Sunday, May 31, 2015

Highs, Lows & Everywhere in Between – Part 2

Acts 5:19-33 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach. Now when the high priest came, and those who were with him, they called together the council, all the senate of the people of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, “We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them we found no one inside.” Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them, wondering what this would come to. And someone came and told them, “Look! The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people.” Then the captain with the officers went and brought them, but not by force, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man's blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them.

Continuing from yesterday, Pastor Kyle states that there are five things that we need to know and remember to rejoice in every season of life (the highs, lows and everywhere in between). (1) that “unrealistic expectations” equals disappointment with God. The only thing that counts comes from God’s Word, Will and Way. Where in the world did we ever get the idea that it was going to be easy? We hear that Jesus came that we may have life and have it to the full (John 10:10), that God loves us and has a wonderful plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11), but it is eternal. The ultimate plan is to follow the Lord Jesus, the Good Shepherd, God, then Ecclesiastes 3:1-22 makes sense. We are not to reinterpret God’s plans for our life for our own desires, but to align our will with His will as every detail of His plan unfolds and is revealed. (2) Know that the battle is real and dangerous, but the battle is the Lord’s – 1 Samuel 17:47. All of the Apostles (except) John died a horrible death for their faith. But, when they went down, they went up! Why are we afraid to talk to our family, friends and neighbors about the gospel of salvation in Christ? What are we not believing? “Lord, I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” - Mark 9:24

(3) God’s power shows up on God’s time table, not ours. Don’t ever deal with the devil; stand firm and fight with the “full armor of God’ – Ephesians 6:10-18 and run away from the deceiver’s temptations. Fight or flee, but always walking in the Spirit. The Enemy come to sell, kill and destroy our life in mind – John 10:1, 10. God is at work in the world all the time, but we don’t get to point to how, when or where God is going to work. In God We Trust. So trust in God.

Part 3 of my notes and comments from Pastor Kyle’s Sermon tomorrow.

In Christ , Brian

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Highs, Lows & Everywhere in Between – Part 1

Acts 5:12-16 Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon's Portico. None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem,  bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

This last Sunday, Pastor Kyle continuing in our Sermon series through the book of Acts, stated that two things happen that pave the way to the miraculous: generosity and tough decisions in the high points, the low points and the middle ground of life. We find a comfortable routine life with occasional peak times and valley times usually. In that, we need to rejoice in the heights and rejoice them while they last because they are going to come to an end before you know it. Sometimes, when things are going good, people tend to ‘gear up’ for the next bad thing. We need to learn to enjoy the “good times” when they come along and appear on the scene. And secondly, we need to make “markers and memories” of the highs in life. Document, and possibly photograph them to remember and look back on often.

What is are the purposes of the church? What if, one of them was to be a place where people flocked for healing (spiritually, emotionally, and physically). A place where those who do not know the Lord were experiencing what they cannot naturally explain in this healing in a new way. Imagine, an infectious love for the Lord, His holy Word, His church as His body for which He is the head, filled with His people, doing His work in the world ... where many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people and more than ever believers were added to the Lord.

Acts 5:17-18 But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. 

Most of the time, we live in that plateau times between that highs and the lows of life. Enjoy the highs while they last. Lows may follow, as we see above for the apostles. But, always remember that Jesus said in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Creator Father God is in control. His favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night,   but rejoicing comes in the morning - Psalm 30:5.

Part 2 of my notes and comments from Pastor Kyle’s Sermon tomorrow.

In Christ , Brian

Friday, May 29, 2015

God Fearing People

Psalm 36:1-4 Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. They have no fear of God at all. In their blind conceit, they cannot see how wicked they really are. Everything they say is crooked and deceitful. They refuse to act wisely or do good. They lie awake at night, hatching sinful plots. Their actions are never good. They make no attempt to turn from evil.

I read an article lately that asked, “Have you ever wondered why our society is going downhill so fast? Statistics prove that there is a rise in almost every negative category showing the decline in our society. The writer believes that a major part of it is that so many today lack a healthy fear of God. They act as if they will not be held accountable to their Maker. In this, they are totally wrong. Part of the reason some people get upset with Christians speaking out on moral issues from a biblical perspective is that they want to be able to sin with impunity (no punishment for their unrighteous actions or inactions).

Psalm 19:9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."

Webster’s Dictionary defines fear, in “the fear of God” as a holy awe or reverence of God and his laws, which springs from a just view and real love of the divine character, leading the subjects of it to hate and shun every thing that can offend such a holy being, and inclining them to aim at perfect obedience ... godly fear.

Proverbs 2:1-12 My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge  of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path. When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you; understanding will keep you, to deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things.

Jesus Christ must be on the throne of our heart and we must live in the fear of the Lord. What we need in this land is more reverential “God fearing”.

Psalm 111:7-10 The works of His hands are faithful and just; all His precepts are trustworthy; they are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness. He sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever. Holy and awesome is His name! The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!

In Christ, Brian

Thursday, May 28, 2015

God's Calling – Part 2

God is involved with every aspect of our lives. He cares about the little things.  He cares that we master the fundamentals. Not my will but Thine be done. It's not what you know, but rather who you know.  Lordship is wanting what He wants.  Delight thyself in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart – Psalm 37:4. Never seek a ministry and never seek to be useful to God. Rather, seek God Himself and then He will work in you to will and to do of His good pleasure when your good pleasure is His good pleasure. Our desire is to hunger and thirst for His righteousness in the Spirit ... to seek His fervor for the Word of God and to do His will. I found thy words and I did eat them and they were unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart – Jeremiah 15:16.

Spiritual power cannot be separated from faith. The work of faith is energized by the power of the Holy Spirit when we walk according to His will. God has chosen men and women who are weak in this world so that His power can work within them ... thy power is made manifest in my weakness. The body of Christ is a family and not a business. Policy should never take precedence over caring for the flock of God, over which He has called you to be an overseer. A calling to minister cannot be fear based. Rather, it must be faith based and faith works by love. It's counterintuitive to call the poor men and women to pray, but this is exactly what God calls His people to do. We rely not on the riches of men and women, but on faith that God is faithful to provide ... not that we are sufficient in ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God. 

According to 2 Corinthians 5 20-21, God has called us to fulfill our calling to be an Ambassador for Christ. He has committed unto us the word of reconciliation and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. To reconcile is to bring back to God those who have been separated, beginning with our own minds. Therefore, we pray you in Christ's stead be ye reconciled to God. This is the fundamental message that He has called us to deliver and to master: For He who knew no sin became the perfect sin sacrifice on our behalf, that we may be made the righteousness of God in Him. In other words, our calling is this:  Give 'em heaven!

May God richly bless you,
Your brother in Christ, Michael

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

God's Calling – Part 1

This week, Michael writes: In Matthew 11, Jesus asked, "To what then shall I compare this generation, and what are they like? We played the flute and you didn't dance, we played a funeral dirge and you didn't mourn. You don't understand because you have no passion and no compassion. How then, can I explain to you the things of heaven?" He said to Nicodemus, "You call yourself a master and a teacher of Israel and yet you don't understand the things of the Spirit and of faith?"

Every winning team must master the basics and do them consistently. The fundamentals of the faith are the things that really matter. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. We've got to follow through on our basic assignment according to Colossians 3:2: “Set your affections on things above, not on things of the world.”  2 Timothy 2:4 says, "Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them.

Casual and apathetic are words that characterize people of this world. To be ‘Apathetic’ is not caring about the things that matter. The greatest danger is not that you'll fail in something that matters, but that you'll succeed in something that doesn't matter. Children of God do not fall from fellowship deliberately ... they just gradually stop showing up. Success is not what the world calls success. Rather, success is according to God's terms. Success is mostly showing up for God's assignments ... to be available and open to his calling. Availability is availing myself of His ability. Disappointment is the result of missing our Divine appointments. Disappointment is "disrespecting God" by failing to meet with Him at His appointed time. Every moment in life is an appointment with God. Life becomes difficult when apathetic men and women make wrong choices because they chose not to meet with God. Influence begins with influencing my own mind ...  grabbing hold of the reins of my own mind to hold every thought captive to Christ.

In 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, We are called to encourage each other unto words and good deeds to God's glory. According to 1 Peter 2:9, we have each been called by God, who through Christ, has made us worthy of our calling to be a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people that we should show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. However, the natural man is one who looks in the mirror and forgets who he is - James 1:23-24.  How do we walk worthy of our calling? We, having received his Holy Spirit, glory not in ourselves, but in Him who has called us to be His servant. Lordship means to make myself a slave to my Lord Jesus Christ ... to make His heart's desire my heart's desire and to make His will my will. For it is God which worketh in you to will and to do of his good pleasure – Philippians 2:13.

We finish Michael's thought-provoking message tomorrow.
In Christ, Brian

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Remember Jesus Loves You

John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Jesus came to seek and save the lost, because God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) loved the whole world enough to save everyone who believed in God’s gift of salvation by His love, mercy and grace. Christ physically died and rose again, so that we could spiritually live today and eternally.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

In 2 Chronicles 7:14 God said, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

2 Peter 3:9 tells us, The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Revelation 13:8 explains, “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.

John 1:29 tells us, The next day John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

Jesus Christ is the “Lamb of God”. God shows us mercy in Christ. He is not required to do so. But, He extends a second chance to us; He often gives us many second chances. We are dead in sin, but alive in Christ.

Ephesians 2:1-8 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – the “Gift of God”.

Romans 4:25-5:9 He (Jesus) was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!

Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Jesus loves you … enough to die for you and I; shall we not live for Him?


Monday, May 25, 2015

Absolute God

Psalm 24:10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. 

America’s Founding Father Benjamin Franklin said there were only two things certain in life are death and taxes. But now we cannot be certain of those either, because a new cliché or maxim has appeared stating that there are no absolutes in life. What exactly are absolutes? I read that Webster’s Dictionary explains that the word “absolute” comes from two Latin words “ab” (meaning – “from”) and “solvere” (meaning “to set free”) from which we get the word dissolve. So, absolute means “to be set free”. Literally, free, independent of and unlimited by anything extraneous – complete in itself - unconditionally existing independent of any other cause.  

Proverbs 14:11-12 The house of the wicked will be overthrown, but the tent of the upright will flourish. There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

But set free from what? One article says that to be absolute means to be set free from imperfection or error; to be pure. It means to free from any admixtures. It is perfect. It means to be free from any limit, restriction, or qualification, as an absolute monarch. And it means to be positive, certain and authoritative. That is what absolutes are, whether we are talking about persons or truth. Sadly, many today have been lied to and falsely taught to believe the myth that truth and morality are relative, and that there are no absolutes. Did you hear about the school teacher that said to their class, “There are no absolutes in life and you can know nothing for certain.” One student responded, Teacher, are you sure about that?” The teacher replied, “Absolutely, I’m certain of it.” It becomes very difficult to live in a completely relativistic world. No laws, no standards, no statutes, no plans, no direction, no commands, no decrees, no rules equals no order, just aimless chaos.

Psalm 19:7-9 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are  true and righteous altogether.”

If there are no absolutes, there is no God, because God is the ultimate absolute. His omnipotence is without limit, restraint or qualification. His omniscience is unlimited. His omnipresence is without restriction. God is the altogether absolute One. Truth is revealed to us in God’s word. Jesus Christ says, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall (absolutely) set you free” – John 8:32. This awesome Almighty Creator of the Cosmos is the absolute sovereign Monarch, the absolute God.

Leviticus 18:5 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.”

In Christ, Brian

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Good, the Bad & The Ugly

Acts 4:36-5:15 And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him. Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?” She said, “Yes, for so much.” Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried herby her husband. So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.

Continuing Pastor Rick’s message preached last Sunday, in our church’s Sermon series though the book of Acts, though he is too young to remember the classic Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Western, used the title as his sermon points. It starts with (1) “the good”: Barnabas stepping up and going first, leading the way for others to follow. Later Barnabas accompanies Paul on His Missionary journeys. (2) “The bad”: Ananias and Sapphira desired to look good in society on the outside, but were lying to the church and God. They seemed so close and pretty impressive, but were fakes; Christ was not in their heart. They cared about stuff, more than God and thereby turning their back on God. What are we pouring our heart into – things or God? Taking your eyes off God is putting your eyes on something else. Lying to the Holy Spirit is disobedience to God’s commands and a holy, righteous and just God must judge sin. Don’t miss the moment. Matthew 22:37-38 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

(3) “The Ugly”: Sin leads to death and all have sinned. By show of hands, who has lied to the Holy Spirit? Where is our heart? What are our idols? We really earn our wages. Do we really understand that we need a Savior? 2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” When we repent and accept the gift of salvation from God, the sins of the world are put on Jesus and Christ’s righteousness is put on us. Let’s go for those two things and live as a gospel community; the gathered body of Believers following after Jesus and telling others that they may find forgiveness at the foot of the cross and giving God the glory with our life. Praise and honor and glory to the One who gave His only begotten Son, and to the Son that gave Himself for us. Experience God’s power, love, mercy and mighty grace. Respond to His presence. God is good. Lord, your will be done.
I’m in!

In Christ, Brian

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Take a Moment to Stretch

Acts 4:32-37 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated ‘Son of Encouragement’), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”

Last Sunday, Pastor Rick was tagged by Pastor Kyle to preach on the above Scripture passage in our Sermon series though the book of Acts (The full title being “the Acts of the Apostles”, but could easily be titled “The Acts of the Holy Spirit” by the context. Pastor Rick points out that when we are lying in the same position for a long period of time, we get stiff and need to stretch. Pray that God stretches us in our walk with the Holy Spirit. We are called to “fullness” in the spirit, but we (being finite) are not enough like Jesus to reach that fullness without the process of sanctification (the growing into the likeness of Christ). He gave us four characteristics of “Gospel Community” to guide the way; (1) Being of one heart and soul (mind, will and emotion). Philippians 2:2 “Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. To be will to sacrificially give is an ideal that would be lived out in the Christian community by the body of Christ, His church. (2) Sharing blessings and meeting needs – not socialism, but an offering to the high call of God to know the needs, struggles and hurts, then respond practically; not keeping it to or for ourselves, Gratefully gracious for our salvation through Christ with whom we have assurance that all of our sin has been covered by His atoning blood and wiped away and we are reconciled unto God, invited back into His favor, into fellowship of His communion, adopted into His family, given His name, invited to His table, and made His heir everlasting, citizen of the kingdom of heaven .

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”

(3) By preaching and proclaiming Christ to a lost and dying world. We fulfill the Great commission by gathering around the cross and speaking the truth in love; witnessing for the Lord and the Gospel of Salvation through Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. 1 John 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” God’s forgiveness is astounding. Our inheritance in Christ cannot possibly be measured. We change from death to life; that is what Christ has done for us on the cross. We can all tell our personal story of redemption, reconciliation and love of God. (4) By great grace. To find Christ, we need grace. We try all the things of this fallen and sin-sick world, but they just won’t work because we are just throw everything into a bottomless Jesus-shaped hole. We are all slaves to sin and need to work through our bondage because only through our Lord Jesus Christ can we know the truth, and the truth shall set us free - John 8:31-32 and that means taking a moment to stretch, walking in the Spirit and stepping into gospel communion. I want to walk this road with you guys.

In Christ, Brian

Friday, May 22, 2015

To Who are We Speaking?

Psalm 33:9 For when he spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command.

Driving the long trek from Southern California to Central California gave me plenty of time to listen to some of the great Christian teaching CD that I’ve picked up over the last couple years. In one series on the Lord’s Prayer, I learned that prayer is an important discipline to practice if we are to develop godly wisdom, and so we want to have a good understanding of what Scripture has to say about it. There is much to keep in mind as we approach the Lord in prayer, but we will not go wrong if our attention is focused on two key truths when we pray; knowing God and knowing ourselves. Knowing the identity of the One to whom we are praying is essential. Not only knowing to whom we are speaking, but also remembering who we are. I once heard it said: “Two things I know for sure: (1) there is a sovereign God and (2) He is not me. Almighty God is the Creator and I am the created creature by that God. He is infinite and I am finite.

Exodus 20:7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.”

I’d read that over the past few decades, there has been a move toward reducing formality in our culture and making all of our relationships far more casual than our forefathers would have considered them. We have lost much in the process. In humanizing God in our minds, in a very real sense, we have lost an awareness of the One whom we approach in our worship and prayer. To take the name of the Lord our God in vain is to take God lightly. All too often, we view God as merely a friend. The problem is that we have turned the concept of the holy Father and Son into our “pal” as persons who are on essentially the same level that we are. Our Creator is not our pal; rather, He is our Sovereign Lord. So, when we come to the Lord in Prayer, we must remember who He is, namely, the great and mighty King in whom belongs all honor and glory.

1 Timothy 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

The fact that God is not merely our friend is actually a great benefit for us. Mere friends cannot rescue us from our sin. Only the sovereign Lord of all can give us such things. Let us take care to approach our Maker with the reverence and praise that He deserves, and may we always exult Him as our loving and sovereign Master and King. 

In Christ, Brian