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Nate’s Notes: The Lord is Close

by CCCLampasas

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;  Psalm 34:17-19 New International Version

A dad wrote about a trip he took with his son. One day, while my son Zac and I were out in the country, climbing around in some cliffs, I heard a voice from above me yell, “Hey Dad! Catch me!” I turned around to see Zac joyfully jumping off a rock straight at me. He had jumped and then yelled “Hey Dad!” I became an instant circus act, catching him. We both fell to the ground. For a moment after I caught him I could hardly talk. When I found my voice again I gasped in exasperation: “Zac! Can you give me one good reason why you did that???”

He responded with remarkable calmness: “Sure…because you’re my Dad.” His whole assurance was based in the fact that his father was trustworthy. He could live life to the hilt because I could be trusted. Isn’t this even more true for a Christian? 1

Please read over the passage from Psalm 34 slowly and notice all of the verbs. The righteous cry out in their time of trouble and have many problems but all other actions are done by the Lord. The Lord hears, delivers, is close, and saves. Those are such beautiful promises to faithful believers. We receive so many blessings from the Father. Notice that the Lord is our perfect father.

17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. 18 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. Psalm 145:17-19

The Triune God always acts rightly and is forever faithful. The Lord is close to all who call upon him! God is not a distant tyrant just waiting for you to sin, so that He can punish you. Yahweh is not an absent father who created the universe and then abandoned it. The King of Kings is not so high and lifted up that He cannot hear your prayers. God is not a mute idol made of human hands. God is holy and exalted; however, the Lord is also close and loves us as a mother cares for her child.

As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you;  and you will be comforted over Jerusalem. Isaiah 66:13

God acts towards us a caring parent who comforts and aids us. This is a relationship. We also need to love God and love others as He loves us. This week consider your life with the being of all beings who cares for you more than any earthly mother or father. If your parents have died or you have a strained relationship with them, remember always that you are loved by the Alpha and Omega, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Prayer:

Abba Father,

We praise you for your faithfulness and righteousness. Thank you that are near to us as a hen is close to her chicks. You will not abandon or mistreat us. In the precious name of Jesus we pray, amen.

Pastor Nathan

Source:

  1. Tim Hansel, Holy Sweat, Word Books Publisher, 1987, pp. 46-47.

Nate’s Notes: Trust and Obey

James 2:14-19 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

James, the half-brother of Jesus, passionately argued that belief isn’t enough. Even the demons, have a good theology. They don’t deny the existence of power of God.

James contends that a saving faith transforms us into people who love others and have good works. Notice that he does not say we will be perfect. As Paul writes, a Christian runs the race of faith until God calls us home. We are to love God and people.

A young boy, on an errand for his mother, had just bought a dozen eggs. Walking out of the store, he tripped and dropped the sack. All the eggs broke, and the sidewalk was a mess. The boy tried not to cry. A few people gathered to see if he was OK and to tell him how sorry they were. In the midst of the works of pity, one man handed the boy a quarter. Then he turned to the group and said, “I care 25 cents worth. How much do the rest of you care?”

Brennan Manning said the following about the way Christians live out their faith.

“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”

Are we prepared to lay down our lives for Christ and love others, or are we leading unbelievers farther from God because of our hypocrisy?

Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Fortunately, faith in Christ produces the fruit of the Spirit and out of that faith flows a transformed life. Jesus’ yoke is easy and his burden is light. God will give us the strength to serve him if we will only trust and obey.

Trust and Obey

By John H Sammis

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,

What a glory He sheds on our way!

While we do His good will, He abides with us still,

And with all who will trust and obey.

Refrain:

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way

To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Prayer: Lord, you are the source of all good things and our loving Abba daddy. We pray that by your grace our faith would abound more and more. Give us the faith, hope, and love to trust and obey.

Nathan

 

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