Sunday, August 22, 2010

Knowing God - James 4:8

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Draw near to God and
he will draw near to you
James 4:8
 
Just the other day, I heard someone ponder the alternative: If we draw away from God, will he draw away from us?
 
The answer is "yes" and "no."
 
On the "no" side ... as it says in Romans 8:38-39, "nothing in all creation can separate us from the [incredible] love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" – including our stupid, wayward selves. As it says in Isaiah 53:6, "we all like sheep have gone astray," but as this verse and chapter conclude, that’s why God drew near to us through the suffering servant, Jesus Christ.
 
But on the "yes" side, we must realize the context of this verse. James is talking about prayer. How many of us live our lives far from God and his standards, and then expect an immediate and affirmative answer to our prayers. In our prayer life, both sides are true: when we draw near to God, he will draw near to us; and when we pull away, he’ll pull back too. Wait ... God will never permanently pull back, of course; he’ll just be patient and wait – forgiving and wooing as we stray.
 
In Christ’s Love,
a wayward sheep
who wants to know where to go
and draw nearer again

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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