Episode 1
28 February 2022

Restoring Relationships | Jesus Went First

Before we ever whispered a prayer or said the name “Jesus,” he sacrificed himself for a relationship with us. Can we make sacrifices in our relationships?

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my name is grant if we've never met
before and uh today we are starting a
series on relationships and just in case
you need a reminder
relationships are the only thing in your
life that actually
matter i can prove that because i've
spent time with people at near the end
of their life in hospital rooms or in
their death beds in their homes and i
can tell you
if they're cognate and they can look
back on their life they're not
reflecting on the vacations they went on
they're not reflecting on the careers
that they had or the homes they live in
or the cars they drove
they're reflecting on
their relationships and sometimes those
relationships are good and sometimes
those relationships they're filled with
a bunch of remorse as they look back on
their life but i can promise you those
relationships man
that's all that actually
matters and everything else is just
stuff we do to pass the time
uh i think what's important for us to
note is that sometimes relationships
are extremely helpful and extremely
fulfilling and give us a source of joy
but when the relationships start to fall
apart they can be some of the most
painful scarring things that we ever
in our life
for you
you might have
a relationship that just fell apart one
day maybe it's maybe it's somebody you
used to go to church with maybe it's a
friend a family member
maybe you had a relationship that
ended in divorce but the relationship's
still important because there's kids
or maybe sometimes even worse
you might be in that marriage that
didn't end in divorce but the
relationship's been broken and shattered
for a long time and so you just kind of
as roommates and it's a painful reminder
every time you interact
or or maybe it's man you have adult kids
now and they went through that weird
phase when they were in school and and
they didn't do the best they could and
you maybe not did the best you could and
you're filled with regret and remorse
but now the relationship's just sort of
sort of broken and it's painful maybe
it's your
maybe it's your adult or aging parents
and there is just this relationship that
desperately needs to be restored at some
point in our life we're looking at
different relationships and we're
thinking they're sturdy and we can
depend on them and then we begin to
realize one day how fragile they are and
before long they just they
they just break
and we have to work
our way around it and it doesn't seem
like they're ever going to be
but here's the good news the good news
is that our god is in this business
this is what god does he restores
relationship and he relationships and he
is an artist
at it watch this video
it means golden joinery
it's the practice of mending broken
objects mainly pottery with lacquered
the origin of consuegi allegedly comes
from a japanese shogun ashikaga
yoshimasa who wished to repair a broken
chinese tea bowl in a way that would be
aesthetically pleasing
kinsugi encapsulates two japanese
the first is wabi-sabi which embraces
imperfection and impermanence
the breaking and then repairing of an
object is simply an event in its life
that adds to both his character
and beauty
there is also motion which explores
non-attachment and acceptance of change
the changes we undergo throughout our
lives the breaks and knockbacks are
shown in our scars blemishes and
wrinkled skin
objects too are subject to the same
changes and through konzugi are repaired
in gold to illuminate their breaking
which like wrinkled skin adds wisdom and
kintsugi is the marriage of both these
ideas the weathered and the transient
this is quite the opposite of western
ideals of beauty which traditionally
values symmetry and perfection
the joy of the art forms are in their
making not in their end result
that's actually what the entire bible is
about it is god restoring his
relationship with mankind and then
asking us to restore relationships with
other people and so we're going to make
that point we're going to talk about how
to restore relationships but before i do
that i want to give a couple of
disclaimers the disclaimer's right up
front uh just go like this the first one
is this
not every relationship
can be restored
at some point you can do everything that
you can possibly do and sometimes that's
more than we think we can do you can do
everything that you can possibly do but
at some point there has to be two to
tango and and you might be able to offer
forgiveness to a person but you may not
be able to restore
the relationship
the second disclaimer is that not every
relationship is healthy enough to
continue or maybe i would say it this
way not every relationship should
continue there are there are people that
will take your big heart your desire for
restoration your humility your love and
they will take that and they will use
that and they will manipulate that and
they will control it and in some cases
they will even be abusive
with that
and in those times i really want you to
come to week three week three is so
important this basically the series is
just one long teaching that we've
divided into three weeks and we it's
important that you're here to hear that
because god even has boundaries that he
has for himself and and you should have
when it comes to those relationships and
then the third thing
is restoration is always the objective
for a jesus follower sometimes i think
we just give up too soon we give up too
quick and we don't really model the
heart of jesus but if we are really
following jesus and this may not be you
today you may be just leaning in you may
just beginning to come to church but
if you are a follower of jesus if you've
stepped across that line restoring every
single relationship
is our objective
and here's why because
we know what it's like to have a
restored relationship
with god god showed us
how this works
in first john chapter three he kind of
sums up this entire series and and just
in just one
line i broke it down so that we could
like get it because there's so much here
he says this is how we know what love is
in other words what's the implication
somebody defining love for us we
wouldn't even know what love is
sometimes we describe love as an emotion
or a feeling the sense of you know
desire that we have for another person
and the writer here of john is gonna say
no that's not a that's a that's a bad
definition of love he says this is how
we know what love is
that christ jesus christ laid down his
for us
love isn't about how you feel about
somebody love is the sacrifices you're
willing to make for them
if you think you love your child or your
husband or your wife or your parents you
run it through this filter does it look
like jesus love for you willing to lay
his life down
for you
he says this is how we know what love is
jesus christ laid down his life for us
and we ought to lay down our lives for
our brothers
and sisters this is what
we do because god has restored a
relationship with us i want to make the
point today that followers of jesus
should be experts
in restoring relationships
when somebody asks you what it is that
you do good do well speak that's what i
when people ask you what you do
you ought to be able to say well i do a
lot of things but i am an expert
at restoring relationships
and here's why because
we've had our relationship with god
restored and we know what it looks like
but sometimes we need to make this
personal i i know that my story is
probably not different from a lot of
people in here there was a
time in my life where
i didn't want anything to do with god
like i completely shut it out from the
get-go like when whenever anybody would
bring up god or bible or especially
jesus i would go la la la la la
like i wasn't even leaning in enough to
ask the question is it real is it true
is god real i didn't even want to know
he was completely shut out
and by doing that i was essentially
giving the middle finger to my heavenly
and because of that
i treated people that he created
horribly i
i cheated them hatefully and jealously
and i i lied i took the the
ultimate gift of intimacy that god
created on this earth which was sex and
i treated it like it was recreation it
was just for my own
and during that time i would have said
that i was a good person
if you would have asked me then like hey
do you feel like you're a good person or
a bad person i'm like oh i'm a good
brother i'm not as good as i'm not as
good as some but i'm better than most
i was openly rebellious against god
and worst of all i led other people to
do the same thing
and all while
my heavenly father just
me completely shutting him out and him
just watching
and what did he do in that moment to
restore a relationship with me knowing
that he was all 100 percent right and i
was 100
that's an important piece
because when we think about restoration
we think well who's more in the right
and who's more in the wrong that's how
we weigh how restoration's going to go
down but god looked at me knowing i was
completely a rebellious sinner
stubborn and hard-hearted and that he
was holy and righteous and perfect
what did he do to restore a relationship
with me
well he
he died for me
but he didn't just die for me
it's the way in which he died for me
so we're used to we're used to seeing
this in movies right where we're used to
seeing the hero die for somebody like
the movie comes to a crescendo and and a
grateful world watches on as our hero
stands in front of everyone and says
iron man right and he makes
he makes the sacrifice
and everybody applauds and the movie
theater erupts and we're like yeah there
it is our hero
jesus didn't die like that
he didn't just die for me it wasn't a
french guillotine it wasn't a hangman's
he chose as you read through the gospels
and you see the story of how
how jesus chose this knowing that this
was going to be printed and put in the
bible that was going to be distributed
you know for for thousands of years
he knew
what he was going to do
and he chose
to be humiliated
for me
who was all in the wrong and he was all
in the right he made this decision to be
humiliated you see this sense of
of a father who
loves his child
and wants them to come home and he did
that for he did that for me
there's a part of the story that stands
out to me when you read the crucifixion
i don't know why it stands out i guess
it's just because it's
it's so unnecessary
this is right before the
this is right after the 40 lashes
and this is right before he's led up
to be crucified
it says this in matthew chapter 27.
remember this is something that god the
father chose jesus chose this
it says then the
governor's soldiers
took jesus into
the praetorium this was a building or
sometimes a tent that was built just for
royalty just for nobles just for
they took him into the praetorium and
gathered the whole company of soldiers
around him
they stripped him and put a scarlet robe
on him
this little section is actually a
fulfillment of a foretelling or a
prophecy that was foreshadowed in psalm
22 where david is lamenting and he says
in verse 16
dogs have surrounded me and they have
pierced my hands and my feet
in this moment these soldiers
unwittingly unknowingly or fulfilling a
prophecy about this moment
in time
and without father
or mother or wife there to give them a
sense of conscience these soldiers
encircle the creator of everything the
source of love and life itself and they
do it like a pack of wild
and then twisted together
a crown of thorns
and set it on his head
they put a staff in his right hand
they knelt in front of him and mocked
him hail
king of the jews they said
on him
and took the staff
and struck him on the head again
and again
and after they had mocked him
they took off the robe and put on his
own clothes on him
then they led him away
to crucify him
i think it stands out to me because it's
just not necessary it's just there why
did he choose that why is that
because he wanted to un he wanted me to
the humiliation the level that he was
willing to go to to restore a
relationship with me he isn't like a
father god isn't like a father standing
on the porch as their rebellious child
runs away from home yelling out all
right well i love you and if you ever
get your crap together you're welcome
it's not like that
it's more like
it's more like the father who sees the
child run away and he chases after them
and he gets down on his knees in
humiliation and says just just come back
that's how god restores his relationship
me who is completely unknowing
who has completely shut god out
that's why we if you're a follower of
christ today if you've been restored
that's why you ought to be an expert at
sometimes people come up to me and ask
me like god grant i just
i want to forgive
but i just don't know how to and i think
what they want from me is like some
five-point program on how to like
forgive somebody well first you're going
to write this down and then you're going
to do this and they just want to know
the mechanics of how to forgive and i'm
like actually it's
it's a whole lot more simple than that
it's actually just one step if you want
to forgive people you must first
understand what you've been forgiven of
if you carry with you a healthy
understanding of your posture and your
relationship with god and you know that
you have been forgiven than forgiving
other people you don't even have to work
at it you don't have to think about it
you don't have to you just you just do
it because you understand
what you've been forgiven of
we ought to be experts at this
today i want to i want to leave you with
just i want to give you just one step
today it's it's sometimes a challenging
step but it's just one step
if you want to restore relationships in
your life and again it might be a
relationship that's been shattered and
lying on the floor for a long time or it
might be somebody you're in an active
relationship with right now if you want
to restore
that relationship
you got to go first
that's it
that's the big step today go
first and i don't mean just go first as
set up a coffee date and hope that
everything goes well
i mean go first in modeling the heart
and nature of who jesus is by taking a
little piece of the cross the
crucifixion the humiliation that jesus
faced for you take a little piece of
that put it inside yourself go first
with that in your relationship
with other people
why because
well because that's what jesus did for
us romans chapter 5 reminds us that he
goes first
you see it just the right time when we
were still powerless when when there was
nothing that we could do before we read
a verse before we came to church before
we ever prayed when we were powerless
christ died for the ungodly while we're
still completely in our sin
very rarely will anyone die for a
righteous person though
for a good person someone might possibly
do dare to die but that's not what jesus
but god demonstrates his own love for us
in this
while we were still sinners
christ died for us
i think too often we're waiting for the
other person to kind of take some steps
to show something that they're doing in
their life before we go we're waiting
for our father-in-law to
to finally accept us before we start
trying to build a relationship with them
we're waiting for our neighbor who
whose dog has
pooped in our yard one too many times
we're we're expecting them to come over
and apologize for that before we can
have a good relationship with our
neighbor we we want our boss to finally
sit down with us and just be like hey i
know that sometimes i'm just a real
and i put things on you last minute and
that's unfair of me and i apologize for
we're like waiting for that to happen
before we are jesus
to people but that's not what god did
for us
he wants us to model that to initiate
i know uh years ago i was i was a
younger pastor i was about 29 years old
and i was leading a church and uh there
was a meeting one day and i forget what
happened but like i said something and i
could tell that that set weird i don't
even remember what it is i said but it
set kind of weird with one of our
leaders and he kind of looked at me
funny but then he he left and i thought
hmm i wonder why he looked at me that
way and
then about an hour later he came back to
the church and he apparently worked
himself up into quite a lather because
he looked like he was upset
he said hey can i talk to you i said
sure so we went into my office and we
sat down and he came in the office and
he started telling me that he was really
offended by something that i said
and then he started he didn't just say
that but like he began to like pull out
things that i had done he began to pull
out things that he didn't like and
messages that i had taught and and
interactions that i've had and basically
was was really dragging me down he was
basically calling me an idiot which
probably wasn't too far off the mark but
like as
as he was doing this
at he got to a place
and inside of me i'm just like you know
my blood's boiling i got a little i'm
young i got pride i used to have pr i
don't have pride anymore but like
i used to have quite a bit of pride and
that my blood's sort of boiling and i'm
just like man how dare you and to the
point where he got so worked up he said
in fact it bothers me so much i'm
thinking about coming out of this chair
and hurting you
now i was at this level where i was just
like i was already here and like what
was just ready to come out of my mouth
it was all lined up i was like
boy i'd like to see that
like let's just get it on right here in
the office and throw down in the church
you know and
but i didn't
i just remember thinking just a little
bit of jesus just a little bit of jesus
like if if jesus can have a group of
soldiers surround him
and mock him and beat him up then maybe
i could take a few hits right
so i just let him do that and do that
and do that and then finally got to
where the point where he was
he was out he was out of gas and i i
then turned and i said hey man i just
want you to know like
i am sorry i didn't mean that i asked
him up follow follow-up questions like
it felt so counter-intuitive i wanted to
run him out of there
and then on the other side of that
we were kind of buds
and it was it was a relationship that
formed because
i looked past an offense
that's what we're called to do to go
maybe with your
spouse that's turned into a roommate
maybe you need to go first
maybe with your parents that man you're
just you've been glad to be out of the
house and you really only want to see
them around holidays if you have to
maybe you need to go
the apostle paul
lives out this crucifixion of jesus this
suffering of jesus like he begins to
give us a very practical example of
living this out
in his life in the book of first
corinthians he describes his life in
verse chapter 4.
he says talking about the apostles he
says we
are fools
for christ
what if that was our identity
i think it would be easier to restore
relationships if we weren't so freaking
pretentious like our poop doesn't smell
right what if we just viewed ourselves
as what we are we are just fools for
christ and then a little tongue-in-cheek
he says we are fools for christ but you
are so wise in christ we are weak
but you are strong you are honored
we are
and then he's going to describe to us
what it's like out there trying to love
people for jesus because that's all he
was trying to do he was out there to try
to share the gospel and love people
he says to this very hour we go hungry
and thirsty we are in rags we are
brutally treated we are
he's describing exactly the life that
jesus lived when he was here on this
and then next passage he gets really
we work hard with our own hands
when we are
we bless
has anybody ever given a compliment to
somebody that just insulted them like a
real compliment
it's a euphoric experience
like if you haven't done that you need
to do that because it is freeing and it
is life-changing it drives them crazy
which shouldn't be your motivation
but why don't we do that more it's so
easy paul's like man when somebody
curses us we bless them when we are
endure it
and when we are slandered
we answer
sometimes i think some people are like
man the bible is just so hard to
understand i'm like yeah that's a real
tongue that's man that's hard that's
what does it mean
it means be kind even when people are
mean to you
it i don't think the bible is very hard
to understand i maybe think it's hard to
put into practice
it's not hard to understand
in the next verse he says this
he says we have become
the scum of the earth
the garbage of the world
right up to this moment
that is the posture of somebody who is
trying to love the world around them
i don't know what your favorite uh
worship song is if you have a favorite
worship song my favorite song worship
song is by beck
it's loser you know what song
everybody's saying i'm a loser baby
so why don't you kill me that is my
favorite worship song because
because i just envisioned this like i
when paul is going around the ancient
world he knows that he's a child of god
right he knows that he has been forgiven
of his sins that he has hope that god
has appointed him and called him like
his his identity in christ is everything
and so
but as he's walking around the world
he's being mistreated he's being cursed
he's being and he's blessing he's being
persecuted he's enduring he's being
slandered and he's answering kindly and
i just envisioned him just walking
around the ancient world going i'm a
loser baby
so what are you gonna do kill me
i feel like this is the posture and
attitude that a lot of us we didn't sign
up for christianity for this we're like
yeah that's not why i made a decision to
follow jesus
but this is what he's calling us into
he's saying hey i don't want you to just
i don't want you to look at my
relationship oh man i am so so thankful
that you gave up your life and utter
humiliation for me that is fantastic
and then walk away
and not have that same posture towards
the woman that we stood in front of a
group of people towards and said we are
going to be committed for the rest of
our lives
that you would take from god that kind
of humility and that we would be so
arrogant as not to be able to apologize
to our kids when we're wrong
god wants us
not to just take
but to
so today i want to leave you with some
practical points on what restoration
actually looks like again it's just one
point it's just go first but here's what
going first looks like
be the first
to initiate
don't wait for them to set this up
don't wait for them don't think of them
while they're in a position of authority
or or they're older than me or like
whatever it is don't wait for that
person to like arrange the restoration
like if you're called by jesus you
you've been called to go
second one
be the first to look past
an offense
before just
look past an offense i know i know
they're hurting your feelings and your
egos hurt and how dare they but i mean
come on put on your big boy panties
and look past an offense you can do this
you're an adult now
third thing
be the first
to sacrifice sometimes the reason the
relationship falls apart is because
somebody in the relationship maybe both
parties are unwilling to sacrifice do
you know how many
sibling relationships have fallen apart
because mom and dad died and and then
they fought over the inheritance
i'm trying to solve that problem with my
kids by leaving them nothing i don't
i want a close relationship with my kids
i'm gonna do a lot of vacationing
towards the end of my life
which my doctor says is soon um
but like what if you just sacrifice like
what if you just
gave that away instead of fighting over
it oh i know it's your right right that
you you deserve it as a right to have
that inheritance but
come on
it's not worth anything
and then finally be the first to
recognize fault
this is the example that jesus doesn't
give us we don't get this from god
because god never did anything wrong
right it's not like god came to the
earth in the form of jesus and said okay
man the old testament was rough wasn't
it i
i shouldn't have put the tree in the
garden of eden i shouldn't have put the
saints the serpent that was just all a
big mistake
we're going to try again no he doesn't
do that god was perfect and righteous
and holy and
and he came to the earth with no apology
but you and i we got plenty we got
plenty that we can apologize for even if
you feel like it's a 90 10 split like
well yeah i probably have said some
things but i mean it's 90 percent them
and 10 me which we would all imagine are
all of our relationships
but even if that's true even if it's
mostly them
you still have that 10 percent
you still have that thing that you can
you can admit that you can show and you
know what i've noticed in most times not
all times but most times when i lead
i'm sorry when i lead with recognizing
my fault
they usually reciprocate
and it's beginning it's it's not going
to fix it sometimes we think that
apology is going to fix everything now
it's going to take more than that
but it can begin to lead towards
a restored relationship
today again if you're a follower of
jesus i just want you to hear this this
is something that
this is your life's calling
you may you may or may not ever be a
pastor or uh speak on a stage you may
never be a missionary and travel across
the world you may never actually know
what your niche is in the church but i
can tell you you're calling in life no
matter where you are whether you're at
work or home or a church you are called
to be the hands and feet of jesus by
offering a rest or trying the best you
can to restore relationships the way
jesus did that is what we are called to
let me pray for you
father god i pray
i pray for every one of us
here today every one of us that has
relationships that
might be a little rough a little broken
maybe incomplete
maybe they're completely shattered
but i pray you'd help us to be in the
of healing and restoring
help us to be in the
the business of humiliation and
to see those relationships stored
god help us to do that but god it's
going to take your holy spirit it's
going to take your love it's going to
take your power god because it is not
natural to us
and so i pray for everybody hearing this
everybody everybody who can hear my
voice right now i pray that you would
give them this ability
and i pray that in jesus name amen

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