TEXT: 1 Kings 19:19-21

KEY VERSE: Elisha stopped plowing and ran after him. “Let me kiss my parents goodbye, then I’ll go with you,” he said. “You can go,” Elijah said. “But remember what I’ve done for you.” 1 Kings 19:20(CEV)

From the beginning, in the Garden of Eden, God graciously bestowed upon humanity the gift of relationships. These connections can profoundly impact our spiritual growth, achievements, and fulfilment when nurtured. They are not just for companionship, fellowship, and partnerships but divine instruments that evolve as we embrace the people God sends our way. Recognizing these relationships as divine gifts is the first step towards nurturing and valuing them.

Even though man could survive on his relationship with God alone, it pleased him to provide him with another human for a better living experience. Spending time alone with God and investing in relationships with others is the key to an emotionally and spiritually balanced life.

Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him. Genesis 2:18(AMPC)

God designed man to be fruitful in body, work, and mission, and these tasks require the ‘partnership’ of other humans. This partnership is not just about working together but about supporting, encouraging, and learning from one another. It begins with our family, as God desires us to love our neighbours. In this context, our parents are our first neighbours, and we ought to love them as we love ourselves. Understanding self-love is crucial to loving others well, as it forms the foundation of all our relationships.

The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” Matthew 22:39(CEV)

Elisha had a thriving business and a loving relationship with his parents and neighbours. He was successful in his career in Agriculture. Still, God had a higher call for him that he probably knew nothing about. God instructed Elijah to anoint Elisha as prophet after him, even though he knew he was not yet ready for the task. Elijah initiated the relationship and allowed him to decide whether to nurture it or turn it down.

Many people have missed their ‘kairos moment ‘, a Greek term referring to a time when conditions are right to accomplish a crucial action because they fail to recognize the worth of a connection God gives them to a person who holds the key to the next season of their lives. They remain stuck in their comfort zone and refuse to explore what God might have for them, such as loving the other person back.

Naomi did not know Ruth was a gift to her. She only focused on unrealized dreams and failed to see her potential. On the other hand, Ruth knew that Naomi’s spiritual knowledge of God was worth her lifetime. She let go of her family and people and followed Naomi as Elisha followed Elijah.

Ruth answered, “Please don’t tell me to leave you and return home! I will go where you go, I will live where you live; your people will be my people, your God will be my God. Ruth 1:16(CEV)

Mentoring relationships are not just friendships but opportunities for exponential growth. Good mentors don’t just take on anyone; they seek people who are succeeding in what they do and need help to do better. Mentors come to share their experiences, wisdom, and stories to connect you to the pathway to finding and fulfilling your mission. A mentor is a gift from God, but you must nurture the relationship. Elisha followed Elijah and became his helper, a testament to the transformative power of mentoring.

Jesus chose to use Peter’s boat, and in the end, he invited him to follow him and become a fisher of men. Peter followed him and remained with him even when others chose to leave. Peter supported Jesus’ ministry on earth by following, learning and serving him until Jesus could hand the ministry over to him.

If someone is serving me, let him follow me; wherever I am, my servant will be there too. My Father will honour anyone who serves me. John 12:26(CJB)

Elisha followed Elijah through different seasons until he could ask for a ‘double portion of his anointing ‘, a request that symbolized his desire for a greater spiritual inheritance and authority. Sometimes, how we treat those who serve us will make them seek ways to bless us in return. The little maid from Israel serving in Namaan’s house was a gift from God. She offered her service and introduced them to the God who heals. 

One day, while the Syrian troops were raiding Israel, they captured a girl, and she became a servant of Naaman’s wife.  Sometime later, the girl said, “If your husband Naaman would go to the prophet in Samaria, he would be cured of his leprosy.” 2 Kings 5:2-3(CEV)

John Mark, who had once disappointed Paul, became a God-sent in his later years. That relationship was possible because Barnabas had seen potential in John and invested several years in helping him become better. Loving others is about being a gift to them. 

Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with you, because he is a very useful helper in my work. 2 Timothy 4:11(CJB)

Our connections with people become a blessing when we communicate regularly and effectively, support and encourage them, invest time to be with them and what matters to them, express gratitude and appreciation for their presence in our lives and cultivate the habit of forgiving promptly and generously. These actions, within our power, can transform our relationships and bring us closer to God’s intended purpose for them.

Avoid coveting what others have without wanting to love and be a gift to them. Beware of being hasty to take over what others have without investing time in the relationship to know how they received it. Don’t be afraid of loving people because you have been hurt before. Jonathan had reasons not to love David, but he chose to act differently. That friendship was the reason he had a legacy in Israel.

However, when Simon saw that the [Holy] Spirit was imparted through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he brought money and offered it to them, Acts 8:18(AMP)

Reflection Questions

  1. Jesus was the Father’s gift to the world. How will you make your life a gift to others? 
  2. What will you do to maintain a balance between spending time alone with God and spending time with people? 
  3. What habits will help you improve the quality of your relationships? 
  4. Who would the Lord want you to invest time in?

Photo by Mark McGregor on Unsplash

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  1. Thank you, Pastor Ada. People are precious. I like the way that James says it when he asks how we can claim to love God whom we cannot see and yet not love our neighbours (made in his image) that we can see (paraphrased). It is important that we do not lose our true spirituality in false religion that denigrates people in a claim to bring glory to God. May God help us not to be selfish in sharing and receiving love through people.

  2. Toyin Clay Pender

    It’s endearing to read about loving relationships. I cherish those God brings my way and am always on the lookout for those who are lonely in order to befriend them. 😊
    It’s discouraging however, when your friendly gesture is NOT reciprocated. 😏🤷🏽‍♀
    Maybe it’s a Nigerian (or African, maybe) thing BUT I discovered that people hardly participate in online activities, and so, can go for lengthy periods of time without reaching out to others. I really don’t think this is right.
    I don’t let my dealings with my fellow humans rob me of my private time with God in any way. That’s always the highlight of my day. 😁🥰
    More grace, dear Pastor Ada. God bless you richly ma.

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