Drawing near

My 3rd son Tobias gives the best hugs. He'll hug me when I walk in a room, or before he goes out; He'll hug me before I leave (if he's awake), or when I come home, he'll hug me when I come out of Sunday School in Church, and right before I go up to preach a sermon. He'll sit close to me when we're sitting on the couch, and hugs me like he's trying to crawl into my skin. Why does he do it? Because he wants to be near his daddy, to be close to him, and to be like him. Tobias teaches me a lot about how I should be pursuing God. What would it look like if we drew near to our heavenly father this way? In everything we did, everything we are about to do, or whatever we just finished accomplishing, we did so giving acknowledgement, and love to our Heavenly Father? What would it look like in our lives if we pursued God with all that we were, and sought to love him so fiercely, that we crawled in to his lap to become so close, that we just felt his presence on us all the time? Family, When God said (and Jesus echoed) "You shall love the Lord with all of your heart, and with all of your mind and with all of your soul and with all of your strength" (Deut 6:5, Matt 22:37. Luke 10:27), He meant it (life, and all the experiences contained within it) should be about the pursuit of God. Therein lies Joy, contentment and peace beyond all understanding.

James 4 English Standard Version (ESV)


Warning Against Worldliness


What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions[a] are at war within you?[b] You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people![c] Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.


11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers.[d] The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?


Boasting About Tomorrow


13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.


Footnotes:

a. James 4:1 Greek pleasures; also verse 3

b. James 4:1 Greek in your members

c. James 4:4 Or You adulteresses!

d. James 4:11 Or brothers and sisters



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