I often tell people that the kingdom of God is finally all about relationships. The primary relationship is with the king, the Lord Jesus Christ. Then as you love him you learn to respect and love those who also love him.

I realized that again today as I ministered at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, California. I met the pastor of Redeemer, Dr. Jim Belcher, via my friend David Bahnsen. I first met David Bahnsen about two-plus years ago because of my dear friend Andrew Sandlin. I met Andrew when he reached out to me and asked me to have lunch with him in Chicago about six years ago.

I have now met several new friends through Redeemer Presbyterian Church and this has led, just to use one example, to my serving on the board of IRD, the Institute for Religion and Democracy. (I am quite sure that more people I have met at Redeemer, even today, will also have a vital role in my life in the months and years ahead, d.v.)

What astounds me, as I ponder this whole subject late on this Sunday evening, is this simple fact—one person loved me, Andrew Sandlin. As a result my life has been profoundly altered through that one friendship. Andrew reached out to me and that has matured into a deep bond. Through this relationship, where jealousy and rivalry have no place, I have made numerous new friends and thus seen the kingdom work in and thorugh my life accordingly.

Never count anyone as unimportant in your life and always give every relationship to the Lord to sanctify it for his purposes. You will be amazed at how he extends his kingdom through these simple acts. People do matter to God! They should matter to us too if we "seek first his kingdom and his righteousness."