In school we all have taken some sort of history classes either of American or of a world history study. During the course many of us have come across historical figures whose lives have been given written accounts of. Some of these have written their own life accounts in the form of an autobiography. Benjamin Franklin is a well-known individual of early American history and was one who wrote a great deal, including his autobiography. I have not done so, but if I were to read that man’s own life account I would be able to describe to you many events that were noteworthy in his life as well as many details about who he was. However even if I were to memorize his autobiography I would never be able to make the claim that I truly knew who he was or that I had a relationship with him or him with me.
Can we be this way with God? Can we be people who come to church week after week, year after year and hear many bible verses, sermons and classes and not actually know God? I believe that we can and do fall prey to this if our personal prayer life is not treated with greater care than that of the time and care we devote to our closest earthly relationships. As Paul would instruct “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17) to the early Christians, knowing the power of prayer to the Creator and what it does to our relationship with Him. In the New Testament, there is never stated a number of times one should pray to have prayed enough, but if prayer is our only avenue of direct communication to our Heavenly Father, then how many times does it take for you to say you have a close bond with God? Close enough to feel as John said a true believer should – as one of God’s children? This is what he says in 1 John 3:1-3 –
3 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,[a] we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
The point of knowing God, having that real relationship with Him, is clearly stated a couple chapters later:
1 John 5:13-15.
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
Pray more every new day God gives us. He hears those who are His children, and those who truly know Him will also know that eternal life is given to them, and that Christ will come again soon to take His children home to be in heaven.
If there is anyone here who needs the prayers of the congregation or needs to begin their relationship with God by being baptized, come forward now as we stand and sing.