How critical is networking to business and life? Being part of a web of relationships is necessary for growth, protection, support, friendship and love. Some of our closest friends are those that were in small groups with us.
I asked my younger brother why he continues to live in Oklahoma. Being raised in southern California, Oklahoma was a ways off the reservation. He made a very wise statement for a youngster. He stated, "Life is not where you are but who you are doing life with." In other words, life is about choices and giving yourself to others for their good.
Life presents to roads ... we can live for ourselves or we can live for God and others.
Read: Revelation 21:1-8
1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
5He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."
6He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."
Since the garden, we have been physically and spiritually separated from God. He has done his part to draw us near himself by sending his only Son to die for our sins. His son took the penalty that was against us and paid for it himself. Why? So God could be near us. So God could save us. So God could know us (see verses 3 & 7).
We have the opportunity to network with God. We are invited into his "friends list". But we must accept his friendship, we must invest in the relationship and we must learn to network with others in love.
Look at the verses above. While we are on this earth we have 2 roads presented before us, the road of living for God and others or the road of living for ourselves. This passage shows us where those roads end.
This life is full of pain, tears and death (v. 4). It is part of the "old order of things" that happened as a result of sin infecting the world. Though difficult at times, we are called to live in community with God and others. We have a choice to engage. Tony Snow, Fox News anchor that died of cancer one year ago said, "Be bold enough to love, humble enough to serve and always smile." That is a great attitude and the right way to walk this road. It is a difficult road. It is one that is easy to wander from. But the one that endures to the end will know great relationships and peace (v. 6-7).
But there also exists a temptation to turn away from our friendship with God, to use others for our own pleasure and to seek our own way (v. 8). That road ends in death and fire.
Can you see the contrast? There is a group of folks that held on to the Lord and served him (and others) and there is a group that could not break the cycle of addiction, the draw of pleasure. One group takes their pain to God and trusts he will make it right in the end. The other group drowns their pain in using of others.
2 roads. 2 outcomes. Lots of great possibilities to be bold enough to love, humble enough to serve and smiling all the way.
Is your life marked by service? Ask your spouse, your kids or a close friend that question today and see what happens.
Are you in a small group? Do you have a core group of believers that encourages each other to walk with the Lord and serve others?
God is someone smart to network with! It is good to get to know him. It is good to serve him. It is good to be part of his family. Do you know him?
DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.