Todd Forrest has lived his whole life in ministry, growing up as a pastor’s and missionary’s son. He has been in active ministry since 1990, and continues to pastor today. He is a board member of Children of Promise International, caring for orphans in 12 countries. He and his wife, Debbie, have three children, two of which are GCU students.
There are few things more enjoyable than a good Reese’s cup. The chocolate and peanut butter just make sense. Many things in our world just seem to fit together and make sense.
This seems to be, in a larger sense, the drive of mankind. How do I make sense out of this world? God planned for our world to make sense out of relationships. These relationships are both vertical (with God and man) and horizontal (with each other). This brings the richness of life that makes sense of the world. The simple words of Jesus, summing up all the commands: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39)
Philosophy speaks to the value of knowledge and shared ideas, psychology speaks to the importance of touch and relational environment, even science explains physical intimacy – all pointing to relationship. We were meant for interaction with each other. It is not the money we make or the power we may garner in this life that makes sense of our existence. It is the relationships we have, the influence we give and the mutual love we share that make life. Have you ever talked to an elderly person who wished they worked more, were alone more or had less people in life? Relationships are what lasts.
Our vertical relationship with God was severed by the original sin of Adam. The primary way God made an opportunity to restore this severed relationship was by sending His son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for the sin we committed. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).
God loved us so much He took the steps, paid the price and gave an opportunity to restore our relationship with Him. This relationship allows us to pray to Him, anytime we want, with confidence. It allows us to have a sense of meaning and purpose to our existence. Most importantly, it is a relationship that will never end as God has planned for us to have a relationship with Him in heaven for all eternity.
The horizontal relationship is where we live right now. If you are new to the culture of Grand Canyon University, I trust you have made a friend, found others to be friendly in return and started some long-lasting relationships. If an understanding of Jesus and the relationship he has for you is new to you, I encourage you to open your heart, ask your questions and seek the best relationship you could ever have. I promise, in my experience, it is better than peanut butter and chocolate!
Looking for more Theology Thursday? Read our past entries or come back next week for a new article! To learn about the College of Theology at GCU, visit our website or use the Request More Information button on this page.