An evangelist once visited our church and gave an excellent "pep talk," as he called it. While preaching, he reminded us that we have "A Friend in the Highest Place." That Friend, of course, is Jesus Christ. It brought to mind this One-a-Day…
My mother told beautiful stories of her years growing up on a farm in rural Pennsylvania. A horse-drawn sleigh transported her family to church in the cold winter months through the woods. She loved school and walked to a one-room schoolhouse, where she enjoyed learning far more than recess (unusual, but true).
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 four girls in the family as they worked feverishly to make things spotless and cozy for their beloved teacher. Of course, some 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 friends and guests challenges us to go beyond our regular cleaning and cooking routines because we cherish their relationships 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 three-in-one: Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
If we have faith in Jesus and His shed blood and heed His gentle nudgings and promptings, 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! But as the evangelist pointed out, we have A Friend in the Highest Place! Right now, Jesus sits in a place of highest honor, as He is seated at the Father's" right hand in Heaven. Hebrews 12:2 (ESV) reminds us of this truth: Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Having faith in God is vital. 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 asks, 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 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? Specifically, do you want to have A Friend in the Highest Place? Have faith in God. That faith will make your Honored Guest feel very comfortable in your home, and the spectacular benefits of having A Friend in the Highest Place will be yours!
© 2023 Chris Werre