Friday, January 22, 2016

What a Friend

I feel compelled to share something with you tonight…something that I think forever changed my relationship with the Lord.  Let me first say this… I believe in a very real Heaven and a very real Hell.  I believe that the Bible is God’s living word. I believe that I was born into this world a sinner.  (Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”)  I believe that God came down in the form of man, Jesus Christ, to die for the sins of the world, (“Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”) was crucified on a cross, buried and risen again.  I believe that there is no other way to Heaven, but through Jesus Christ.  (Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved”)

On January 15, 2007, in Wilmington North Carolina, at Peace Baptist Church, with Pastor Rudy Shepard, I confessed my sins and asked Jesus into my heart as my personal Savior.  My life was literally, forever changed.  Because of God’s promises, I now know that he has an eternal home for me in Heaven, a place better than I could dream of. 

I say all of that, to lead up to this.  I know many people “believe in God” and many people that do not.  When I think about what or who God is, it’s more than our brains can wrap our heads around…. But when I finally started to make God personal in my life, that’s when our relationship changed.  I do best when I compare my relationship with the Lord and the work that it requires to any ‘earthly’ relationship.  Relationships require communication and trust.  I speak to the Lord through prayer, and He speaks to me through His word. To me, God is not some strange creature lurking in the sky… He is so very real to me.  The more I pray and the more He hears and answers my prayers, the more real He becomes to me.  Every time I have an answered prayer, even when it’s not the answer I want, it still feels startlingly remarkable that HE would hear and answer my prayers.  Often times, it has been my answered prayers for the smallest of smalls, by which I have been the most astonished. 

When we don’t talk with our friends, we feel a bit disconnected with them.  Likewise, when we don’t talk with the Lord (pray and read His word), we feel disconnected with Him.  When we do something that we know pleases our friends, it brings both parties happiness.  Likewise, when we do something that is pleasing to the Lord, it brings us both “happiness.”  When we do wrong to our friends and don’t deal with our problems, it causes distance and discord in the friendship.  Likewise, when we don’t humble ourselves and confess and recognize our wrongdoings (aka sins), we put up a wall in our relationship with the Lord, putting it on hold, if you will.  The more we spend time with our friends and enjoy their company, the more time we want to spend with them.  Likewise, the more time with spend with the Lord and feel His presence, the more you want that in your life just as much as you can get it.  When our friends help us through difficult times, it builds trust in the relationship.  When the Lord holds our hand through times that we know we would not be capable of getting through without Him, it gives us assurance and trust that He will do it again.  When a friend keeps a promise, we trust them.  Likewise, when the Lord keeps His promises EVERY SINGLE TIME, we grow our faith in Him.  

You see, to me, the Lord is not some mystical creature in the sky.  He is my Savior and dare I say “friend” who walks beside me everyday. 

I have been saved for almost exactly nine years and it is only in the last year that I learned just how personal the Lord can be in my life. 

I pray that everybody who reads this would soon come to know the Lord as their personal Savior, if they don’t already.  I don’t say this to shove something down your throat.  I say this, because I want to share with others the amazing things that the Lord has done in my life. 

If we started some amazing diet and got great results, we’d share them with each other.  If there is a big sale going on, we’d tell each other about it.  If there is a cure or some ailment we’re having, we’d tell one another.  So, why would I not tell you what an amazing thing the Lord has done in my life and what He can do in yours!?

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