Fbcsreadthruthebible's Blog

Part of the FBCS 2010 Read Through the Bible Project: Enter the Story. Join the Song.

Relational Intelligence.

2 Timothy 2    Jeremiah 7-8    Psalm 122

“I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!'” (Psalm 122:1). Today’s readings bring before us a persistent theme in the story of God with us: Right relationship with God is essential and, apart from this, being religious is of no real value. So it is that  just as we read of  the psalmist’s gladness at the prospect of entering God’s temple, we also hear Jeremiah  upbraiding his people for believing that simply entering the temple will save them (Jeremiah 7:4,10)  . . . Even as they go on living lives of disobedience and disconnection from God (Jeremiah 7:8-15). So, too, at the heart of the instruction to Timothy to remain disciplined in his ministry stands the admonition to “Remember Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:8). . .

“I will be your God, and you shall be my people” (Jeremiah 7:23). The words are relational. God, who is faithful in relationship to us always (2 Timothy 2:13), calls us to respond with faithfulness in relationship (Jeremiah 7:23). Thus, the command to “obey my voice,” is far more than an instruction to mechanically appease God by religiously following the rules. It is, rather, a matter of relational intelligence. That is, those who are known and loved by God respond by giving themselves to God in love. This, in turn, leads to the choice to walk not in “their own course” (Jeremiah 8:6), but in the way that honors and reflects that loving relationship. Or, as Timothy is encouraged, “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1).

“Remember Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:8). Remember his sacrificial and redemptive love. Remember his all-sufficient grace. And out of that remembering, live life focused on loving him in response, “strong” in his grace and characterized by “righteousness, faith, love, and peace” (2 Timothy 2:22. See, also, Jeremiah 7:5-7). Do you see it? Will you receive it? Remembering Jesus isn’t simply about being religious. And pleasing God goes far beyond following the rules. Those who remember Jesus love God wholly and love others dynamically. And this, beloved, is a matter of relational intelligence.

“Think over what I say,
for the Lord will give you understanding in all things.”
2 Timothy 2:7

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