The Social Pandemic – breaking the cycle

Notes: Relationships. Sunday, 21st February 2021

The viral pandemic has a time frame. The social pandemic could take a generation for us to recover and rebuild.

One of the things that has suffered the most is how we relate to each other.

‘Most people only change when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.’ – Carey Nieuwhoff

People are overwhelmed by the forced integration of their lives and so are dropping aspects of their relationships.
Our earthly relationships are to mirror heaven’s relationships.

1. Our relationships are formed in unity

I am a God who is plural (three distinct and separate persons), and yet I am in perfect unity.

Mark 12:28“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Philippians 2:2make my joy complete by being like-minded, (Don’t always be contrary. You can think differently
and be like-minded) having the same love (we all choose to love each other as God loves us), being one in spirit;
(read the room. Does the whole atmosphere change when you walk in?) and of one mind (you don’t have to think
the same thing but do think in the same direction).

2. Our relationships are founded in covenant
The same covenant that makes it possible for me to be a Christian, and to be able to call God my Father, is the
same covenant that binds me to you as a brother or a sister. As the Father is unable to be separated from the
Son, so you and I are unable to be separated from each other if we are in Jesus.

3. Our relationships are strengthened through Humility

John 5:19the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. Jesus has the ability,
and yet he chooses to submit himself to his father’s will.

John 16:13 – the Holy Spirit doesn’t speak of his own authority, and will always bring glory to Jesus.

Phil 2:3In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature
God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself
nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as
a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!

Jesus made himself less than he was worth for the sake of others, he didn’t use his position of power to his
advantage, and he became obedient to something that is beneath him.

Your humility will open the door for God’s grace, his enabling power, to come into your area of obedience.

James 4:6 – God opposes the proud but he gives grace to the humble.

4. Our relationships are underpinned by righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit

Romans 14:17 – for the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and
joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.

We serve Christ by loving others in righteousness, peace, and joy.

Righteousness – to do what is morally right, and also to be blameless, owing nothing. We have to treat people
as if they owe us nothing.

Joy is a fruit and gives life. Some relationships need to be tended, weeded, and pruned to give life, others that
don’t bear fruit need to be cut off.

When my relationships are underpinned by peace it keeps reminding me that there is a ruler and it isn’t me.

There is no power struggle. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, where Christ rules there is peace.

When irritability has conceived, it gives birth to anger. And when anger is fully formed it becomes a roaring lion.

1 Peter 5:8the devil is like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. A hungry lion doesn’t roar, he stalks.
A roaring lion is angry, looking for a place to unload his anger – to destroy something.
Break the cycle by putting big building blocks in place, and don’t let the small foxes in.