Relationship Opportunities




“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”

Galatians 6:10

The Importance

  1. Our religion has two commandments, love of God and love of others (Matt 22:36-40).
  2. The Ten Commandments are divided into two tables – Godward (4) and manward (6).
  3. An infraction as small as partiality toward the rich makes you guilty of all (Ja 2:1-13).
  4. Remember how the epistles are divided, with Romans and Ephesians great examples.
  5. The 915 verses of Proverbs can be divided into those about God and those about men.
  6. This topic fits very well recent emphasis on three-part GOS living (I Cor 10:31-33).
  7. This topic fits well with a lesson of Matthew 25:31-46 last week and works of sheep.
  8. This topic fits well recent preaching from Proverbs 22:11 and exploration of epitaphs.
  9. This topic fits well past preaching on bitterness, love is the greatest, one another, etc.
  10. This topic fits well recent preaching about soul winning, tree of life, evangelism, etc.
  11. Recent preaching on marriage also reflects God’s emphasis on perfect relationships.
  12. Much of my life is worrying, praying, and exhorting about relationship problems.
  13. Worship is ruined by offended relationships; fix it (Mat 5:21-26; I Pet 3:7; Mal 2:13).
  14. It does not mean very much that you believe the truth, so do devils and many in hell.
  15. By this topic we glorify God, adorn gospel, defend truth, show grace, help others, etc.
  16. Never forget the identifying character of John Baptist’s ministry (Mal 4:5-6; Lu 1:17).
  17. Remember a prime purpose for assembling (Heb 3:12-13; 10:23-25; Acts 2:41-47).
  18. Remember the Holy Spirit’s analogy of a human body to describe interactive parts.
  19. A church, like a body … think Olympics … needs all parts/joints working (Eph 4:16).
  20. If the Bible is true, righteousness in all other areas is vanity, if relationships are poor.
  21. This topic is, “Thus saith the LORD”; you cannot allow a relationship any other way.

The Opportunity

  1. Each day and person is an opportunity, in and out of church (Gal 6:10; I Thess 5:15).
  2. This subject cannot and should not intimidate any, but rather excite them (Phil 4:13).
  3. The great proof of Christianity is not spouting doctrine but loving others (John 13:35).
  4. You can be glorious by deferring any animosity and passing over offences (Pr 19:11).
  5. It is all about winning … souls (Pr 11:30) … favor (Pr 22:1) … friends (Pr 18:24).
  6. You get to be Jonathan going into the wood to strengthen David’s hand (I Sam 23:16).
  7. Solomon gave 22k oxen; you do not have even one; you can give 23k above a check!
  8. How can we be like Jesus Christ without giving ourselves for others (Matt 20:25-28)?
  9. We are God’s children by love, goodness, pity (Matt 5:45; Acts 14:17; Ps 103:13-14).
  10. The glory you can add to Jesus Christ, His gospel, His church, and His word is great.
  11. Failures or frowardness by others give an opportunity you would not otherwise have.
  12. Do not let spouses, children, parents, etc., become too familiar … pursue their souls.
  13. Real love pursues and helps another person to be perfect before Jesus at His coming.

Who Is My Neighbor?

  1. A scorner asked the question; Jesus answered perfectly with an enemy (Lu 10:25-37).
  2. True children of God love and serve enemies like their Father does His (Mat 5:43-48).
  3. Everyone you know and meet in God’s providence is Jew, Gentile, or church of God!
  4. God chose each member of this church for you (I Cor 12:18). Respond accordingly!
  5. God chose every person in your life, except your spouse sort of; maximize marriage.
  6. Avoid exceptions – fools, scorners, antichrists – but trust providence if God arranges a chance meeting (Ps 101:3-8; 139:21-22; Matt 7:6; Rom 16:17-18; I John 5:16).

The Means

  1. You start at home by desiring the best for others and praying for them over yourself.
  2. Relationships are giving … all of them … so repudiate all “what will I get” ideas.
  3. Thinking serving will deny you is deceit and heresy, if you believe Jesus (Acts 20:35).
  4. Much of it is a mindset … JOY … always thinking of God and others before yourself.
  5. Never think about what you can, should, or did not get from others, for you are last.
  6. Learn to be proactive … not reactive … using plans and initiative to go after others.
  7. Teach children to engage and serve others at every assembly with advance planning.
  8. Gifts in secret overcome wrath … believe it … do it (Prov 21:14; 17:8; 18:16; 19:6).
  9. Faults, sins by others in a relationship do not change or end your duties toward them.
  10. You have all the power and strength you need to do this well (Phil 4:13; II Pet 1:1-4).
  11. It has absolutely nothing to do with a costly or fancy meal; serve hotdogs and soda.
  12. Forgiveness from the heart is essential; nothing less is acceptable (Matthew 18:34-35).
  13. If in authority – husband, parent, boss – you are Rehoboam without mercy (Pr 28:16).
  14. Obedience and honor are not the same, and you may owe both; do not confuse them.
  15. Apologies are not a sign of weakness but rather of strength when done appropriately.

The Challenge

  1. Learn to hate every feeling like pride, bitterness, selfishness, self-righteousness, etc.
  2. Your fear or neglect of this topic by temperament, habit, hatred, or slothfulness is sin.
  3. Ideas from examples, experiences, feelings, thoughts, or conscience are sinfully vain.
  4. It is my job and your job to hate, repudiate, and reject any idea contrary to the Bible.
  5. Get over yourself; you don’t matter; max preservation and prosperity by obeying God.
  6. Most every problem in relationships may be traced back to selfishness in some form.
  7. Enemies bring with them a temptation to contempt due to past or existing conflict.
  8. Close relatives bring with them a temptation to contempt by foolish, sinful familiarity.
  9. Unresolved offences are poison, unless you are glorious; they easily turn to bitterness.
  10. Prioritize your relationships … parents over friends … spouse over children … etc.
  11. Instead of dreading a public gathering, grow up and embrace the opportunity to give.
  12. Never attend any gathering with thoughts of getting … but get excited about giving.
  13. True sincerity and wisdom take reproof and change; the self-righteous do not change.
  14. Now is the only time to obey God’s word; make haste to keep His rules (Ps 119:60).
  15. Compromise is rebellion, just like Saul sparing Agag, no matter your vain reasoning.

For Further Study:

  1. PowerPoint: Three Basic Rules for Living.
  2. Sermon Outline: Righteous Relationships.
  3. Sermon diagram … Relationships – Chart.
  4. Sermon Outline: Love Is the Greatest.
  5. Sermon Outline: Love of a Soul.
  6. PowerPoint: The Worst Sin.
  7. Proverb Topical Category: Relationships.
  8. Proverb Commentary: Proverbs 22:1 .
  9. Sermon Outline: Becoming Sound Doctrine.
  10. Sermon Outline: One Another Duties.