James 4:7, 8 - Drawing Near to God.
James 4:7, 8: Drawing Near to God.
James 4:7, 8 (CEV) Surrender to God! Resist the devil, and he
will run from you. 8 Come near to God, and he will come near to you.
Clean up your lives, you sinners. Purify your hearts, you people who
cant make up your mind.
James 4:7, 8 (NLT) So humble yourselves before God. Resist the
devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will
come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts,
for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.
James 4:7, 8 (NCV) So give yourselves completely to God. Stand
against the devil, and the devil will run from you. 8 Come near to God,
and God will come near to you. You sinners, clean sin out of your
lives. You who are trying to follow God and the world at the same time,
make your thinking pure.
James 4:7, 8 (MSG) So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud
no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and
hell be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner
life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The
fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on
your knees before the Master; its the only way youll get on
There are many wonderful things to see and experience while
visiting Paris, France, but one of the most impressive places is located
about fifteen miles outside of Paris - the Palace of Versailles. One
of the most well-known kings of France lived there for many years -
King Louis the 14th. He was quite the flamboyant and dramatic person
who loved to celebrate even the smallest daily routine. We had to
see this place, so we bought our tickets and took the official tour
of the palace. The palace itself was magnificent, with around seven
hundred rooms, two thousand windows, twelve-hundred and fifty chimneys
and sixty-seven staircases! In room after room, we were amazed at
how luxurious each room was. There were state apartments and private
areas for the king and queen, chapels, galleries, ballrooms, and even
a theater for opera. The palace is also famous for the gardens
with expansive grassy areas, huge fountains, and long walkways.
One of the most famous parts of the palace is the Hall of
Mirrors. As the title hints, it's an elegant 240-foot long hall filled
with no less than 357 mirrors. Every day, King Louis walked through
the Hall of Mirrors to get from his apartment to the chapel. Before
electricity, the room was lit from one end to the other with about one
thousand candles on chandeliers, which helped reflect the candlelight. A
bunch of people would assemble to simply watch him walk down the hall.
He sure liked his unusual routines!
EVERYONE HAS UNUSUAL QUIRKS. WE'RE EACH A LITTLE STRANGE IN
OUR OWN WAYS. SOME PEOPLE THINK THEY'VE DONE TOO MANY BAD THINGS AND
THAT GOD WOULDN'T WANT THEM ANYMORE. WRONG! GOD WANTS YOU TO COME TO
HIM AS YOU ARE. WE'RE ALL SINNERS. IT'S NOT YOUR JOB TO GET YOUR
HEART CLEANED UP; ONLY GOD CAN DO THAT. YOU JUST NEED TO COME TO HIM
EVERY DAY AND HE WILL EMBRACE YOU AND PURIFY YOUR HEART! [Passport to
Adventure by Rich Aguilera]
COMMENTARY - IN DEPTH
Go to: http://www.abible.com/devotions/2007/20070702-1008.html
What is the best gift we can give our children? No matter
what they might say if we asked them, the answer is time. That's how
we show them they are important, by showing that we're not too busy
to pay attention to them. I'm not suggesting that we allow them to
be rude, butting into conversations or making unreasonable demands.
What I mean is that we demonstrate to our children that they are
precious to us by spending time with them and being interested in what
they are interested in.
In our family, we have "daddy dates." This is special
one-on-one time when I am focused just on that child. It's time when we can
talk without distractions, and we spend time doing things that are
fun for both of us. Sometimes we go shopping; other times we just
sit and talk. We may read a comic book together or go to a ballgame.
The point isn't what we do as much as that we do it together.
OUR HEAVENLY FATHER LONGS TO HAVE DADDY DATES WITH US AS
WELL. HE TELLS US IN HIS WORD, THE BIBLE, THAT WHEN WE DRAW CLOSE TO
HIM, HE WILL DRAW CLOSE TO US. HE INVITES US TO COME INTO HIS
PRESENCE ANYTIME. HE LOVES IT WHEN WE JUST SIT AND TALK, ESPECIALLY WHEN
WE ARE WILLING TO SET ASIDE ALL THE DISTRACTIONS AND FOCUS JUST ON
Father God, thank you for allowing me to spend time with you
whenever I want. Thanks for listening when I need to talk and using me to
accomplish your purposes. In Jesus' name, Amen. [Celebrate Recovery Daily
Devotional by John & Johnny Baker re Psa. 42:2]
We're all familiar with those advertisements in which a
medication is described in glowing terms by people with bright smiles,
followed by a daunting list of possible side effects. "Do you have acne
problems? Try our medicine: Warning! May cause constipation, dizziness,
increased sweating, lightheadedness, damage to your heart, loss of
appetite, vomiting, weakness, bleeding in your ears, loss of your
fingernails, and more."
These ads make me think about our choices in life. There are
things that look great on the surface, but they come with a long list
of side effects. Each time, the Holy Spirit is warning us, "Don't
do it! I know how this will end.
At that point, we have a choice: Prepare to live with the
consequences, or ask God for strength to resist. Let's be honest, sin often
looks like fun. If it didn't it would be far less difficult to resist.
What isn't fun is the consequences, made worse by the fact that we
ignored the warning and did it anyway.
Yes, some things in life look so good, so enticing, but the
real consequences to ourselves and those we love are reason enough to
heed the warning and stay away.
Father, make me wise to the false claims made by the enemy of
my soul. I renew my commitment to listen when your Holy Spirit
warns me to stay away. In Jesus' name, Amen. [Celebrate Recovery Daily
Devotional by John & Johnny Baker]
Open your mind and heart - your entire being - to receive My
Love in full measure. So many of My children limp through their lives
starved for Love, because they haven't learned the art of receiving.
This is essentially an act of faith: believing that I love you with
boundless, everlasting Love. The art of receiving is also a discipline:
training your mind to trust Me, coming close to Me with confidence.
Remember that the evil one is the father of lies. Learn to
recognize his deceptive intrusions into your thoughts. One of his favorite
deceptions is to undermine your confidence in My unconditional Love. Fight
back against these lies! Do not let them go unchallenged. Resist the
devil in My Name, and he will slink away from you. Draw near to Me,
and My Presence will envelop you in Love. (Eph. 3:16-19; John 8:44;
Heb. 4:16; James 4:7, 8) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
Whenever you feel distant from Me, whisper My Name in loving
trust. This simple prayer can restore your awareness of My Presence.
My Name is constantly abused in the world, where people use
it as a curse word. This verbal assault reaches all the way to
heaven; every word is heard and recorded. When you trustingly whisper My
Name, My aching ears are soothed. The grating rancor of the world's
blasphemies cannot compete with a trusting child's utterance: "Jesus." The
power of My Name to bless both you and Me is beyond your
understanding. (Acts 4:12; John 16:24) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
Trust Me, and don't be afraid. I want you to view trials as
exercises designed to develop your trust muscles. You live in the midst of
fierce spiritual battles, and fear is one of Satan's favorite weapons.
When you start to feel afraid, affirm your trust in Me. Speak out
loud, if circumstances permit. Resist the devil in My Name, and he
will slink away from you. Refresh yourself in My holy Presence. Speak
or sing praises to Me, and My Face will shine radiantly upon you.
Remember that there is no condemnation for those who belong
to Me. You have been judged NOT GUILTY for all eternity. Trust Me,
and don't be afraid; for I am your Strength, Song, and Salvation.
(Jam. 4:7; Rom. 8:1, 2; Isa. 12:2) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
"Nearer My God to Thee"
Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. James 4:8
The final two verses of Psalm 73 form a conclusion and a
resolution. Listen to them here: "Those far from You will certainly perish;
You destroy all who are unfaithful to You. But as for me, God's
presence is my good. I have made the Lord God my refuge, so I can tell
about all You do" (vv. 27-28). The psalmist has finished his review of
the past and is now hammering out a philosophy with which to face
the future. He is resolved that no matter what anyone else may do,
he is going to live in close companionship with God. He helps us to
see the importance of this resolution by putting it in the form of a
contrast: "Those far from You will certainly perish . . . but as for me,
God's presence is my good."
Really, when it comes down to it, there are only two
positions in life"close to God or far away from Him. I wonder, as the
psalmist penned these words, was something like this going through his
mind: "What caused me so much trouble in recent days and accounted for
all my difficulties was the fact that I did not keep close to God. I
erroneously believed that the cause of my problems was the prosperity of the
ungodly, but having entered into the sanctuary of God I see that this was
not the cause of my problems at all. My problems came because I had
chosen not to remain close to Him. For me there is now only one thing
that matters"staying close to God."
How are things with you at this moment? Do you feel close to
God? If you don't, then let me put what I want to say in the words of
a wayside pulpit that arrested my attention some years ago: "If
you feel that God is far away, guess who moved?"
Father, I am grateful for the promise of Your Word to me
today that when I draw near to You, You will draw near to me. Help me
put those words to the test by moving closer to You than I have ever
done before. In Jesus' name. Amen. [Every Day With Jesus Bible with
Selwyn Hughes devotional]
LINKS FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE:
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
Most Important Decision in Life:
Seeking God Made Real: http://vimeo.com/31489782
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDIES AND SEMINARS
Glow Tract Video Bible Studies: http://www.bibleresearch.info/