circumstances in your life.
When and where do you think you could “get away” to be with God?
Getting to Know God through His Word
The Bible tells the story of God’s continued desire to draw people into relationship with Him. It records His thoughts, words, and actions in a variety of cultures, over many centuries. It recounts situations with real people that allow you to understand God’s heart and see how others have chosen to follow, or not follow, God’s direction.
The Bible is also God’s message to each of us personally. Through His Spirit, God uses the words to speak to specific situations in your life and assure you of His commitment to love you and help you follow Him.
What image does Psalm 119:105 use for God’s Word?
How would you respond if each day you received a note like this from God?
2 Timothy 3:16-17 describes how the Bible prepares us for life. It teaches us God’s perspective (teaching), points out when we are not following God’s way (reproof), shows us how to make changes in our lives (correction), and gives us practical instructions (training) to live a life that pleases God and blesses those around us.
Can you think of something you have learned from the Bible that has affected your life?
Where to Begin in God’s Word
When you read a passage of the Bible, take time for the following steps. Try to answer these questions that will help you grow in your relationship with God.
PRAY – Ask God to help you understand His truth through the direction of His Spirit.
DISCOVER – Look at what God’s Word says.
How would I summarize this or say it in other words?
HEAR – Let God speak to your heart through these words.
What does this communicate to me from or about God and His views?
RESPOND – Respond to what God has said.
How does this affect my life? What response do I want to make to it? Do I need to believe, change, or do something in response?
SHARE – Share what you have learned to help others in your life.
To whom could I share the truths I have learned?
Now try these steps with Matthew 7: 24-27 in your own Bible.
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Based on this passage, how will reading and responding to God’s Word affect your life?
Sharing your Life with God through Prayer
It is a great privilege for us to be able to talk to God, the Creator of the Universe. Verses in Jeremiah, Isaiah and Psalms tell us He wants to listen. Prayer is simply talking with God at any time, in any place, aloud or silently, with others or alone.
Here are six things you can do to build your relationship through prayer:
Praise – Express your love and appreciation for who God is.
Share – Share your thoughts, hopes, joys, concerns, fears and worries with Him.
Request – Ask for His help in circumstances you face, or for those around you.
Confess – Seek reconciliation when you dishonor God by disregarding His will.
Thank – Thank Him for specific things He has done for you and others.
Listen – Be quiet and allow His Spirit to speak to your heart.
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
Summing up your thoughts on this topic:
What steps would you like to pursue to get to know God better?
What could you do this week to help someone else get to know Him better also?
Try having a “Quiet Time” each day to practice getting to know God through His Word and prayer. Use the method above for reading the passage and use one or more types of prayer. Remember to regularly review the verses you already know and continue to memorize new ones.
I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.