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Posts Tagged ‘God’s presence’

Feeling a Little Blurry Around the Edges?

June 11, 2019 Leave a comment

Out of FocusOne of the great things about the cell phone cameras we use today is the automatic focusing feature. I’m old enough to remember using an actual camera that required fiddling with a bunch of dials before snapping the picture. Most of the time, those waiting to be photographed weren’t very patient about this process, and, oftentimes, after all that effort, the photo turned out to be out of focus after all.

As children of God, it would be nice to have this automatic focusing mechanism built into our daily lives, so that the moment our lives became blurry around the edges—from taking part in all the world has to offer, from neglecting Bible study, from participating in non-glorifying activities—then our focus would automatically be returned to our Father and to living out Christ in us, “the hope of Glory” (Colossians 1:27).

However,  none of us have an automatic focusing mechanism. What we have is something even better—the Word of God.

While having a device to automatically redirect one’s  focus towards God sounds good, in reality, such a device would ultimately lead to taking God for granted, and it wouldn’t adhere to the command to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).

God’s Word directs us to focus on Him in numerous passages of Scripture throughout the Old and New Testament.

One of my favorites is 2 Thessalonians 3:5: “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.”

Have you lost your focus? Direct your heart today to the love of God“The love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9).

Direct your heart to the steadfastness of Christ. “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

Spending time  with the Lord in daily Bible study brings clarity to our lives and sharpens an otherwise blurry picture.

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How To Stay Away From God

June 6, 2015 4 comments

stay away 2There’s a verse of Scripture in Hebrews that gives me pause whenever I read it. It’s Hebrews 10:22, “Therefore . . . let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.”

Drawing near to God sounds like a terrific idea. So, why don’t we draw near? What makes us stay away?

Believers don’t stay away from God on purpose. It’s usually the result of not doing something, rather than actually doing something.

Not confessing sin.  After the writer of Hebrews described what Jesus did for sinners by his death on the cross, he writes in verse 27, “If we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,  but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.” Unconfessed sin creates a reluctance and a fearfulness to be near the One whose responsibility it is to judge sin, and so we stay away.  

Not knowing truth. The writer uses the word,”therefore,” before telling believers to draw near to God. That’s because he’s been explaining great truths having to do with the meaning of the Lamb-like sacrifice and what the shedding of Christ’s blood did for sinners. He says such knowledge gives us confidence to come before God. The reverse is also true. By not knowing what Christ did when He laid down His life for us, we have no confidence and cannot draw near to Him.

Not having faith. The writer says we are to come before God “with full assurance of faith.” Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who draws near to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him,” While our faith in God is a gift from Him (Ephesians 2:8-9), we must be willing to act on that faith or we will never draw near to Him.

What happens when we draw near? Hebrews 4:16 tells us we receive “mercy and grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 7:25 says those who draw near to God will discover “He always lives to make intercession for them,”  and Hebrews 11:6 says anyone who draws near to God will find “He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

Draw near. Take the pathway into His Presence made just for you.

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