When you know who your friends are, it can be very worthwhile. Well, it CAN be if your FRIENDS are good ones.
Glad you’ve decided to join me today, welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — I do this for you. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend!
I ran out of time yesterday. We were talking about “It’s not WHAT you know, but WHO you know.” It’s a phrase one often hears in business and politics. Even in churches. We were exploring the importance of solid connections. And the power to make connections is one of the most valued in just about any realm of operations. So if you missed it, you may want to go back and read “Well-Known,” I think you’ll enjoy it and even learn something new. But let me move an and talk about the power of friends in high places.
For close to a decade I was the CEO of a consultancy firm owned by a former Israeli ambassador. His network of connections was as extensive as it was impressive. I recall that one day we got a call from the chief counsel for a public interest law firm that was one of our clients. A pastor had been wrongfully arrested in Iran, and had been scheduled to be executed. The best strategy to effect his release required a high-level political connection in the nation of Brazil who would cooperate with us. So the question that was put to the ambassador was whether or not he had any such connections. I’ll never forget his reply — “How about the Vice President?”
To make a long (albeit very interesting) story short, the plan worked marvelously. Not only was the pastor’s life spared, but he was released; and even allowed to leave Iran. It’s NOT what you know that counts.
Today’s verse says I HAVE CALLED YOU FRIENDS.
When Jesus decides to call YOU His friend, you have a friend in high places. In fact, the highest of all possible places.
Garth Brooks, the American country music legend, may have friends in low places, but even according to him they’re only good for drowning your sorrows in whiskey and beer. Not your best choice, by the way. It’s really much better to have all of your faults, failures, frailties and foul-ups drowned in the sea of God’s forgetfulness. Have you heard about it?
The prophet Micah talks about God’s willingness to take our sins and throw them into the depths of the ocean because He delights in showing His love to those who repent and turn from their sins. If YOU are willing to turn from your evil deeds and put them behinds you, so is God! He says “I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then He adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” No, God doesn’t develop amnesia, He simply chooses not to allow our sin to come to mind.
Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross paid the price for our sin. When we accept Him and His offer of grace, He applies the price He paid to our sin. It’s PAID IN FULL. No further debt owed. Even when the enemy of our souls tries to accuse us, God refuses to allow him to do so. In earthly courts, there are times when a judge refuses to allow evidence to be presented to a jury. It’s even called the “fruit of the poisonous tree” – and bars the use of evidence wrongfully obtained. Once the blood of Christ’s sacrifice had been applied to our sin, it’s forgiven. The case is sealed. God, the Judge of all Judges, refuses to allow it to be mentioned in His courtroom. He tosses it out.
Jesus accepts you, and calls you His friend. I’ve been greatly blessed by both the breadth and extent of the relationships God has allowed me throughout my life. I’ve worked with Presidents and Prime Ministers, Popes and Patriarchs. Some of them I’ve considered friends. My clients have included people at some of the highest levels of corporations, airlines and banks that are household names. I only have a relationship with one King. But one King is enough.
Because THAT KING isn’t just any king. He is THE KING, as in “THE KING OF KINGS.”
By the way …. If you don’t know Him, I’d love to introduce you.