You Have a Friend in God

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You Have a Friend in God

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I know a five-year-old who has a full set of autographed baseballs from one of the World Series teams of 2004. That year the St. Louis Cardinals won the National League Championship Series and played the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. Along with the boxed set of signed balls, this young man met many of the team's players and its manager, Tony La Russa. How did a kid get so lucky? Well, his mother has a good friend from high school who became the director of marketing for the Cardinals' organization. I remember the day that Max, this little blond, blue-eyed baseball novice, walked onto the field at Busch Stadium as the honorary batboy and talked with many millionaire players and sports icons. He even chatted with sportscaster Bob Costas, who was a guest at the stadium. Max had chosen Yadier Molina, the Cardinal catcher, as his favorite player. With a signed jersey, he was escorted into the Cardinals' tunnel where the players congregated, and Max chatted with many of the National League All-Stars, including Albert Pujols. Sometimes, it is who you know! My grandson has been very blessed to have such connections and an amazing grasp of America's favorite summer game. Max claims that when he is older he will be a baseball player and a minister. A very important Someone Have you ever been favored because you knew someone important? I have to admit it has been a rare experience for me to move through the crowds and be given special attention. However, the knowledge that the God of the universe wants a relationship with those whom He calls has humbled and inspired me. Jesus Christ mentioned to His disciples, "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you" (John 15:14 John 15:14You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you.
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). He went on to explain, "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you" (verse 15). Can you imagine the Giver, Designer and Sustainer of all life being interested in you? He wants a relationship with His creation and for us to become part of His family. Friend of God The biblical patriarch Abraham, known as the father of those who believe (Romans 4:11 Romans 4:11And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed to them also:
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), was tested in some remarkable ways. God often works with us as we are struggling to live in this world. Yet these struggles are not lost on our Captain and Leader, Jesus Christ. He is willing to work alongside us to help and encourage us (Philippians 1:6 Philippians 1:6Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
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). We are told to have confidence in this test. We need to realize and deeply appreciate our incredible human potential to be a part of God's family. In the book of James we read, "And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, 'Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.' And he was called the friend of God" (James 2:23 James 2:23And the scripture was fulfilled which said, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
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). What does this mean to you and me? If you think a boxed set of autographed baseballs is cool, how about the right to talk to God on a daily basis and ask Him for help in your life? Can you imagine walking into a major company and asking to talk directly to the CEO, or going to the Major League ballpark and insisting on talking to the general manager or coach of the team? Hardly! Today, if you are not a very important person (VIP) in the world's eyes, you cannot expect to be noticed or given access to those in positions of authority. Yet God invites each of us to call on Him when we are in need. The Bible describes a nation that has access to God. "For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the LORD our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him?" (Deuteronomy 4:7 Deuteronomy 4:7For what nation is there so great, who has God so near to them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call on him for?
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). King David, who is prophesied to once again rule on the earth under Christ, said, "As for me, I will call upon God, and the LORD shall save me" (Psalms 55:16 Psalms 55:16As for me, I will call on God; and the LORD shall save me.
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). Do you realize you can drop to your knees and seek an audience with the God of the universe and that He will hear you if you desire to serve Him and seek to follow His laws? While we don't always do what we intend, we do have access to ears that hear and a Being who can intervene for us. God does pay attention to our needs and is very willing to be involved in our lives. Isaiah wrote, "Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear" (Isaiah 59:1 Isaiah 59:1Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
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). Friendship takes commitment If you want a relationship with the God of creation, it does require something from you! You must seek God and ask for His help in your life. Sadly, many today have bought into the idea that there are no absolutes in life and that we exist in the universe by time and chance. This simplistic and dangerous error gets those who accept it into a mess. Try denying that gravity exerts influence on you while jumping off a cliff. Or try telling the sun that you don't want it to come up in the morning. The rain comes, the stars shine sand life marches along with a cadence that reflects design and order. If we want to be in harmony with our Maker, we have to talk to Him, to read about Him and to try to understand His plan for our lives. Perhaps the greatest challenge for moderns is to admit we don't know stuff. We can Google for any piece of information and deceive ourselves into thinking we don't need God. Try that in an earthquake or tsunami or with the tragic loss of a loved one. What does it take to get our attention? We need God! The amazing epiphany is that God also desires a relationship with us. My little grandson has been treated to memorabilia that will likely someday be worth many dollars to sports enthusiasts—if he can keep from losing them like I did. I had a cigar box of Mickey Mantle baseball cards that I collected for years, only to move away and leave them behind. Who knows what happened to this treasure? But if you want a sure winner, seek a personal relationship with the God of the universe who wants to call you a friend. Just imagine the pull He has in the neighborhood. Don't wait to live your life with a Friend who has ultimate influence and is deeply interested in your future. Start now to develop a personal relationship with God! VT

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