My mother told me wonderful stories of her years growing up on a farm in rural Pennsylvania. A horse-drawn sleigh transported her family through the woods to their church in the cold winter months. She loved school and walked to a one-room schoolhouse, where she enjoyed learning far more than recess. The custom was that each student’s family would host the teacher for an overnight visit once during the school year. Preparing the guest room for their teacher employed all five of the girls in the family as they worked feverishly to make things beautifully spotless and cozy for their beloved teacher. Of course, some of them had to give up their sleeping quarters to free up the room, but the joy of entertaining this special guest far outweighed the sacrifice.
Hosting guests challenges us to go a bit beyond our normal cleaning and cooking routines because we cherish the relationships with them and want them to feel comfortable and esteemed. Most of us have probably never had such a prestigious overnight guest as our schoolteacher, but there is One who yearns to be a part of your home and family. He is actually a three-in-one being: Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Right now, Jesus sits in a place of high honor, as He is seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven.
If we have faith in Jesus and His shed blood, and we pay attention to His gentle nudging, the Lord calls us His friends. Imagine it! Friendship with God. Jesus says this in John 15:12-17 (NIV), My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. We have Friends in High Places! Having faith in God is key.
In Genesis, Abraham had faith in God to provide a sacrifice in place of his son, Isaac, even as he held the knife in his hand to slay his son. The story had a good ending because the Lord provided a lamb just in time, and Isaac was freed. James poses the question, “Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?” You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. (James 2:21-24 NIV).
One of God’s most outstanding character traits is faithfulness. He cannot be unfaithful to us. It makes sense that He values our faith very highly. Do you want to have Friends in High Places? Have faith in God. That faith will make your Honored Guest feel very comfortable in your home.
© 2021, Chris Werre